Breast augmentation involves using implants to create fuller breasts or to restore breasts that may have lost volume due to weight loss or from pregnancy. The only proven methods for breast enhancement are insertion of implant surgically and fat injection using your own fat. Techniques such as massage, application of creams or consumption of herbal medication have not been shown to be effective in enlarging the breasts permanently.
What are the types of implants used?
There are 2 types of implants: silicone and saline. Most surgeons prefer the use of silicone implants as they feel more natural, are more durable and are less prone to leakages. We advise patients to consider changing their implants every 10 years. Saline implants tend to feel like waterbags especially if there is not enough tissue overlying the implants.
In the early 90’s, there was a silicone scare. Silicone breast implants were thought to cause autoimmune diseases. Since then, there have been numerous scientific studies by top universities in USA and these have shown that there is no link between silicone breast implants and autoimmune diseases.
Currently, cohesive gel implant is the preferred choice because the gel does not leak into the surrounding tissue in the event of a break in the implant shell. Dr Fok also recommends the anatomically shaped (tear drop shaped) cohesive gel implants so that patients can achieve a natural breast contour.
How do I choose the size of my implants?
The final size and shape of your breasts will depend on what is the initial size of your breasts, the size and type of implants used and your chest structure. We will help you determine the size of the implants needed through our technique of sizing. Keep in mind that bigger does not necessarily mean better.
What does the surgery involve?
The implants can be inserted through an incision in the armpit, below the breasts or around the areola. It can also be placed below the breasts or behind the muscle. We will advise you of the advantages and disadvantages of the various options. Breasts augmentation is done as day surgical procedure under general anaesthesia. No drains are required. Bruising and swelling are minimal. Pain is easily managed with oral painkiller. Sutures are removed after 7 to 10 days.
When can I return to my normal activities?
You may need a week off work depending on the nature of your job. Light exercises can start one week after surgery. Exercises involving the use of your pectoral muscles eg. tennis and swimming should be avoided until after 6 weeks. Our nurses will instruct you on arm and shoulder exercises to prevent stiffness after surgery.
What are the problems?
Capsular contracture can occur in about 5 to 10% of patients. Other problems include malposition, rippling and temporary change in nipple sensation.
Can I breast feed after breast augmentation?
You will be able to breast feed normally after breast augmentation. Care should be taken to empty your breasts to prevent engorgement as this can lead to mastitis and capsular contracture.