Breast augmentation may seem like simple surgery, but it is far more than just putting an implant behind the breast gland.
Breast Lift and Implant (Right) and Breast Implant and Fat Transfer (Left)
This patient had congenital breast deformity called Polands Sydrome, she underwent reconstruction using
Right: Breast Lift and Implant
Left: Breast Augmentation and fat transfer to her axillary tail
The era of making breasts larger without consideration for correct form and symmetry is fortunately behind us. With form-stable cohesive gel implants being the norm rather than the exception in Australia, choosing an implant becomes key in planning for the perfect augmentation.
Traditionally before and after photographs of past patients have been used to predict outcomes. However, using before and after photos alone is not only outdated but also inaccurate as each patient is different. Today, attention should be placed on understanding the patient’s surgical goals and planning the procedure together.
This is why I use 3D Breast Simulation software to help plan the operation, and attempt to predict the likely post-operative result.
During the consultation we will go through your 3D image, and you will wear external sizers. Using my simulation software, we will then carefully plan your operation and render a likely post-operative result based on implant size, shape and position.
To achieve a predictable and safe outcome, each woman needs a customised approach with a few key considerations.
3D Vectra technology is not only a fantastic tool in helping select the perfect implant, but also in visualising the before/afters from all angles.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is important to ensure that your surgeon is reputable and ethical. The production and implantation of breast implants is regulated to ensure that products are safe to use. The safety of your implants largely depends on where you got them. If they are legal and approved and if your surgeon is qualified to perform breast implants.
Both silicone and saline implants are equally safe. Both have a silicone shell and only the fluid inside differs. They offer different shape and texture options. The choice between the two will depend on the results you are looking for. During a consultation your surgeon will give advice on which implant type best suits your needs and body.
Breast augmentation or implant surgery carries the same risk as any other procedure of its nature. Breast augmentation carries the general risk of implant rupture, loss of sensation in the breast and nipple, breast distortion and infection. Using high quality implants, placement and technique that is not only suitable for the placement of the implant but for your safety and comfort reduce the risk of medical complication during recovery and going forward.
I prefer to place the incision below the breast (inframammary) which, when mathematically calculated using the dimensions of the implant and existing breast tissue characteristics, should be well concealed in the breast crease.
Except when also performing a combined augmentation mastopexy, I rarely use access incisions such as axillary, periareolar or umbilical. The reason for this is simple; breast augmentation is more than adding volume to the breast – it is about shaping the breast in a reproducible manner. Every woman’s chest wall is different, especially the anatomy of the pectoralis major muscle. The inframammary incision is the only incision which allows complete exposure of all the key anatomical landmarks, thus allowing for the most predictable and reproducible long term results.
The breast implant can be placed below or above the pectoralis major muscle depending on the woman’s current shape and size. My preference if you have a very thin breast envelope, is a dual plane pocket for its diversity and the ability to control the breast projection and shape. Dual plane refers to the position of the implant in relation to the pectoralis major muscle and the breast gland; the upper half of the implant being behind the muscle and the lower half of the implant being directly behind breast tissue.
Should your upper breast envelope be a little thicker, I prefer placing the implants above the muscle as this gives the quickest recovery and most appealing appearance.
The aim of breast augmentation should be exactly that, augmenting the form of a natural breast, not solely enlarging it. We are fortunate in Australia to have extremely high standards when it comes to implant quality, and with the latest generation of form-stable cohesive implants, our results are more predictable and precise than ever. A discussion on which implant for which patient is beyond the scope of any website, so feel free send any questions you may have through my contact page, or even better, come in for a consultation.
How long does it take to recover from breast augmentation?
The procedure is performed under general anaesthetic, usually as a day case. Time off work to recover is usually around one week and vigorous exercise can usually be resumed after six weeks.
What are the potential risks and complications of breast augmentation?
Some possible complications and risks associated with breast augmentation may include:
- Risks involved with any surgery such as bleeding or infection
- Fluid accumulation, which is called a seroma, around the implant after surgery
- Changes in nipple sensitivity
- Temporary or permanent areas of numbness around the scars
- Wrinkling of the skin over the implant
- Keloid or hypertrophic scarring, especially if you have a history of poor scarring
- Capsular contracture, where firm scar tissue forms around the implant causing it to lose shape and softness. Occasionally a capsule contracture around an implant can be painful.
- Inappropriate implant size
- Implant rupture
- All breasts are uneven; after an augmentation this slight difference will be more noticeable. If there is a significant difference pre-operatively then I might need to put different sized implants in. A formal assessment of breast volume is performed when I take your 3D image.
- Lumps in local lymph node tissue formed by leaking silicone. This does not pose a health risk to you.
- Small reduction in the effectiveness of breast cancer screening as the implant could hide breast tissue and tumours. Modern imaging has made this far less of a concern.
- Implants moving from their original position
- Revisional surgery to treat complications
How much does breast augmentation cost?
Cost for a breast augmentation is $10,990, for either round or anatomical.
- Anaesthetist’s fee
- Safe general anaesthetic at East Sydney Private Hospital
- Post-operative garments
- Surgical assistant’s fee
- Unlimited follow up
Be cautious of “cheap breast augmentation” offers which are always available on the internet. Somewhere along the clinical path, they will cut costs; whether it be the quality of the implant, the safety of the anaesthetic and operating facilities, or the experience level of the surgeon. Support the mantra “I want great care” and ensure you are well informed.