Breast Augmentation Calgary
One of the most frequently performed cosmetic surgery procedures, breast augmentation (breast enlargement) can give women with small or unevenly sized breasts a fuller, firmer, better-proportioned look through the placement of implants in the breast. Women may elect to undergo breast augmentation for many different medical and aesthetic motivations, including balancing breast size and compensating for reduced breast mass after pregnancy or surgery.
More about the Breast Augmentation Procedure
Breast implants are cohesive gel implants that are placed behind each breast, underneath the chest wall muscle. The procedure lasts one to two hours and is performed with general anesthesia. After breast enlargement surgery the patient’s bustline may be increased by one or more cup sizes.
Incisions can be made in inconspicuous places on the breast to minimize scar visibility (in the armpit, in the crease on the underside of the breast, or around the areola, the dark skin around the nipple). Dr. Frank prefers the incision around the bottom part of the nipple, due to the fact the scar hides the best and gives Dr. Frank the best access to perform the surgery. The breast is then lifted, creating a pocket into which the implant is inserted.
Placement behind the chest wall muscle offers a few advantages over placement beneath the breast tissue only. These include reduced risk of capsular contracture (post-operative tightening around the implant) and less interference with mammogram examinations. Most patients are quite surprised at how little pain they are in following the surgery, and often equate the pain they feel to that of an intense chest workout.
After the implants are placed and centered beneath the nipples, incisions are stitched and taped. Most patients feel tired and sore after breast augmentation surgery, but this usually passes in a day or two and many patients return to work within the week. Most post-operative pain, swelling, and sensitivity will diminish over the first few weeks. Scars will begin to fade in a few months and will continue to fade for months or years.
Breast Augmentation (Mammaplasty) FAQS
Augmentation mammaplasty (breast enlargement) is performed to increase breast size and/or fix breast asymmetry. Candidates include women who want larger breasts, and those who want to restore the breast volume often lost as a result of pregnancy or significant weight loss. Breasts are typically enlarged with implants. Augmentation mammaplasty is not a substitute for mastopexy, which is a procedure to “lift” breasts that sag significantly.
Who is a Candidate for Augmentation Mammaplasty?
A woman who wants to increase the size of her breasts, to fix asymmetrical breasts, or to restore lost volume to her breasts is a candidate for augmentation mammaplasty. She must have fully developed breasts, be physically healthy, and have realistic expectations about the outcome of the surgery.
How are Breasts Augmented?
Using small incisions around the breast, a pocket is created beneath the pectoralis muscle, in which the implant is placed. The procedure usually takes between 40-60 minutes.
How Much Scarring is Caused by Augmentation Mammaplasty?
During augmentation mammaplasty, Dr. Frank uses small incisions around the areola, which minimizes scar visibility. This placement of scar also limits the possibility of implant malpositioning during the recovery process.
What are the Risks and Complications of Augmentation Mammaplasty?
In addition to the risks associated with surgery and anesthesia, those related to augmentation mammaplasty using implants include capsular contracture; implant leaks and ruptures; and implant deflation or shifting.
What will My Recovery be like After Breast Augmentation?
Many women are surprised that their recovery after augmentation is relatively easy. You’ll return home a couple hours after your surgery. You’ll have bandages on your breasts and will be wearing a surgical bra for support. You’ll need pain medication for 2-4 days, but the pain isn’t overwhelming. Usually after one day, you’ll return and Dr. Frank will remove your dressing. At this point, he will demonstrate breast massage techniques that will relax the muscle and help the implants settle into their breast pockets. This type of postoperative massage has been proven to significantly reduce the risk of capsular contracture (where scar tissue contracts and hardens around the implant) and decrease discomfort.
You’ll discuss how your recovery will likely progress, and Dr. Frank will stress the importance of wearing the surgical bra and then transitioning to a support bra at all times for a full month.
How Long Do Breast Implants Last?
As with any manufactured product, breast implants have a lifespan. At some point the implants will rupture or begin leaking and will need to be replaced. How long will that be? Manufacturers warranty their implants for 10 years, and will generally reimburse patients for failure prior to that timeframe. But how long your implants will last can vary wildly. You should expect to need to replace your implants every 10 to 15 years. Implant durability is increasing, so this could lengthen. Regardless, if you’re in your 30s, you’ll need to replace your implants at least twice in your life, probably more than that. Replacement surgery is much easier than the original augmentation surgery, as Dr. Frank can enter through the original incisions.
Can Breast Augmentation be Combined with a Breast Lift?
Many women opt to add augmentation to their breast lift procedure for two reasons. First, a breast lift doesn’t decrease breast size, but it does return the breasts to a higher position on the chest. Many women feel they would like to add a little volume back to their breasts, and breast lifts don’t add volume. Second, adding implants during a breast lift is a relatively easy addition to the procedure. This is because the incisions needed for the breast lift can be used for augmentation, as well. Plus, there is just a single recovery period.
When Can I Return to Normal Activities After Breast Augmentation?
You may be surprised, but most patients can return to work approximately 3-5 days after surgery. Your sutures will be removed after one week. You’ll wear a support bra 24 hours a day for one month after your surgery so as not to place any stress on your incisions. Normal activities can resume in 1-2 weeks, but any impact exercise will need to wait for one month. Upper body exercise, such as lifting weights, will need to wait for six weeks.
Is Breast Augmentation Surgery Painful?
Dr. Frank performs breast augmentation surgery as an outpatient procedure with the patient under general anesthesia. You will not feel any pain, and recovery (as discussed above) is not overly difficult.
How Do I Choose the Size of My Breast Implants?
Breast implants are not sized like a bra. Instead, they are sized by the amount of material filling the implant shell, as measured in cubic centimeters. For instance, an implant may be 330 ccs. Dr. Frank has an implant sizing system that allows you to accurately visualize what different sized implants will look like on your figure. This helps take much of the guesswork out of choosing implant sizes.
To learn more about our breast implant options for a breast augmentation in Calgary, Cochrane, Airdrie, Chestermere, and Okotoks, AB, CA, contact us at (403) 245-1228.