Breast augmentation is a cosmetic surgery procedure that uses implants to enlarge or change the shape of the breasts. It is a popular option for women that feel their breasts are too small and want to enhance their figure. Women may have breast augmentation to correct unequally sized breasts or loss of breast volume following pregnancy. Breast augmentation is a reconstructive option following breast removal surgery for cancer. A breast lift may be performed in addition to breast augmentation to improve the shape and position of aging or sagging breasts.
A breast implant is made of a silicone-elastic shell filled with silicone or saline (a salt-water solution). In 2006, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reversed the ban on silicone filled breast implants after research did not associate silicone with substantial health risks. Breast implants come in various shapes and sizes.
There are a few surgical techniques for inserting breast implants. Breast implants may be inserted through an incision made at the crease underneath the breast, in the armpit, in the areola (the dark skin around the nipple), or through the belly button. Breast implants may be placed underneath the chest wall muscle or behind the breast tissue. Every effort is made to assure that any resulting scars are hidden.
At your initial consultation, your doctor will help you decide which method and size of breast implant is right for you. Your doctor will evaluate your breast size, shape, and skin integrity. He or she will perform a breast examination and may recommend a pre-surgery mammogram.