Everything you need to know about breast augmentation surgery

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Breast augmentation is the most requested aesthetic surgery in Spain, followed by liposuction and breast reduction. Over 65,000 operations of this kind are performed each year, and patients are most often between 30 and 44 years of age. Even though it is considered a relatively simple surgical procedure, it is important to note that, as with any intervention, risks are involved that must be carefully evaluated.

Is breast augmentation safe?

Surgery must be carried out in a hospital centre that meets the relevant quality assurances, and is equipped with adequate life support in case of any unforeseen problem.

In recent years breast implants have become far safer than they used to be. They are more durable, they have better tissue compatibility, and the rate of rupture and other complications is lower. Although current prostheses are not 100% safe from possible rupture, the fact that they are made of a more cohesive and condensed silicone prevents its spread, and with it, reduces the risk of a multitude of potential issues.

When is breast augmentation not recommended?

As with all surgical procedures, it is important for the patient to have good physical and mental health. The pre-anaesthetic study and the rest of the preoperative analyses will offer an overview of the patient’s health.

In addition, for this kind of surgery it is vital that the specialist knows how the patient feels before and after the procedure. Doctors may reject breast surgery if they feel the patient is using this procedure to mask or resolve undisclosed issues.

What is the post-operative like?

It is important to follow the steps indicated by the surgeon once the implants are placed. This will better guarantee the body’s recovery after the operation.

Ideally, patients will enjoy plenty of rest, and any arm movements should be gentle without carrying any additional weight.

Patients typically take around a month and a half for full recovery post-op.

Further recommendations:

  • Take the prescribed antibiotics and painkillers.
  • Stay hydrated in order for the skin to support the new tightness produced by the implant as well as the swelling produced by the operation.
  • Keep the scarred area clean.
  • Sleep on one’s back and slightly upright during the first few nights.
  • Attend the prescribed doctor appointments for routine check-ups.
  • Avoid the sun for a few weeks, as it is bad for newly formed scars.
  • Do sport in moderation and only when it avoids affecting the chest area.

What happens if the implant breaks?

In the event that the prosthesis’ specs change, a new operation may be required. While not typically an emergency, it is important that doctors inspect and evaluate the state of the implants in order to determine the best course of action.

Implants should only be replaced if there is an issue with them, such as a rupture or capsular contracture, or if the woman demands additional aesthetic touch-ups.

Today’s breast augmentation surgery is very safe, but if one has any doubts it is always best to speak directly with a plastic surgeon.

Smooth or rough implants?

There is currently lots of debate over which types of prosthesis are best, and the answer is not clear-cut. The older smooth implants had the unfortunate potential of causing problems that could lead to health issues, but all this disappeared with the arrival of rough implants. However, some studies are evaluating whether some types of rough implants (macrotexturised) may also cause other issues such as late seroma or anaplastic large cell lymphoma. Currently, the general trend is the manufacture of microtextured implants with a slightly rough feel that avoid displacements and rotations, and adhere better to the tissue.

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