Dr. Ralph F. Cozart, M.D. ● Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
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Breast Augmentation increases the size of a woman's breast. You can easily go from an A-cup to a full C-cup or more. Breast Augmentation can also yield firmer, fuller breasts.
By looking at the position of the nipple, you can tell if Breast Augmentation is right for you. The crease under the breast is called the infra mammary crease. If the nipple is above this crease you are a good candidate for breast augmentation. If your nipple is level with this crease you are not an ideal candidate, however, a large implant can increase the size and may lift the breast so there is less droopiness. If your nipple is below the crease, you may want to consider a breast lifting procedure with augmentation.
There are a variety of incision sites that can be used by the doctor. The incision site is the access point for the doctor to perform the surgery. The incision can be placed at the edge of the nipple, under the breast, under the armpit, or through the belly button. In choosing the incision site it is important to take into account your lifestyle and visibility of scars.
The common risks with breast augmentation include firming of the breasts, loss of nipple sensation, implant displacement, implant deflation, or breast rippling.
Saline implants are the predominantly-used implant for breast augmentation. The implants are essentially empty prior to placement, with the silicone shell filled once they are underneath the skin and in place. Most methods of insertion allow for very short incisions to be used during this procedure. The two main advantages of saline breast implants are the fact that they carry little controversy and should they rupture or leak, a patient can easily detect the problem. Saline is a saltwater solution and generally considered safer than silicone; the body should absorb the fluid should it enter the bloodstream. The major disadvantages of saline implants is their appearance and quality; they tend to look and feel less natural than silicone implants.
In the early 1990's it was reported that silicone breast implants were possibly responsible for connective tissue diseases in some women. Since the controversy began over the potential risks of silicone breast implants, researchers have been conducting scientific studies to investigate the safety of silicone implants. In 1999, a landmark report, undertaken by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) concluded that silicone implants do not cause major health problems such lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, there have been a number of major studies failing to find an association between implants and autoimmune diseases or cancer. And while no one can ignore the fact that silicone - and saline - breast implants may cause localized problems for some patients, numerous scientific studies over the years have shown that silicone gel-filled implants are both safe and effective for breast augmentation and reconstruction.
Recovering from breast augmentation, as with any surgery, is a gradual process. Some patients recover more quickly while others may be a bit slower. In general, the recovery following these procedures is not difficult. The typical patient will experience some pain and discomfort and use pain medication for 2 to 3 days following surgery. Depending upon the patient's occupation, most patients will return to work 4 to 5 days after surgery. After 1 to 2 weeks patients can resume non-impact lower body exercise. Four weeks after surgery they can resume impact exercises and 6 weeks following surgery they can resume upper body exercise.