Women undergo breast enhancement for various reasons. Some do it boost self-confidence and self-esteem, a few to celebrate a new job or a change in career. Some do it when they change partners, while some yearn to restore their prenatal shape before childbirth, and a minority do it at the request of their partners.
Breast enhancement is a rapidly growing area of cosmetic surgery and includes several breast surgery procedures. Cosmetic breast procedures include breast augmentation (breast enlargement), which involves the placement of implants through small incisions either underneath the breast or in the armpit. Nonsurgical augmentation involves the injection of manmade fillers. Breast augmentation, also known as augmentation mammoplasty, can increase fullness and projection of a woman’s breasts, improve the balance of her figure, enhance her self-image and selfconfidence, restore volume lost after weight reduction or pregnancy, and reconstruct a breast after surgery or trauma.
Also known as mastopexy, a breast lift is a procedure that is often performed simultaneously with an augmentation. The procedure removes excess skin and tightens the surrounding tissues, in order to reshape and support the new breast contours achieved with breast implants.
To decide which procedure is suitable, a patient should be well aware of the starting and desired end points as well as her willingness to undergo surgery. Fillers are ideal for patients who want just mild increases in size and improvements in shape while implants are more suitable for patients who want a durable, significant increase in size and curvaceousness.
Breast fillers have evolved into a non-surgical alternative for patients seeking a modest increase in their breast size or for reshaping of the breast. On the other hand, breast implants have come a long way in both safety and aesthetics. Previously, implants were viewed as the surest and fastest way to significantly increase the breast volume; but the newer shaped implants (teardrop or anatomical) with their improved gels help to shape the breast rather than let the breast shape the implant. Implants now come in a varied assortment of heights and projections to allow detailed control of the final outcome.
Psychologically, patients need to know what to expect after the procedure, both in terms of recovery and appearance. The downtime from breast enhancement is minimal but there can be some side effects of discomfort, discrete scars and mild swelling with occasional bruising. Women who have their implants placed underneath the muscle will generally have a longer recovery time and experience slightly more pain after surgery. Exercise and strenuous physical activity should be avoided for up to six weeks. All of these are temporary measures and the conditions will improve quickly over time. Scars from a breast augmentation surgery will last six weeks or longer and will usually begin to fade several months after surgery.