Am I a good candidate for breast augmentation?
Augmentation mammaplasty enhances the size and shape of a woman’s breast by placing an internal breast implant. This procedure can improve self esteem and is well suited for a woman who, for personal reasons, feels her breast size is too small, to correct a reduction in breast volume after pregnancy, or to balance a difference in breast sizes. Some women are satisfied but desire fuller, more proportionate breasts. Alterations in volume and shape of breasts can occur with changes in weight, childbirth, breast feeding and normal aging. Implants can be placed during a breast lift procedure to provide firmer and perkier breast contours. If these descriptions sound like you, then you may be a good candidate for breast augmentation. Additionally, you may be bothered by or self-conscious that your breasts are small, clothes that fit your hips are too large at the bustline, or you avoid form fitting tops and swimsuits because your breasts are too small, less firm or not even.
Your personal consultation and surgical options
Dr. Doolabh’s choice of techniques is influenced by many factors that will be evaluated at your consultation. Some of these include the starting size, sagginess and overall shape of your breasts, quality and thickness of your skin and soft tissue, size and placement of your areolas (pigment around your nipples), any previous breast surgeries, personal or family history of breast cancer, and your desired breast appearance in terms of size, cleavage, definition and firmness. Dr. Doolabh will recommend either a FDA approved saline filled or silicone gel-filled implant that best fits your skeletal and soft tissue anatomy, and preferences. The incision can be made either in the crease where the breast meets the chest or around the areola, the dark skin surrounding the nipple. Working through a minimal, inconspicuous incision, Dr. Doolabh will lift your breast tissue and skin to create a pocket, either directly behind the breast tissue or underneath your pectoral muscle. The implants are then centered beneath your nipples. Putting the implants behind your muscle may reduce the potential for hardening of the capsules, and it may interfere less with breast examination by mammogram than if the implant is placed directly behind the breast tissue. Placement behind the muscle however, may cause more discomfort for a few days after surgery than placement directly under the breast tissue.
Before your surgery
Preparing for breast surgery is straightforward and will be outlined for you at your consultation. You may need a baseline mammogram depending upon your personal and family history of breast disease. This will be helpful for comparison of future breast changes. If you have had prior surgery, copies of your records will be requested and are helpful in selecting the optimal technique. Baseline blood work may be suggested, or reviewed if completed recently. If you smoke, you will be asked to stop smoking at least 3 weeks prior to your procedure. Medications and supplements that can interfere with anesthesia or cause increased bleeding will be discussed and should be discontinued prior to your surgery. Most surgeries are outpatient surgeries and require you to arrange for a responsible adult caregiver the day of surgery and a few days following. The morning of surgery, you will meet with Dr. Doolabh and the anesthesiologists to answer any remaining questions and confirm the plan for surgery.
After the breast implants have been placed, you will be placed in a compression bra with a surgical dressing. General guidelines for care include showering and changing the dressing after 48 hrs, constantly wearing the surgical bra, walking every hour to minimize the risk of blood clot formation in your legs and not exerting yourself or using your arms against resistance afterwards. Detailed instructions will be issued prior to your discharge from the recovery unit. Within the first week, your chest will gradually feel less tight, stiff and sore, as swelling and bruising minimizes and range of motion returns to your arms. Depending upon your job requirements, you may be able to return to work within a few days. Implants can take several weeks to months to form a healthy capsule and engage into the pocket to yield their final position and appearance. You can enjoy your new look and be reassured that there is no scientific evidence that breast augmentation increases the risk of breast cancer, autoimmune disease or any systemic illness, nor is there evidence that breast implants affect pregnancy or the ability to breast feed.