Breast Implants: The Surgery

Who Qualifies
Women undergo breast augmentation surgery for a variety of reasons:

  • A desire to correct a reduction in breast volume after pregnancy (actually this is a reduction to normal size).
  • Reconstruction after breast surgery.
  • To balance a difference in breast size (lop-sidedness).
  • To enhance breast size for women who feel their breasts are too small.
Surgeons can generally increase bust size by about one or two cup sizes.

The Procedure
There are several different methods in use for the actual surgical procedure of placing breast implants into the breast. The method that your surgeon will use depends on your anatomy and your surgeon's recommendation. There are three types of incisions that can be made, either in the armpit, around the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple), or underneath the breast in the crease where the breast meets the chest. Once the incision is made, the surgeon will lift the breast tissue to create a pocket to place the implant into. The pocket can be made either directly behind the breast tissue or underneath the muscle of the chest wall. The implants will be centered behind the nipples. The entire procedure usually takes about one to two hours. Some surgeons think that putting the implant behind the musculature of the chest will reduce the chance of capsular contracture (hardening) and may improve breast examination by mammogram. Capsular contracture is the development of a layer of scar-like tissue around the breast implant. This occurs because the body recognizes the implant as a foreign object.

Although you will feel worn out and sore for a few days after the surgery, you should be up and around within about 24 to 48 hours. The stitches on the incisions will be removed in about a week to 10 days after the surgery. However, breast swelling may last as long as three to five weeks and you may experience a burning sensation in your nipples for two weeks. This sensation should subside as the bruising heals. Within a few days after the surgery, the gauze bandages covering the incisions will be removed and your doctor may give you a surgical bra to wear that will give you extra support while you heal. Your doctor will provide you with pain medication to control your discomfort.

The cost of a double breast enhancement surgery (i.e., both breasts get implants) runs about $3000, but this figure will vary by location and surgeon. Insurance agencies usually do not cover breast augmentation surgery, although sometimes post-mastectomy reconstruction is covered. Therefore, if you are undergoing augmentation surgery, you will be required to foot the entire bill. Many plastic surgeons have payment plans. And no, they won't re-pocess your breasts if you fall behind. There may be other costs associated with breast implants. These costs are not monetary, they are health costs. There is some evidence that breast implants may cause or contribute to a variety of health disorders in women. Keep this in mind when considering implants.

Rate this article: (1=lowest, 5=highest) 1    2    3    4    5   

Copyright © 1999 GenneX Healthcare Technologies,Inc.


Breast Implants: The Look and Feel

Problems with Breast Implants: Deflation, Mammograms, Breast-Feeding

Breast Implants: Health Complications

a listing of scientific articles and texts used.

ARCHIVE (complete)