Breast Augmentation Advice

Breast enlargement is one of the most common forms of cosmetic surgery or plastic surgery that is performed today. In fact, breast enlargement or augmentation ranks in the top five cosmetic procedures in the United States and in some surveys done by the American Society of Plastic Surgery it ranks number one. So if you are thinking about having your breasts enlarged, it's important to be as informed as possible about the different procedures and implants as well as what to expect in terms of recovery time and end results.

The reasons why women opt for breast enlargement are about as numerous as the types of implants and procedures available. As far as cosmetic reasons, women decide to have breast enlargement to enhance their size and overall appearance or to even out a discrepancy in size.

Insurance

There aren't many health insurance policies that will cover the cost of breast enlargement as it is usually viewed as an elective or non-necessary procedure. This means that you will most likely have to pay for the surgery yourself. Perhaps the only cases where your insurance will cover the cost is if a woman has had breast cancer and a mastectomy and needs implants or if there has been an accident and injury to the breasts.

Probably the most important step once you've decided to have breast enlargement is to find a qualified cosmetic surgeon to work with and perform the surgery. Word of mouth is a great way to find a good surgeon, so if you know anyone who has had a good experience with a surgeon that is a great recommendation to have first hand.

You can also do a little research yourself and check via the Internet or phone to make sure that a cosmetic surgeon graduated from medical school, received the proper training and is board certified. Don't be afraid to ask the surgeon questions about how long he or she has been performing surgery, what experience they have and what hospital they are affiliated with. It's important to feel comfortable with your surgeon as they can best advise you as to what type of breast enlargement will work for your physical build.

There are several different types of breast implants available today. Your choice will depend on what look you want to achieve and your personal preference. There are two basic types; silicone and saline, but there are dozens of variations on size, shape, texture and even color.

Saline Implants

Saline implants have been around the longest and some women prefer them for safety reasons. If a rupture of the implant happens for some reason, the saline, or sterile salt water, poses little health threat. Another advantage of saline implants is that they can be folded over and inserted through a smaller incision, then filled with a small tube that is removed afterwards. The only drawback to saline implants is that many women claim they feel and look less natural than silicone implants.

Silicone Implants

At one time silicone implants were thought to be a potential health risk if leakage should occur, but improvements in the design and manufacture have nearly eliminated that fear and made them the implant of choice. The consistency of silicone is much more realistic and closer to how breasts look and feel naturally. These implants come pre-filled, so the procedure for insertion can be different than with saline implants. The incision will also be a bit larger because they are already filled.

The actual breast enlargement surgery will take around two hours on average and is an out patient procedure. Under normal circumstances you will be released to go home that same day. With this type of cosmetic surgery you can expect to experience some swelling, bruising and discomfort for a little while, but nothing severe. Your surgeon will instruct you to avoid any heavy lifting or vigorous exercise for a week or so as the incisions heal. You may also have to wear a special type of support bra for a short time. Scarring is minimal no matter where the incision is and should fade soon after.

Incisions

There are a few common incision sites for breast implants. An incision located just underneath the breast is called an inframammary incision. Saline or silicone implants can be inserted from this location. Some women prefer this spot because a typical bikini top or bra will cover any remaining scar.

A periareolar incision is when the surgeon cuts either below or in a circle around the areola. This is a smaller incision, so empty, folded saline implants sometimes work better here. But silicone implants can also be inserted from this spot.

Incisions in the armpit are called transaxillary. If you don't want any scars to be seen, this is probably the best place. A surgeon can insert either saline or silicone breast implants from there, although positioning can take longer from that distance.

And speaking of distance, you can even opt to have a bellybutton incision for saline implants. Again, the scar isn't readily visible but due to the distance it is more difficult for the surgeon to position the implant just right.

No matter which type of breast enlargement surgery you decide to have, find a good surgeon, have realistic expectations and follow post-operative instructions.