Understanding Breast Augmentation
Breast Augmentation is a surgical procedure wherein the breast is made larger and/or fuller with the use of an implant or through the transfer of fat from other parts of the body. According to a 2015 survey conducted by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), breast augmentation is the No. 1 Breast Procedure performed by aesthetic/cosmetic surgeons worldwide.
This is especially so in my practice as I have dedicated my practice rather exclusively to addressing both aesthetic concerns of the breast such as Breast Augmentation, etc and breast disease treatments like Breast lumps and Breast Cancer. It was my goal to provide a comprehensive end to end service for all problems breast related to the breast.
Note that there is no mention of Breast fillers because breast fillers are no longer in use in Singapore at the moment. There are no HSA approved fillers. Late complications such as infections and encapsulation have been reported too often.
There are other aesthetic enhancements to the breast such as breast lifting and tightening, breast reduction but are not considered under the umbrella term “Breast augmentation”
Benefits of Breast Augmentation
Why do breast augmentation?
Breast augmentations are elective surgeries that have a quick recovery time. Most women typically choose to get breast augmentation to improve their self-image and to add contour to their bodies, but beauty isn't the only reason. Many women choose breast augmentation for:
- You're concerned that one breast is smaller than the other i.e. correct breast asymmetry
- To address post pregnancy loss of volume and/or droopy breasts
- Reconstruct your breast after having breast surgery; for cancer or other conditions
Safer and Natural Breast Implants
With the number of women opting for breast augmentation each year, it is no wonder that breast implant manufacturers have invested heavily in research and development to produce implants that are safer and provide a more natural feel. One of the leading brands in recent years has been Motiva breast implants.
Motiva - Premium Breast Implants
Motiva is a premium brand of breast implants, which has enjoyed much acclaim within the industry in recent years. Motiva silicone breast implants are medical grade, long-term implantable silicones and have undergone extensive chemical, physical and biological testing, filed with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Dr Evan often does incisions under 3 cm with Motiva premium implants. The superb elasticity and fineness of the implants offer smaller incisions and the ease of insertion, making them a popular choice amongst experienced plastic surgeons.
Motiva implants provide optimal shape retention and natural feel, thanks to the ultra soft filling cohesive gel. The gel feels fluid but does not leak out of the implant shell when ruptured. The implant shells are nano-textured. Lately, several studies have shown that aggressive textures, which are typically obtained with such materials, have secondary effects (1, 2) such as delayed seroma or ALCL (Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma - Please take some time to read more about this condition here)
Here are some additional points about Motiva silicone breast implants:
- Being a premium brand of breast implants, In Singapore, Motiva is only supplied to a select few clinics. The intent was to identify leading plastic surgeons with a suitable level of skill and experience.
- Overall, there are more than 500 Motiva implants to choose from based on different specifications (e.g. Mini, Demi, Full and Corsé). Both the patient and the doctor can select the best implants that will meet the patient’s specific needs.
- Motiva implants come with the exclusive Q Inside Safety Technology™, which is a small micro-transponder that contains the implant data such as serial number, manufacturer name, manufacturing date, etc. This allows patients and doctors to identify and monitor the implant from outside of the body.
In Singapore, breast fillers are not part of the approved methods for breast augmentation.
For those interested in a less invasive way of enhancing the breast we suggest you to read the section on Fat Grafting to the breasts and Hybrid augmentation.
Fat grafting to breasts, for me, is still the gold standard for a modest increase in size. It is ideal for those who like how their breast looks now just want it slightly larger. An increment of up to one cup size in one surgery is a reasonable expectation.
It is also great news for those who would like a bit of contouring - make the tummy or thighs look trimmer and the breasts bigger!
Benefits besides contouring - lasting and physiological increase in size - increases in size when put on weight.
About 50-70% of the grafted fat would survive and remain permanently. Most patient has a misconception that the fats disappear after a period of time. This is most likely due to gross reduction after the initial post-op swelling and partial resorption. We would have before & after photos in the clinic for patient’s reference.
Most Common Breast Shape Preferences
There are two common implant shapes available to women: round and teardrop. Each shape has its own appeal and it is for the client to decide according to the appearance she hopes to achieve. In the hands of an experienced surgeon, BOTH round and teardrop implants can look NATURAL.
The teardrop shape offers a more typical look to the breast shape whereas round implants offer a fuller look to the top of the breast.
Teardrop implants, as the name suggests, gives a more natural teardrop shape to the breast. They offer a fuller look at the bottom of the breast, however these types of implants typically do cost more than round implants.
The Process of Breast Augmentation
Detailed consult and assessment
A thorough breast screening will be performed on the patient as part of the consult. This is to rule out any underlying breast disease prior to augmentation.
During the screening, the options to fulfil the patient's aesthetic goals that are appropriate for their body type as consulted will be discussed.
Most patients would be ready to return to work 3-4 days after surgery. Initial pain could be alleviated with medication tailored according to the patient's needs.
For the first 4-6weeks after surgery, heavy lifting and strenuous physical activities are strongly discouraged. Arm exercises and stretching will be taught to the patient to improve their mobility and function.
Scar management would be done by a therapist. Adjunct laser and IPL are packaged together with the subsequent follow-ups to achieve optimal scar outcome if necessary.
As with any surgical procedure, there are certain conditions and situations where someone may not be eligible. Most people are suitable for breast implants, but there are a few conditions that may prevent them from getting the procedure done. This include, but are not limited to:
- Active breast infections
- Women undergoing radiation
- Women sensitive to silicone
- Presence of certain medical conditions
Periareolar Incision: An incision is made along the outline of the areola, the coloured area around the nipple.
Transaxillary Incision: An incision is made in the armpit. The implant is inserted into this incision from the armpit and slid into the breast, positioned right behind the nipple.
Inframammary Incision: An incision is made at the bottom of the breast, particularly at the crease between the breast and the skin. This is a popular incision because it allows for good visibility and placement of the implant with a lower risk of contamination.
TUBA Incision: An incision is made on the rim of the navel, creating a tunnel of fatty tissue beneath the skin. The implant is guided from the navel to the breast with the use of an endoscope.
Yes, your ability to breastfeed will not be affected by breast augmentation.
The lifespan for breast implants is around 20 years. However, they should be replaced or removed if you experience any rupture or hardening of the implants. It is not required to remove them if none of the problems arise.
Currently, there is no substantial evidence linking patients who have breast augmentation to the increased risk of breast cancer.
Up to 25% of the breast could be blocked by the breast implant. As such, special mammographic views are performed for an optimal view of the breast tissues without disrupting the implants.
Yes, the patient may choose to perform breast augmentation with fat grafting for a more natural appearance.
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Making the decision to have breast augmentation done is intimidating but it isn't confusing. Contact us today for enquiry and consultations.