What is a breast augmentation?
Augmentation of the size of the breasts is one of the most common procedures performed worldwide. Silicone implants are used to achieve this purpose (we don’t use Saline implants). Besides giving volume, silicone implants also provide a more beautiful and sexier shape to the breasts. Breast implants don’t always mean ¨big breasts¨. We have all shapes and sizes to choose from in case patients also want smaller more natural looking breast.
We always use cohesive gel implants (gummy bear). These latest generation implants have a unique advantage in the sense that if they rupture for some reason, the silicone does not leak out of the implant. This is do to the thickness of the silicone, very similar to gummy bear candy. The capsule that always forms around the implant will also help hold the silicone in place in case of rupture.
Since the quality of the implants now a days is so good, we don’t talk about a specific time frame when they need to be changed. The most important thing for a patient to understand is that an implant is still a medical device that can fail at any moment. With this said, the most important thing is to continue periodic check ups with your doctor. An ultrasound is usually recommended after ten years. If everything looks fine, and the patient is happy, the patient can keep the same implants and continue with yearly follow-ups after that with ultrasound. International patients can just get an ultrasound as instructed and send the results to their doctor by e-mail. If at some point, the ultrasound shows implant rupture, there is nothing to worry about. It is not an emergency and there is no danger to your health. However, implant exchange is needed.
Am I a candidate for this procedure?
If you feel uncomfortable with the size and/or shape of your breasts, a breast augmentation is an excellent solution to your problem.
What do I need to know about this procedure?
Breast augmentation is a very simple procedure. It is done under general anesthesia and it usually takes 1 hour. The approach can be through the areola or under the breast. Both have its advantages and disadvantages but Dr. Mejia finds both acceptable. It usually depends more on patient preference. The implant is usually placed under the muscle. This is Dr. Mejia´s preferred plane. However, the sub glandular placement is also acceptable in some patients depending on the indication.
We offer high and extra high profile implants. Sizes that vary from 180 cc al the way to 1050 cc. Micro-textured and smooth covering, and also implants from America, Europe and Latin America. With this great variety we try to cover the preferences of most patients.
Are there risks involved?
Every patient that goes into an operating room for surgery needs to be aware that risks do exist. However, complications in this specific procedure are extremely rare. Dr. Mejia will go over all the possible risks of this procedure with you during the initial consultation. It is very important that you are honest with Dr. Mejia about your medical history and habits for things to go as smooth as possible.
There is a new disease called Implant Associated Lymphoma (ALCL) that patients must know about. It is extremely rare and mostly related to the use of textured implants. Dr. Mejia does not use textured implants. We use only smooth and micro-textured which greatly decreases the possibility of this disease.
What is the aftercare like?
What to expect after surgery (what´s normal): pain, one breast a little bigger or more painful than the other, high riding breasts, nipple deformity, swelling, bruising, small blood discharge from the wounds.
What is NOT normal after surgery and must notify Dr. Mejia immediately:
- Severe pain that doesn’t respond to the meds (specially severe pain in one breast more than the other)
- One breast MUCH bigger and more painful than the other
- One nipple darker than the other, or both nipples darker than usual
- Fever or signs of infection
You can take a shower the day after surgery. The tapes can get wet. You can dry them after the shower with the hair dryer on COLD. Don’t take any tapes off. The doctor will change them during the visits. The post-op bra should be worn for 1 month after surgery. Only take it off for showering. Post-op nausea is normal. Cold compresses can be applied over the top of the breasts for 3 days to help with the swelling.
Your body will tell you what you CAN and CANNOT do after surgery. If it hurts, don’t do it. If it doesn’t hurt, you may do it with caution. However, these are some general recommendations:
- No driving for a week
- No lifting heavy objects or going to the gym for a month
- No sexual activity for 3-4 weeks
- Avoid sleeping face down until all the discomfort disappears (3-6 months)
The final shape and size of the breasts is seen when the swelling goes down. This is about 3 months after surgery. It is completely normal to feel the following things during the recovery process (3-6 months): persistent pain, the feeling that there is something inside your breasts (air or fluid), a stabbing sensation, a shocking sensation.
How much downtime is there?
Patients can usually return to their regular routine after 7 days. No strenuous activity or exercise for 1 month.