What is the breast enlargement procedure?

The procedure itself takes around 1.5 to 2 hours to complete and is usually performed under a general anaesthetic. There are two techniques used in respect of the positioning of the breast implants. These are:

  • Subglandular
  • Submuscular

Subglandular: the implants are placed above the major muscle of the chest.

The advantages of this are less post-surgery pain, quicker healing and a better anatomical position for enlarging the breasts.

The disadvantages are increased risk of capsular contracture, increased visibility and palpitation and problematic for mammography.

Submuscular: in this procedure the implants are inserted above the major muscle of the chest.

The advantages of this are fewer risks risk of capsular contracture, easier for mammography, deeper placement and less visibility.

The disadvantages are longer recovery time, more post-operative pain and worse results for athletic women.

Your surgeon will make an incision either underneath the natural ‘crease’ beneath the breast or via the armpit or around the edge of the areola.

Your surgeon has a choice of four incisions:

  • Axillary
  • Inframammary
  • Periareolar
  • Umbilical

Axillary: this incision is made in the site of the armpit.

Inframammary: this is the most popular incision. It is made in the crease beneath the breast.

Periareolar: the second most popular incision. It is made in the areola (the circular area surrounding the nipple). This incision is most likely to cause reduced nipple sensation.

Umbilical: this incision is made in the belly button. However, it is very difficult to place the implants below the chest muscle.

The breast implants are silicone rubber shells which are filled with medical grade silicone gel or saline solution. Your surgeon will then insert the implants through one of these incisions. If you have chosen to have the incision through the armpit then he/she will use an endoscope to do this. He/she will also ensure the implant is positioned either subglandular or submuscular – again, this is a matter of individual choice.

Your choice of technique and incision is based upon personal preference, current breast size, body type and your surgeon’s advice.

Once inserted, the incisions are closed with a series of stitches. These are either the removable or dissolvable type. Your surgeon will then place a light, supportive dressing over the chest area. This bandage must be kept dry for up to two weeks following surgery. After that time it will be removed so that the incision can be inspected and cleaned.

Breast enlargement surgery Guide Index:

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