Everything you should know before getting breast implants

Cosmetic Surgery + News

Everything you should know before getting breast implants

Breast augmentation is one of the most commonly performed aesthetic operations in the world. The controversies of recent years have not spared many interests. But today, women are trying to find out more.

Text: Cláudia Pinto
Source: https://lifestyle.sapo.pt/moda-e-beleza/beleza-e-estetica/artigos/tudo-o-que-deve-saber-antes-de-por-proteses-mamarias

When talking about breast augmentation with implants, some myths still persist that can lead to this decision being postponed. With the help of plastic surgeon António Conde, find out what types of prostheses exist, the advantages of placing prostheses, the care to be taken and who can undergo this surgery. For breast augmentation, there are mainly two types of prosthesis, round and anatomical silicone gel prostheses.

According to the patient’s indication and expectations, the different sizes and formats available on the market are chosen. “The use of one type of prosthesis over another is based mainly on the surgeon’s experience and preference. There is no evidence of better results from one type of prosthesis versus another type, in specific situations”, explains António Conde, plastic surgeon.

Breast augmentation with prostheses allows “obtaining an immediate increase in breast volume”, he says. “Immediate and permanent”, he emphasizes. “The gain is immediate and lasting”, adds the expert. However, there are women who are still afraid to enlarge their breasts through surgery and implants, looking for less invasive alternatives.

“Since the material is not biological, one of the drawbacks of introducing it into the body is the risk of infection and capsular contracture”, warns António Conde. Even so, it is worth noting that, currently, with “the latest generation prosthetics, the rate of complications is very low”, assures the Portuguese plastic surgeon.

Choosing prostheses

Regarding the choice of prostheses, many patients request “a type of so-called anatomical prosthesis, with the expectation that, in this way, their breast will look natural”. This idea constitutes a myth. “You can either obtain an anatomical shape with a round prosthesis or with a non-anatomical or artificial shape”, he says. Choosing the most suitable prosthesis largely depends on the surgeon’s options and experience.

“It is necessary to check the condition of the skin, the skin covering of the breast, the dimensions of the chest and so on… The same reasoning applies to the retromuscular or retroglandular approach”, explains the plastic surgeon, who also states that he has preference for the retroglandular position. “In short, more important than the technique is the coach who exercises it”, he argues.

The route of placement of breast implants and the position in which they are placed is, then, the result of surgeon preference versus patient preference versus breast type. “Thus, the prostheses can be placed axillary, periareolar, submammary or abdominal, in cases of concomitant abdominoplasty”, he highlights.

“The prostheses can be placed in front of or behind the pectoralis major muscle”, adds the specialist. “In my practice, I generally choose to place them at the front, except in cases of very thin patients”, the plastic surgeon also highlights.

(Safer) prostheses

In recent years, there has been a controversy related to breast implants, from the PIP brand, which would put patient safety at risk. This fact gave rise to some fear on the part of women who would like to enlarge their breasts but who were not absolutely sure about the procedure. António Conde gives us his opinion.

“In relation to this specific situation, it was more of a problem with the quality of the prosthesis than a question of health risk, so it ended up having no relevant practical impact. However, it served, above all, to alert patients to look for accredited surgeons who use certified, quality products and in suitable locations to carry out this type of intervention”, he considers.

Therefore, when you decide to undergo this surgery, look for properly equipped and certified places, with support from all specialties (including intensive care units) and nursing 24 hours a day. “It is not at all advisable to carry out this intervention without these conditions being properly met”, highlights plastic surgeon António Conde.

Breast augmentation step by step

This intervention consists of the introduction of silicone breast implants, “round or drop-shaped, with highly cohesive content, through areolar, inframammary or axillary incisions”, highlights the specialist. Most of the time, general anesthesia is used and the procedure lasts about an hour for bilateral breast augmentation.

After the incision, “the plane (retromuscular or retroglandular, depending on the case) is dissected, forming a pocket where the prosthesis will be placed. After suturing, the dressing is made with special adhesives”, explains the specialist. “The patient is discharged the next day, taking with her the drains that she will remove two days later”, says António Conde.

The pre-operative care that the intervention requires

In addition to abstaining from nicotine, it is advised that the patient “does not take medications that contain acetylsalicylic acid, as they affect bleeding and clotting time”, warns the doctor. It is also recommended to stop taking weight loss medications and drinking alcohol ten days before surgery.

If you have the flu or are feeling unwell on the day of surgery, you should inform your doctor, as well as any changes in your physical condition. You should also have a light meal the day before and observe an absolute fast from midnight on the day of surgery.

Post-operative care required by surgery

It is uncommon to have intense pain after surgery. If so, you can control it with painkillers prescribed by your doctor. After surgery and for two weeks, it is recommended to avoid lifting or opening your arms and sleeping on your stomach. “Eedemas and bruises are common but disappear over time”, explains António Conde. “Temporary loss of sensitivity or hypersensitivity of the nipple” may also occur.

If you follow the prescribed medication and the guidelines recommended by your doctor, “the occurrence of complications is rare”, highlights António Conde. However, in some cases, there may be “encapsulation (retraction of the fibrous capsule that surrounds the prosthesis), as a result of excessive internal scarring”. To prevent this complication and the discomfort it causes, your doctor will recommend regular massages and clinical and surgical procedures, as appropriate.

Another possible but very rare complication is infection. “In this case, the treatment mainly involves removing the prosthesis”, explains the plastic surgeon. An intervention of this type costs, on average, around €3,900. A value that may, however, vary depending on the type of implants to be placed, the clinic selected and/or the professional chosen.

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