Breast Augmentation

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Breast augmentation, known as augmentation mammoplasty is becoming both more common and safer in all health aspects. Surgical procedures to enhance the breast size (breast enlargement), and/or shape (breast lift) of a woman?s breasts are considered elective cosmetic surgery. However, breast reductions and breast reconstruction are considered corrective plastic surgery. For these reasons, RAMQ does cover corrective procedures.

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There can be a number of motivations behind breast augmentation and some of the most common reasons are:

1. Enhancing and balancing body structure keeping the size of the breasts into consideration. Often, women with small breast size opt for breast enlargement.

2. A general reduction in breast size is frequently observed after pregnancy and breastfeeding. Breast lifts are commonly done to reshape sagging breasts or implants can be used to restore breast size.

3. There can be a variation between the two breast sizes; breast augmentation procedures can be used to bring them to the same size.

A comprehensive discussion with a plastic surgeon is recommended before breast augmentation. Every surgery candidate should gain clarity about the process and its realistic benefits along with understanding the side effects and risks. In surgical terms, a breast implant can be inserted behind or in front of the breast?s chest muscles to increase the size of the bust-line. Breast augmentation may impart added confidence and improve self-image, however many mistakenly believe that changes your appearance slightly will change your looks as well as your outlook and this is an unhealthy approach. It is necessary to be healthy and have a healthy self-image before seeking out breast augmentation.

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There are two most common types of implants:


  • Silicon shell implant filled with silicone gel, and
  • Silicone shell implant filled with salt-water (saline)


However common, breast augmentation is surgery so there are possibilities for unexpected outcomes as well as health risks. Capsular contracture is a rare complication that is experienced after breast augmentation (<5%). It generally happens when the scar tissue around the implant begins to tighten. It will make the breast feel harder and uncomfortable. Removal or replacement of the implant can solve this problem. Some swelling and pain may appear due to excessive bleeding during the surgery, this too is a rare complication (<1%). There is always a threat of infection soon after surgery. It takes time to heal and any exposure to infectious elements can cause trouble.

There can be adverse effects on nipples after a breast reduction, breast lift or breast implant surgery. They tend to get overly sensitive, hard and even go numb in some cases, but this temporary. A breast implant may break or leak under certain circumstances, and in the case of silicone implants, this is often a silent rupture and is most often not symptomatic. However, if symptoms do appear, such as swelling, hardening, nodule formation or deformation of the breast, it is important to consult your plastic surgeon.

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Young women or those planning a family should find relief in that breast augmentation does not cause any side-effects during or after pregnancy. Breastfeeding is not affected. It is necessary to detect complications at an early stage to prevent impacts, therefore regular post-surgery consults with your plastic surgeon is advised.

Breast augmentation is done at various hospitals and cosmetic surgery clinics and private practices. Surgery is carried out under general anesthesia. Complete healing will take a couple of weeks.