Breast Augmentation (Implants)
Breast Augmentation (Implants):
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Breast augmentation, or breast implants, is one of many cosmetic and plastic surgery options offered by expert physicians at UW Health Transformations in Madison, Wisconsin. Our Transformations physicians perform safe and effective breast enhancement or enlargement procedures.
Whether it is to balance a difference in breast size or for personal reasons, such as to improve self-image, our physicians understand the desire for breast augmentation. We also offer breast surgery for transgender patients (augmentation and reduction).
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is a good candidate for breast augmentation or breast implants?
Good candidates for breast augmentation are physically healthy women who are looking for improvement, not perfection, in the size and shape of their breasts.
Many women seek breast augmentation to restore the youthful contour of their breasts after pregnancy, breastfeeding or aging. Others want to balance a difference in breast size or simply improve body contour with fuller breasts. Breast augmentation is also performed as post-surgery reconstruction technique for women who have lost a breast to cancer.
What does breast augmentation/breast implants involve?
During this surgical procedure, breast size is enhanced using inflatable implants filled with saline (salt water) solution. Your surgeon will make incisions in an area that is as inconspicuous as possible, given your particular body shape. This may be near the armpit, around the areola or nipple, or under the breast itself.
The breast implants are then inserted and centered directly under the breast tissue or beneath the chest wall muscle. Surgery usually lasts between 30 minutes to an hour. Patients are typically given general anesthesia and do not need to be hospitalized.
What should I do in the time leading up to my breast augmentation surgery?
Your doctor will give you instructions before your breast augmentation surgery, including guidelines on eating, drinking and taking or avoiding certain medications and vitamins. Avoid smoking or tobacco use four to six weeks before surgery and aspirin 14 days before and after your procedure.
Your surgeon may require you to have a mammogram before surgery, depending upon your age and family history.
You will also want to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and stay with you for a day or two because some activities may be uncomfortable.
What should I expect following a breast augmentation/breast implant procedure?
Immediately following breast augmentation surgery, you may experience temporary soreness, swelling, bruising, sickness upon waking up from anesthesia, and changes in nipple sensation. These symptoms can be managed by medication prescribed by your doctor. Your surgeon may also discharge you with gauze dressings and a surgical or soft bra. Dressings are typically removed after several days and stitches, if any, are removed between a week and 10 days. If your doctor gives you a surgical or soft bra, it should be worn as directed.
You may feel tired and sore a few days after your breast augmentation surgery, but will be able to resume light activities between one and two days. Usually, women go back to work in a week or two and resume strenuous activities after a month. It may take three to five weeks for the swelling to completely subside and several months for scars to fade.
Risks associated with breast augmentation surgery include deflation of your breast implant, bleeding or infection. The most common complication experienced after breast augmentation is capsular contracture. After surgery, fibrous tissue forms around your implants to form a natural "capsule." Sometimes the capsule contracts and causes the implant to feel hard and the breasts to appear distorted.
There is no sure way to prevent contracture. Your surgeon may treat your contracture manually, by applying pressure to the breasts. In some cases an additional surgery is required to relieve the effects of contracture on the breasts.