Breast augmentation procedure steps
A breast augmentation procedure includes the following steps:
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2 – The incision
Incisions are made in inconspicuous areas to minimize visible scarring. You and your plastic surgeon will discuss which incision options are appropriate for your desired outcome. Incision options include: along the areolar edge (peri-areolar incision), the fold under the breast (inframammary fold) and in the armpit (axillary incision). A belly-button approach is associated with a higher complication rate.
Incisions vary based on the type of breast implant, degree of enlargement desired, your particular anatomy and patient-surgeon preference.
Step 3 – Inserting and placing the breast implant
After the incision is made, a breast implant is inserted into a pocket either:
A. Under the pectoral muscle (a submuscular placement), or
B. Directly behind the breast tissue, over the pectoral muscle (a submammary/ subglandular placement)
The method for inserting and positioning breast implants depends on the type of implant, degree of enlargement desired, your body type and your surgeon's recommendations.
Step 4 – Closing the incisions
Incisions are closed with layered sutures in the breast tissue and with sutures, skin adhesive or surgical tape to close the skin.
Over time the incision lines will fade. The quality of scar depends on many things, including your genetics, exposure of your body to nicotine and infection.
Step 5 – See the results
The results of breast augmentation are immediately visible. Get more information about breast augmentation results.
Breast augmentation risks and safety
The decision to have plastic surgery is extremely personal and you will have to weigh the potential benefits in achieving your goals with the risks and potential complications of breast augmentation. Only you can make that decision for yourself.
You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks and potential complications.
Possible breast augmentation surgery risks include:
- Anesthesia risks
- Changes in nipple or breast sensation
- Poor scarring
- Wrong or faulty position of the implant
- Implant leakage or rupture
- The formation of tight scar tissue around the implant (capsular contracture)
- Fluid accumulation (seroma)
- Wrinkling of the skin over the implant
- Persistent pain
- Possibility of revision surgery
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.
Breast implant safety
Breast implants do not impair breast health.
Careful reviews of scientific research by independent groups such as the Institute of Medicine have found no link between breast implants and autoimmune or other systemic diseases.
Information on Breast Implant-Associated ALCL
Other important considerations:
- Breast implants are not guaranteed to last a lifetime and future surgery may be required to replace one or both implants
- Pregnancy, weight loss and menopause may influence the appearance of augmented breasts over the course of your lifetime
- Breast augmentation requires regular examinations of your breasts' health and to evaluate the condition of your breast implants