Enhancing Those Breasts

Implants are not the only option to improve the shape and size of breasts. There are other alternatives that are gaining popularity as well.

- This Quarterly January 2017 -

Thanks to technological advances, breast enhancement procedures are now safer and more convenient than before, all the better for women to boost their self-confidence, achieve the body they desire, and improve self-worth. Some women do it to become a better version of themselves, restore their prenatal shape, or to reconstruct a breast after surgery or trauma.

Breast implants are the most common option for increasing the size and improving the shape of the breasts. The most popular types are either round or the newer teardropshaped implants, and are filled with silicone gel or saline.

New ‘gummy bear’ implants offer a more natural look and feel, and can correct common deficiencies in size or shape. They remain consistent in size and shape regardless of weight changes and age. The procedure is performed under general anaesthesia and takes one to two hours. A 3–4cm incision — typically hidden under the curve of the breast — allows the pre-selected implant to be inserted. The scar fades over time. Patients can return to work in one to two days, but are required to wear a postoperative bra for nine days after the operation.

Fat transfer involves taking fat from the thighs or abdomen and injecting it into the breasts. This is considered ‘natural’ because it does not use foreign materials. The procedure takes about two to four hours, and breast volume will stabilise after six weeks. Compared to implants, the scar is significantly smaller, at about 2mm. The recovery time is also short — patients can return to work within two to three days. Unfortunately, due to the fact that not all the fat transferred survives, a lot of patients do not have sufficient fat to achieve the volume enhancement they desire. Unlike implants, breasts that have undergone fat transfer will sag with age like normal breasts do.

Nipple-areolar enhancement refers to procedures that include size reduction, shape correction or the correction of inverted nipples. Following pregnancy and breastfeeding, nipples and areolae can become enlarged. Through a minor surgery, nipple length and girth can be reduced along with areola diameter. These operations, while improving the aesthetics of the nipple, usually maintain their sensitivity and do not affect breastfeeding. Severely inverted nipples can also be corrected through a small surgery, frequently enabling women with this condition to breastfeed. Nipple-areolar enhancement takes between one and two hours and can be performed separately or as part of a more extensive breast enhancement surgery. There is usually mild post-operative pain and swelling, but these subside in a few days.