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Breast Augmentation - Introduction

Perfect breasts are the defining aesthetic features of every woman. Supple, firm and well shaped breasts give women confidence. While the primary function of the female breast is to feed and nurture the young, the evolving importance of body image and social expectations have caused females to look at breast augmentation as an option to modify their breasts. This is a plastic surgery procedure that enhances the aesthetics of the breasts using implants.

The normal appearance of the breast is a vital aspect of the female form. Experienced surgeons have great knowledge of breast anatomy that facilitates safe and effective breast augmentation. While what comprises an ideal breast shape and size is subjective, there are definitely some guidelines about the objectives of a breast augmentation surgery. The size, symmetry, proportion and the location of the breast all play a role in defining what an attractive breast is. In addition, some patients have their own ideas about what an ideal breast is, so the surgeon has to consider that aspect as well.
An ideal candidate for breast surgery is someone who focuses on self-improvement, does some research and has realistic expectations. 

Anatomy of the Breast

The basic unit of the breast is the lobule. Each lobule contains some alveoli (elongated terminal ducts). The breast originates from the ectoderm. The breast mound is situated over the pectoralis major muscle between the second and sixth ribs of the chest. About 2/3rd of the base of the breast lies anterior to the pectoral muscle, the rest lies anterior to the serratus muscle. The upper pole of the breast extends from just below the clavicle. The surrounding stroma consists of connective tissue, nerves, blood vessels and lymphatic channels. The central region of the breast, including the nipple and areola, receives blood supply from the rear intercostals nerves. Development of breast shape is dependent on many factors, including fat content, volume, muscular and skeletal contour and skin and connective tissue compliment.

Breast Augmentation Procedure 

Breast augmentation procedure is one of the most common aesthetic surgical procedures carried out in the world, including India. The procedure consists of either inserting appropriate implants or transferring fat, though breast implants are most often used. The surgery is typically carried out under general anaesthesia. Where breast implants are used, it consists of taking an incision at a location where the scarring is least visible (either around the armpits, below the breast mound or around the areole) and inserting the implants. The implant is placed in the breast pocket either directly behind the breast (sub glandular) or beneath the sub muscular (sub pectoral) breast tissues. The incisions are then closed. 
The size of the implant is based on the type and width of the breast.
Patients are then strictly advised to follow the post operative regimen. 
A feeling of stiffness and swelling in the breasts is common; so is bruising. Surgeons usually prescribe pain medication and muscle relaxants to reduce these symptoms.
Depending upon the implant used, the location of the incision and the patient’s constitution, recovery time from breast augmentation surgery varies from two weeks to one and a half months. In the initial two or three days, there may be a slight pain in the breasts as the effect of the anaesthesia wears off. Your surgeon will prescribe medication for that.

An important point that patients should remember is that breast augmentation does not change the nipple position or modify breast asymmetry if it exists; it merely increases the breast size by using implants.

Breast Implants

Over the years, there have been numerous developments in the material used for breast implants. The two basic types of implant materials used today are saline implants and silicone implants. Saline breast implants use a sterilized solution of salt water, while silicone implants use a silicone gel. 

We will cover about types of breast implants in a separate article.

Risks Associated with Breast Augmentation

All said and done, implants are prosthetics (artificial), and there is likelihood that something will go wrong in the future. As a patient, you need to be aware of the risks associated with breast augmentation.
Some risks associated with breast augmentation include:

  • Risks associated with anaesthesia and excessive bleeding during surgery
  • Breast pain, scarring or wrongly positioned implant
  • Formation of scar tissue around the implant
  • Leakage or rupture of the implant
Some of these side effects may require additional surgery. Your surgeon will of course explain all these possibilities before carrying out the surgery.
The most important concern patients have after a successful augmentation surgery is what would happen if the implants rupture. It turns out that while using either saline or silicone implants, the chances of any permanent damage to your body are very few. The saline solution gets absorbed in the body, and while the silicone is not directly absorbed, it stays where it is and does not cause any undue side effects. 

Do Your Homework

While breast augmentation is a very popular cosmetic surgery in Pune, India, it is a life changing decision for a woman. Make sure you really need augmentation surgery even before you step into a surgeon’s office. The decision to alter breast size should not come from external factors like peer pressure or because someone wants you to have bigger breasts, it should come from within. Surgeons have also found patients who wanted to undergo the breast augmentation procedure after a traumatic experience in their life like a breakup. Good surgeons will dissuade a patient from taking such a major surgery decision while under duress.

Once you have determined that a breast augmentation procedure will really make a positive impact on your future life, start doing some research on your own. Go online and browse websites, read whatever information is available from good websites (like research institutes and government medical agencies), and then talk to different surgeons. Of course, if you are staying in a modern city like Pune, Mumbai, etc., you can find a good surgeon right in your city. It is important to choose a surgeon who is not only qualified, experienced and has a state of the art infrastructure, but also understands your specific breast augmentation requirements thoroughly.

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