Breast Augmentation Pre-op Optimization
At SW1 Clinic, your Breast Augmentation starts with a difference. Pre-operatively, we help you select the best implants for optimal results, and we are able to do so by visualizing your final outcome in 3D with Vectra 3D Imaging Simulation.
The VECTRA 3D is an imaging simulator that enables you to have a three-dimensional visual of what you look like pre & post surgery.
The VECTRA 3D uses refined imaging equipment to map out your surface anatomy and produce a precise image of your body structure. These 3-D simulations will give you a clearer view of what the expected results would be, with more assurance in the implant choices you make. With this technology, our patients are able to achieve high patient satisfaction and enhanced aesthetc outcome in their breast augmentation procedures.
What is the ideal breast?
Generally, an ideal breast should have the following features:
- a gentle (slightly concave) slope from the shoulder to the peak of the breast at the nipple
- a good cleavage
- the nipple is located on the centre of the breast mound and tilted slightly outwards and upwards
- a gentle arc from the nipple to the inframammary crease (breast fold)
- a silhouette line so that when viewed standing front-on, a gentle bulge is apparent on the side of the chest wall
- an areola diameter of 3.5 – 4.5 cm
Why do women go for breast augmentation?
The female breast is a primary symbol of feminity. There are several reasons why women choose breast augmentation:
- obtain fuller breasts
- restore breast volume and shape lost after pregnancy
- balance breasts that differ in size or shape
What are the factors to consider before making a decision?
When embarking on this journey, you would need to spend some time evaluating why breast augmentation surgery is for you. Your personal motivation is the most crucial consideration in your decision-making process.
The next important factor you will need to be equipped with is patient education. Many patients start off by asking friends or family who has had prior experience. You can also find out more on the internet, although, your surgeon would be the best resource avenue for reliable and valuable information. He or she will be able to help you comprehend the benefits and risks associated with breast augmentation surgery and breast implants; along with the limitations that may be present due to your breast and body type.
Last but not least, you need to be aware that whilst wanting to feel great about your body, you need to hold a realistic expectation. You may already have in mind a particular shape and size of the breasts you would like to have. However, what you want may not be what is most appropriate for you. The right ‘fit’ would be one that balances and complements you body type, plus what your breast tissue will allow.
These baseline considerations form your first step towards achieving the best possible result for yourself. This is why it is essential to have an honest discussion with your surgeon about what you want from this surgery: which brings us to the next significant factor – choosing a surgeon.
Choosing a surgeon
It is very important that the surgeon you are choosing is a certified plastic surgeon who has had experience performing breast augmentation surgery. Read up on his website and research on forums. You would be able to gather others’ experiences on various plastic surgeons and breast augmentation surgery. When you are ready, make an appointment for a consultation with the plastic surgeon. Decide on the next step (scheduling surgery) only with a plastic surgeon who makes you feel comfortable.
Some useful websites:
What factors need to be considered before planning the procedure?
- symmetry of the breasts/nipples
- width of the breasts
- breast tissue characteristics
- skin characteristics
- patient’s desire
In other words, the procedure needs to be individualized
What are the different types of breast implants available?
Breast implants can be classified according to their contents or shape:
Silicone vs saline
Most surgeons would recommend silicone implants as they feel more natural and has less problem of rippling.
Silicone breast implants have been extensively studied and regarded as safe. They have been part of the consumer market for more than 50 years and are found in products we use daily (hairsprays, moisturizing creams and infant pacifiers). Silicones are also used in medical devices such as prosthetics, catheters and facial implants. Not only are they biocompatible, they are also reliable and flexible.
All silicone implants available here are cohesive gel (aka “gummy bear”) implants, and do not leak like traditional liquid gel implants in the event of rupture:
Anatomical implants give the breast a more natural shape. They are more effective in correcting breast imperfections & balancing breasts that differ in size and shape. This is because the matrix system allows the surgeon to select implants of a particular height and projection according to patient’s desired breast size/shape as well as existing breast and chest dimensions/shape:
What are the choices when it comes to incisions (to insert the implant)?
Periareolar (along the margin of the areola)
- most concealed among the three
- associated with higher risk of difficulty to breastfeed and altered sensation to the nipple
Inframammary (within the breast fold)
- preferred by most surgeons since it gives the surgeon most control and hence most predictable results
- more concealed compared to axillary, but less concealed than periareolar
- furthest from the breast, hence no scars on the breast
- gives the surgeon the least control
- least concealed among the three
- scars in the axilla may look obvious in Asians at least during the first few months after surgery
Where will the implant be placed?
This depends on the amount of breast tissue present and its ability to adequately cover the implant. If there is sufficient breast tissue, the implant can be placed under the breast. Otherwise the implant should be placed under the muscle to be better concealed.
How do we choose the right implants?
The Vectra helps the surgeon assess the dimensions of the chest and breast. These measurements, together with other information such as tissue thickness and elasticity, will enable the surgeon to select the most suitable implants to deliver as close to the ideal and desired result as possible.
What is the surgery like?
The surgery is a one-hour day surgery procedure performed under general anaesthesia. The post-anaesthesia recovery is usually fairly quick and simple. Once you have fully recovered from anaesthesia, you will be able to go home on your own.
What happens during the recovery period?
In general, patients will feel a bit sore and tight over the chest for several days after the procedure. There may also be some limitation of upper limb movements for the same duration of time. The breasts may also be swollen for a month or so. However, most patients are able to return to work a few days after the procedure. One can resume light gym activities after 1 month and full gym activities after 3 months.
A special recovery breast wrap is required to be worn for 1-3 months after the procedure. This helps to keep the implants in place and alleviate swelling. After which, patients are allowed to return to wearing regular underwired bras.
What are the complications involved in this procedure?
As with all surgical procedures, breast augmentation has risk, which is why at SW1 Clinic, our utmost priority is patients’ safety. Apart from bleeding, infection and scarring which are not common, other complications include capsular contracture, which is the development of scar tissue around the implant, implant leakage or rupture, as well as alteration of sensation of the breast or nipple. Over the years, surgeons have modified their operating styles to minimize the occurrence of these complications. Implants on the market now are safer and more durable than what they used to be.
What is the relationship between breast implants and breast cancer?
Researchers from The National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the United States conducted one of the largest studies on the long-term health effects of silicone breast implants, and found no association between breast implants and the subsequent risk of breast cancer. Many other studies have also found that should women who have breast implants develop breast cancer, there is no delay in breast cancer detection. They are also not found to be diagnosed with later-stage breast malignancies, are not at increased risk for breast cancer recurrence, and do not have a decreased length of survival.
When do the implants need to be changed?
It is a myth that implants need to be changed every 10 years. In general, if there are no problems with the implants, they do not have to be changed. If one suspects that there is something wrong, one should go for a checkup to evaluate the implants. At SW1 Clinic, we encourage our patients to come in at least once a year for consultation as a preventative measure.