The choice to increase the size of one’s breasts is a personal decision. Those considering do so for many reasons, most of which can be categorised as either for reconstructive purposes, or for cosmetic purposes.
Breast implants are also commonly referred to as breast augmentation or breast enlargement. These terms often overlap, but they mean the same thing: creating fuller, perkier breasts by inserting implants into the breast.
Larger, perkier, rounder breasts are a desire of many women, and at Cairns Plastic Surgery we have many years of experience perfecting this art.
Breast implants can increase the size of one’s bust, correct different-sized breasts, or help improve shape and lift after pregnancy and breastfeeding. Additionally, women recovering from breast cancer surgery, or those with a breast deformity, may choose breast augmentation.
Whatever the reason, there are a few things you need to know. We’ve broken it down into four categories, so read on, and ensure you know all your options, the risks involved, and what you should expect before and after surgery.
So, you’ve made the (albeit vague) decision that breast augmentation might be right for you. Where do you begin? Start by learning the types of implants that are available, where these implants are inserted, and what size breast you might consider.
First, the silicone implant vs. saline implant debate
There are two types of implants many breast surgeons all over the world will use. Silicone and saline implants have the same outer shell, made from silicone, but their contents differ.
Saline implants are inserted while empty, then filled with salt water once in place, whereas silicone implants are inserted, already filled with silicone gel. The texture of a silicone gel is considerably thicker than saline.
Due to the nature of insertion, saline implants usually require a smaller incision, as they are empty when inserted. Silicon implants, because they are pre-filled, normally require a larger incision for insertion.
Under or above the muscle?
So where exactly is the implant inserted? Well, there are two options: implants can be inserted either under or above the pectoral muscle.
There are several reasons why your plastic surgeon will recommend one way over the other.
Under the muscle:
Many doctors agree that it is easier to perform mammogram scans on the breast when the implant is positioned under the muscle. Further, this type of breast implant can have a more natural look, is great for smaller frames, and often has a lower chance of sagging in the future.
Above the muscle:
At the other end of the spectrum, inserting a breast implant above the muscle results in a fuller, more prominent, and more protruding bust line. Above-the-muscle procedures typically see faster recovery times and less recovery pain. Above the muscle may be recommended if you have enough natural breast tissue to cover the implant
This advice should serve just as a guideline. The best way to determine the best solution for you is to speak directly to your surgeon!
Choosing a breast implant size
Once again, this is a personal choice, but there is absolutely no doubt you will benefit from sound, honest, logical advice from your plastic surgeon. Most of the time, a patient will come to us with a desired bra size in mind. While this is OK for a general sizing direction, there are many other factors that influence what size breast you can opt for.
These factors include your current breast size, the amount of breast tissue you have, your chest width, and whether your implants will be inserted under (which is, for example, often better for smaller frames), or over, (which usually creates a fuller, rounder, and more prominent shape) the muscle.
Breast implant cost
Health care and insurance generally will not cover breast augmentation surgery. Exceptions include when the surgery is for reconstructive, rather than cosmetic, purposes.
As implant procedures are unique to each customer, so too are breast implant costs, which is why it is often tricky to provide a general cost.
Your surgeon should be able to clearly break down the various costs of your breast surgery procedure, including the anaesthetist, the actual surgery, and the hospital fee.
The actual cost to your plastic surgeon for your breast implant procedure is not the only cost you need to think about: you will also need to realistically consider the monetary loss when you are off work during recovery.
Many plastic surgeries offer payment plans to help you manage the cost of your chosen surgery. This might help you budget better, and periodic payments will ease the strain.
Post-op – breast implant recovery
Breast augmentation happens under general anaesthetic in a hospital. Depending on your recovery, you can choose to leave the hospital on the same day of surgery, or stay overnight.
Patients can experience swelling, pain, and breast sensitivity for weeks after surgery. These effects normally last for around four weeks, and will gradually subside.
Specific instructions will be divulged fully to you by your plastic surgeon, but common post-op requirements include wearing a bra for the first few weeks, for 24 hours a day except for showering, you might need to keep stitches dry for the first few days, and you will also organise a follow-up appointment to see how your recovery is going.
In most cases, you will start to get a good idea of the final result after six to eight weeks, but it may take months to fully see the completed outcome of your new breasts.
Breast surgery is complex, and, like all other plastic or cosmetic surgery procedures, desired results are never guaranteed. If you have been misled into believing a favoured outcome can be guaranteed, then you should strongly reconsider your choice of plastic surgeon.
- Be honest
- In return, expect honesty
- Realise results are not guaranteed
- Know your surgeon’s qualifications
- Have a thorough read-through of our detailed procedure information. Find our breast augmentation information here.
We are committed to providing all our patients – potential or current – with realistic, informative, helpful, and transparent knowledge. If you’re in the process of researching your breast implant surgery, let Cairns Plastic Surgery be part of your next step: organise a free consultation with one of our qualified nurses.
Alternatively, you can call us on (07) 4031 5755. We can’t wait to talk to you!