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Common Procedures For Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation has become a relatively routine cosmetic procedure, and it is also performed on women who have had a partial or full mastectomy.

The procedure involves placing an implant into the breast tissue, and sometimes a lifting procedure is performed at the same time. There are two types of implants typically used, each offering advantages, and the procedures and costs vary as well.

Silicone And Salinealternatives to breast augmentation

Although other types of implant materials are currently undergoing testing, the two existing approved implant materials are silicone gel and saline. Silicone gel implants are made from a mixture of silicon, oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen.

The implant is filled with gel to the predetermined size, and the silicone gel is surrounded by three layers of thin shelling material to support the gel and prevent the gel from bleeding. Silicone gel implants are generally considered to have a very realistic and natural feel to them. However, there have been numerous reports of silicone implants rupturing, with the silicone gel being released into the chest cavity, which poses medical risks.

Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water. Most are inserted into the breast and then filled to the desired level, but some come prefilled. An advantage to filling after inserting the implant is that the surgery requires that only a small incision be made; once the implant is in place, it is filled to its intended size. Saline implants contain a valve that is used when filling the implant, and if changes to size are necessary or desired at a later date, additional saline can be added through the valve. If a saline implant ruptures, the salt water released into the chest cavity is not harmful to the body. Both saline and silicone gel implants are designed in a range of sizes and shapes.

There is no evidence that breast implants are harmful to the body, unless a rupture occurs in a silicone gel implant, or that it increases the risk of cancer or other health conditions.

However, regardless of the type of implant, early detection of cysts and tumors is more difficult, as mammograms may not give a clear picture of breast tissue. This is a primary reason many women choose to use a breast enhancement cream for firming and tightening before undergoing surgery.

Procedures

There are four types of insertion procedures for breast augmentation.
  • One of the most common is inframammary, which is insertion of the implant from under the muscle of the breast. If saline implants are used, the incision can be as small as one inch.
  • Peri-areolar, or nipple insertion, involves making a small incision on the nipple, where the areola connects to the breast. The implant, rolled in a protective sleeve, is inserted into the breast, and then the sleeve is removed. The implant may be inserted above or below the muscle of the breast.
  • The third method for insertion is a transaxillary endoscopic procedure. In this method, an incision is made in the armpit, and with the help of an endoscope, which is a long tube with a camera at the end, the implant is inserted either above or below the pectoral muscles. The advantage to this method is that there is no scarring of the breast.
  • The fourth method is a transumbilical procedure. This method is similar to the transaxillary procedure, but the incision is made at the navel. This also produces no scarring of the breast, but the navel scar is slightly more visible than the underarm scar of the transaxillary procedure.

The average breast augmentation surgery costs between $6,000 and $10,000, which includes the cost of the implants, the surgeon and anesthesiologist’s fees, hospital fees, and other related charges. Saline implants are typically slightly less expensive than silicone implants.

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