Surgical breast augmentation refers to the insertion of breast implants under the breast after an incision or cut has been made at strategic locations on the breast. Typically, incisions are made beneath the fold of the breast, at the areola edge, or in the armpit. After the incision has been fashioned, the silicone or saline implant, or prosthesis, is inserted into the area. Sometimes an incision is made around the area of the umbilicus, or belly button and an endoscope is used to guide the implant for proper positioning in the breast. Generally, this method is preferred by those wish to avoid noticeable scarring in the breast area.
Many patients undergo this cosmetic surgery because they feel their breasts are too small and their clothes seem ill fitting. In addition, surgical breast augmentation is also done after a mastectomy, which is the removal of a breast, typically after breast cancer has been diagnosed. Generally, when surgical breast augmentation is performed after a mastectomy, the implants are not filled yet. Since the patient has had her skin and other tissue removed, a pre-filled implant would not work well. For this reason, an empty prosthesis bag is inserted into a breast incision and is slowly filled with saline over a period of time, giving the tissue a chance to expand around the implant.
Surgical breast augmentation is generally considered a safe medical procedure, however, cosmetic surgery side effects or adverse reactions can occur. As with any surgical procedure, the patient can experience an adverse reaction to the anesthesia such as vomiting or instability of vital signs. In addition, infection, although rare, can be extremely distressing. Signs of surgical breast augmentation infection include redness at the site, fever, swelling, and pain. If the infection is not responsive to antibiotics, the implant may need to be removed.
Another complication of surgical breast augmentation is bleeding. Sometimes bleeding is experienced in the implant pocket after surgery. When this occurs, the surgeon will remove the implant and control the bleeding. After the wound is washed and cleaned out, the implant can then be replaced.
Patients are advised to monitor for signs of bleeding, which can include swelling, bruising, and increasing pain. Capsule contracture is also a possibility after breast enlargement surgery. Usually when this occurs, the breast will take on a distorted appearance and the patient will experience pain because of the development of a fibrous capsule around the implant.