How is breast implant surgery performed?
A breast implant surgery also known as an augmentation mammaplasty is a procedure used to enhance one’s own breasts or reconstruct absent or asymmetric breasts. Breast implant surgery is performed by inserting a silicone or saline implant into the breast, either under the breast tissue, or under the chest wall muscle known as the pectoralis major. The size of the implant is determined based on your physical stature, your current breasts and the goals you have after the surgery – i.e. you want everyone to notice, you want only good friends to notice, you want it to look as natural as possible given your body type and size.
Based on your preferences, the type of breast implants you choose, and the counsel of your plastic surgeon, one of four different incisions can be made:
- Inframammory Fold – An incision just underneath the breast, where the breast meets the chest.
- Periareolar – An incision around the border of the aereola
- Transaxillary – An incision underneath the arm in the armpit
- Transumbilical – An incision is made at the umbilicus and a tunnel is created from the navel up to the chest.
Once the surgeon makes the incision, a pocket is formed within the breast or under the muscle in order to place the implant. The pocket can be located in one of two locations.
- Subglandular – This is where the implant is on top of the pectoralis muscle and beneath the breast tissue
- Submuscular – The implant is placed underneath one of the pectoralis muscles.
The combination of incisions and placement location are some of the tools a plastic surgeon will use to help design the breast shape that best matches your desires.
Breast implants are considered an outpatient surgery, so a few hours after the procedure most patients can go home. There is soreness, swelling, and some discoloration, which typically disappears after 4-6 weeks.
Please see upcoming blog on breast augmentation recovery.