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What is Breast Augmentation?

Nov 9, 2007
Breast augmentation is a procedure in which an implant is surgically placed behind each breast. The following article details the procedure, risks and benefits to the procedure that is quickly becoming one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures in America.

Over time, breasts may begin to lose volume or their shape changes. This can be caused by weight loss, childbirth, or just through aging. Women who desire a fuller bustline also use breast augmentation. Breast augmentation is a procedure in which an implant is surgically placed behind each breast. These implants increase the breasts' volume and enhance their shape.

Breast augmentation can be performed at any age after the breasts are fully developed. Patients often return to work within a week, depending on the extent of the procedure. Some patients are worried that breast implants may increase their risk of breast cancer or other illnesses. However, there is no scientific evidence that breast augmentation increases the risk of breast cancer, autoimmune disease, or any systemic illness.

Nor does any evidence suggest that breast implants affect pregnancy or ability to breast-feed. In fact, a large percentage of women have breast augmentation before having children. This number is estimated at over 50% of breast implants are performed before the woman has her first child.

Another major concern of women considering breast augmentation is scarring. What many of these women don't know is that they can often choose from a number of incisions.

A crease incision, or inframammary, is the most commonly used incision. This incision is so popular because it usually not visible and it also gives the surgeon a great deal of control when placing the implants.

A second option is the periareolar, which is an incision made around the areola. This incision heals very well. This approach has more downside than inframammary. An alteration of sensation may result while there may also be a higher rate of implant exposure to your body's own bacteria, which could have side effects.

A transaxillary incision is made in the armpit. Although this leaves the least visible scar, this incision typically gives the surgeon less implant placement control.

Some patients consider choosing the type of incision to be as important as choosing the surgeon himself. "Each patient is different, and each patient's anatomy may respond to differently to certain incisions, " says Dr. Downs, a breast augmentation surgeon in Indiana, "Your surgeon should discuss with the you the pros and cons of each option, as well as explaining how the individual patient may react."
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