Breast augmentation is a procedure that enlarges breasts for small, underdeveloped and post-lactated breasts.
The breast augmentation procedure is appropriate for those who consider their breasts too small, have a desire of change after pregnancy, wanting to restore the shape or size after significant weight loss, wanting to correct symmetry as well as breast cancer patients who have a mastectomy.
The procedure involves placing implants under or over a chest muscle, which can be inserted through a few places, most commonly the armpit. The implants are made up of silicone shell often filled with saline (a salt water solution).
The benefits of breast augmentation include improved self-esteem for the patient, which has a spiral effect on all areas and aspects of life. Emotional wellbeing allows for increases in productivity and social behaviour.
Whilst complications are not common, there are some risks associated with the breast augmentation procedure, including:
- Breast pain
- Changes in sensation in the implant area
- Capsular contracture – scar tissue forming and hardening in the operated area
An important risk to note is that breast implants can interfere with the accuracy of normal mammograms, thus making it harder to detect breast cancer.
Cosmetic procedures are not generally covered under health insurance policies, however if the procedure is required for medical purposes some of the costs may be covered.