Westmead Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care

Breast Augmentation (Enlargement)

If you’re considering breast augmentation (also called breast enlargement surgery), below is some information about the surgery and what you can expect.

Who may benefit from breast augmentation and what benefits may this surgery bring for the patient?

Many women choose to have breast surgery, some due to significant weight loss, pregnancy, the process of ageing resulting in less firm and lower breasts or due to previous health issues that resulted in a change in breast shape or size.

The potential benefits of a successful breast augmentation are fuller and firmer breasts and an overall improved shape to suit their body shape. This surgery may give woman increased confidence thus helping improve their self-esteem which in turn can have a great impact on their overall

What is breast augmentation and how is it performed?

Breast augmentation is an operation to insert silicone implants to make your breasts bigger, fuller, and usually to improve the overall shape. The breast implant procedure takes about 90 minutes and is generally performed as day-surgery, however, some patients prefer to recover in hospital for a night.

There are three different incision types that can be used for breast augmentation surgery:

  • Inframammary - incision in the fold of the breast
  • Periareolar - incision around the nipple
  • Transaxillary - incision is underneath the arm

The incision placement may be influenced by your clothing preferences, the shape of the implant, the size and placement of the implant.

The implant is usually placed directly behind your breast as this gives the most natural looking result. However, if you do not have enough breast skin and tissue to cover the implant, they may recommend placing the implant behind the pectoral muscle.

What kind of breast implant should I choose?

All implants are made of an outer layer (shell) of silicone. They can be filled with silicone, salt water (saline) or both. However most breast implants used here in Australia are silicone gel as the silicone filled implants are known to achieve a more natural result.

The shell or membrane of these implants are either a smooth or rough surface. The current belief is that rough surfaced implants minimize the scar tissue that forms around them.

Breast implant shapes vary from round to anatomical (also known as tear-drop shape). Round breast implants are available in low and high profile whilst the tear-drop shaped breast implants are available in various widths, heights, projections and sizes. Generally round implants are more suited to patients that are happy with the breast shape and are looking only to increase in the size of their breasts. Round implants gives more upper-pole fullness to the woman's breast. On the other hand, tear-drop implants give much more natural shape to the breast. The more projected lower half of the breast lifts the nipple and may suit those patients with slightly droopy breasts, such as post pregnancy, breast feeding or with weight loss.

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home the same day or the day after.

The recovery period following this procedure varies from person to person. The time at which you are able to return to normal activities also depends on where the implant is positioned. However most women return to normal activities within two to three weeks. You should be able to return to work after the first week, if you have a less strenuous job. It usually takes a few weeks for your breasts to look and feel more natural.

Complications can occur and your plastic surgeon will discuss this with you in detail at your consultation.

Breast Augmentation