Breast augmentation (overview)
Breast augmentation (breast enlargement), also termed a “boob job”, is a cosmetic surgical procedure to increase the size and fullness of the breasts. Also known as augmentation mammoplasty, breast implants are placed under the chest muscles or breast tissue by a plastic surgeon.
For many women breast enlargements are about the aesthetic look of the body and are a way to enhance self-image and self-confidence. This cosmetic procedure is also effective as a breast reconstruction for women who have had a mastectomy (surgical removal of all breast tissue from a breast or both breasts) as part of their treatment for breast cancer or other conditions affecting the breast.
Generally, this procedure will be performed once under general anaesthetic, ensuring that you are in a comfortable sleep state throughout. During the procedure, a plastic surgeon places an implant in the breast to increase the size and fullness of a woman’s breasts. Implants are available in options of a soft silicone shell filled with silicone gel or saline (salt water).
A surgeon will insert the implant by making an incision (a cut) in the bottom crease of the breast (underneath), in the armpit, or along the lower edge of the areola (coloured area surrounding the nipple). Once inserted, the surgeon will position the implant by carefully adjusting to get the correct shape (contour) and placement either under the chest muscle beneath the breast or breast tissue. The incision is then closed with stitches or surgical tape.
As it is a surgical procedure, breast augmentation is usually done in a hospital or surgery centre but does not typically require an overnight stay. If there are any complications during surgery, it may be required to stay in hospital for observation and medical care for a period of time.
Why is breast augmentation done?
Breast augmentation is about the aesthetic look of breasts on the body. The cosmetic procedure is primarily done to enhance both their size and shape. One may decide to get breast implants for the following reasons:
- If you are unhappy with the size of your breasts. You may feel that your breasts are too small or too large. (in this instance, you may consider having a breast reduction procedure) Size is relative to an individual’s personal opinion. An aesthetic change can help to improve self-image and self-confidence.
- To enhance the shape and size of the breasts after major body changes such as those experienced during pregnancy or after losing a significant amount of weight.
- To match breasts a little better. Many women have one breast that is slightly larger or that sits higher than the other.
- Reconstruction after having a condition or surgery that has affected the breasts.
During your initial consultation with a plastic surgeon, you will be able to discuss your goals and reasons for wanting this cosmetic procedure. Your plastic surgeon will then help develop a realistic expectation of what this type of surgical procedure can do for you, giving you the most desirable results that meet your goals.