How does breast augmentation work?

Breast augmentation surgery is usually performed as a general anaesthetic as a day case procedure, i.e. coming in and out of the hospital the same day.

The site of the incision: 

There are various places where the incision (scar) can be placed. The most common and safest is the inferior mammary fold or IMF. This is where the wire from the underwired bra sits. Alternative incisions are the peri-areolar (around the nipple) or axillary (armpit). The size of the scar will range from approximately 5-6cm depending on the increasing size of implant.

The types of stitches/sutures:

All sutures are placed below the skin and are dissolved by the body over the course of a few weeks. Nothing needs to be pulled out/removed. Often surgeons will seal the wound with tissue glue, to limit the risk of superficial wound infection from the normal bugs we have on our skin. This glue peels off over 1-2 weeks.

Shapes of implants:

There are three shapes available, round, anatomical (tear drop) and conical. All three come in a range of increasing sizes of base diameters, i.e. how broad an implant is.

Profiles of implants:

For each base of an implant there are 4 different profiles. These are low, medium, high and extra high profile. This is simply a term used to describe the edge or “take off” of the implant. Low profile is a softer, subtler edge (a more “natural look”) and, to the other opposite end of the spectrum, an extra high profile has a steeper edge to the implant, resulting in lots of cleavage (“false look”).

Volume of implant versus cup size:

You choose a volume of implant with your surgeon. You do not choose a cup size. The reason for this is that there is no standard cup size.

Asymmetry:

Most women have some form of minor breast asymmetry. One side may differ from the other in volume, position of the nipple or shape of the chest wall. This is entirely normal. Your surgeon will try to adjust this as best he/she can during the procedure, but if minor differences still remain after the operation, we accept that it is within normal limits.

Where the implant is positioned:

There are two basic areas where implants are placed: above or below the Pectoralis major muscle. Where they are placed depends on your preference, your anatomy and what the surgeon feels is best for you.

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