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What’s Involved in Breast Augmentation?

Breast augmentation procedure boasts high satisfaction rates year after year. This type of cosmetic surgery reportedly improves women’s happiness and self-esteem.

Still, it is a surgery after all so you need to be informed and familiar with the procedure to make the right decision. So what’s involved in breast augmentation?

Ideal Candidates

A cosmetic surgeon worth your time will make a careful effort to screen candidates for breast augmentation. Just because someone wants it doesn’t mean she can get the procedure done.

Ideally, candidates have to be well-adjusted and healthy. They have realistic expectations about what the surgery will achieve or not. They should be over 18 years or older, because anytime before then, they’re still undergoing developmental changes.

Women over 40 should get mammogram first and treat any underlying problems with their breasts before proceeding with the surgery.

Women considering this surgery should seek treatment for any mental or psychological problems like alcoholism or depression. Breast augmentation is not a magic pill that can make all other issues go away.

Types of Implants

You have two choices of implants: silicone gel or saline. They’re both FDA-approved and the reports gathered around the world speak for the safety of both. This is good news especially for women seeking silicone-gel implants, since they weren’t approved prior to 2006.

Saline implants have similar consistency to water and may feel less natural or firmer than silicone gel implants. They’re more visible in terms of ripping, so people with thin skin might not prefer this method.

Also, although not common, saline implants can rupture or break more easily than silicone gel implants. Because the body is largely comprised of saline naturally, the fluid is absorbed and the rupture is clearly visible. The implants can simply be replaced if they ever rupture.

Silicone gel implants usually look more like natural or “real” breasts. They have a longer incision than saline implants because they have to be pre-filled at the time of manufacture. Because of their tendency to look more natural, patients report high satisfaction.

It’s much harder to detect a rupture with silicone gel implants because all the silicone stays cohesive. That’s why FDA recommends an annual follow-up with an MRI.

The Procedure

Your doctor can explain the pros and cons of each type of implants. Only you can make the decision by assessing all the risks. Once you decide on which type of implants you want, the options for where you want the incision and the size of implants will be discussed at the consultation prior to surgery.

Depending on your preference, you can choose to undergo local or general anesthesia. An incision can be made around the areola, under the armpit or under the fold of the breast. After a pocket is created for the implant, it’s inserted and the incision is sutured with absorbable material and protective tape.

While the placement of implants can be done either above or beneath the muscle, many doctors recommend placing them beneath for a higher degree of safety and more natural appearance.

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