Breast augmentation (breast enlargement, augmentation mammoplasty, "boob job")
What is it?
Breast augmentation is enlargement of the breasts with breast implants.
What about silicone? Is it safe?
All breast implants have a silicone shell or envelope. Even the so-called saline implants have a silicone shell but are filled with saline. Silicone gel filled implants are the most commonly used implants today, with millions inserted world-wide. This silicone gel is called cohesive, which means that even if the shell breaks (which is exceedingly rare) the gel stays where it is. Older implants were filled with liquid silicone and had a thin shell, so if they did break the liquid silicone could be troublesome. Despite that, many women still have these implants in place with no adverse effects. Modern implants are the safest available and problems are very rare. There is no evidence that silicone itself is harmful to the body, as was thought by some people many years ago. In fact, there is a huge body of literature supporting the safety of silicone. Mr Callan usually uses smooth round implants. The added benefit of round implants is that if they rotate there is usually no necessity to adjust or reoperate as their shape remains the same regardless of position. The most common range of implants used are between 250cc and 350 cc. Modern implants should last for many years, perhaps even a lifetime.
What is a capsular contraction?
Capsular contraction is an undesired side effect post augmentation. It is normal for the body to form a slight scar around the implant as a natural response to implantation of a foreign body, however excessive scar around an implant leads to hardening of the appearance of the implant and possible positional changes. This is not always problematic however can get worse over time. The current thought on why this occurs is due to the introduction of a germ during surgery. The best solution we have found is prevention and as a consequence have adopted a 6 step regime to minimise the chance of contamination during surgery. These steps include soaking of the implant in a special antibacterial solution, specific drapes and use of a Keller Funnel to name a few.
Is Mr Callan experienced at this procedure?
Mr Callan has many years of experience at this procedure. He performs breast augmentation regularly and keeps up to date with the latest techniques. You can be sure that, as a fully trained plastic surgeon, Mr Callan performs this procedure to the highest standard available.
Can I see photographs?
You can see photographs of people who have had this procedure when you have your consultation. As Mr Callan performs this procedure frequently, we have a large number of photographs of people with a similar breast type to you who have the size and shape of breast you want.
Who has breast augmentation?
Women aged 18 and over who want larger breasts. Smaller breast size can occur naturally through weight loss or after breastfeeding. Surgically enlarging breasts can help balance a woman’s shape and figure. Occasionally younger females will be considered if they have significant breast asymmetry.
Am I suitable?
You need to be sensible and honest about your reasons for wanting breast augmentation and happy with your informed decision. You should also be as healthy as possible. A time of personal crisis is no time to be making decisions about such surgery. Other considerations are if you have a family history of breast cancer or your breasts have sagged a lot after weight loss or breast feeding. Mr Callan will discuss these things with you at your consultation.
What would make me unsuitable for this surgery?
Smoking, being outside the BMI (body mass index) range of 18-28, under stress when making your decision, or having a medical condition that would make surgery unsafe.
How is it done?
Mr Callan performs all his surgery at St John of God Hospital in Geelong, a fully accredited hospital. Breast implants are almost always inserted under the breast these days. In the past we used to insert them under the muscle, but new techniques make this unnecessary. The incisions we use are almost always in the fold underneath the breasts.
What are the benefits?
What you get out of surgery is entirely a personal matter. If the size of your breasts currently distresses you, larger breasts may be the answer. However the benefits depend on whether or not you have been properly assessed and you may need to consider other options prior to surgery. For instance, it may be that you just want firmer lifted breasts or more even breasts and this will need to be discussed.
What are the risks?
All surgery carries some element of risk. You can minimise your risk by being as healthy as possible and as psychologically prepared as possible, by selecting an experienced and qualified surgeon, and by giving yourself a stress free time during which to recover. The particular risks and complications of this surgery will be discussed at your first consultation. The most common of these is firmness of the implants after some time. This is known as capsular contracture and is less common now with the newer implants and techniques (such as the Keller funnel, Adams' solution). Some women may lose some sensation in the breasts or nipples but most do not. Breastfeeding is certainly possible after breast augmentation but some women find it a little more difficult than it would be otherwise. An uncommon form of breast cancer may rarely be associated with some types of implant. There are other risks common to all surgery and you will be made aware of these.
Will I have scars?
The incision lines for the surgery are always present but fade over the first six to 12 months. As a rule the incision lines are inconspicuous unless specifically searched for or when viewed from certain angles.
How long will I be in hospital?
Breast augmentation is almost always done as a day procedure. Someone will need to take you home from hospital and should stay with you the first night. Breast augmentation is not a particularly painful procedure but can be a little uncomfortable for a couple of days. You will be given medication if it is required to keep you comfortable.
How long will I need to recover?
This usually ranges from a few days to a few weeks depending on what you do. If your activities are sedentary then you may only need a few days, but if you do heavy work and lifting you may need up to three weeks. It's a good idea to take some time out from more strenuous activities so you don't prolong your recovery. The same guidelines apply to exercise, with mild to moderate exercise allowable early on and full aerobic activities after three weeks. You can shower within hours of surgery as dressings are minimal. You must not drive until you are fully recovered from both the anaesthetic and the discomfort of surgery. If in doubt, don't.
Can I wear a bra after surgery?
We recommend a soft, wire-free bra to be worn for the first 3 weeks post op to support breasts and help with post op discomfort. After 3 weeks we recommend you getting professionally fitted to determine your true size.
Will I need to be seen after surgery?
Yes. We will keep in close contact with you by telephone for the first few days and then will see you about three to four days after surgery, then at three weeks and at three months. You are of course welcome to call or visit any time with any concerns.