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It is a personal decision to have breast enhancement. There are different reasons to want such a change but most commonly, some women want to achieve a more attractive body shape, while others who have gone through pregnancy seek ways to regain their original figure back. Also, the manipulation is used to give their confidence a significant boost.
Regardless of the reasons, breast enhancement surgery is one of the most sought-after cosmetic procedure because of its high satisfaction rate among patients. In fact, in recent years, the stigma around breast enhancement surgery is gradually declining as more and more women become more open about going under the knife to improve their appearance.
If you are interested in the possibility of getting such a procedure for yourself, this article will help you to have a better understanding of the process and debunk the myths surrounding breast augmentation surgery.
This article is composed of three parts:
- Part 1: All you need to know about breast enhancement and breast implant surgery.
- Part 2: Breast Enhancement Surgery Vs. Less Invasive Procedures.
- Part 3: Debunking myths on breast enhancement surgery.
Part 1: All you need to know about breast implants and breast enhancement procedure.
How does breast enhancement work?
Breast enhancement is a cosmetic procedure that involves the insertion of breast implants to increase the size and shape of the bust. In addition, it helps to achieve better symmetry. There are three known ways of insertion of breast implants:
- Transaxillary incision: The incision is made under the armpit, so the function of the breast tissue will not be affected.
- Inframammary incision: The cut is administered under the breast, so it is easier for your doctor to directly view the tissue where the implant will be placed. This type of incision has a shorter recovery time.
- Areola incision: The incision is made around the nipple, so the scar tissue can be easily hidden after the wounds from the operation have healed.
The breast implants can also be classified depending on the location of placement:
- Under the muscle
- Between the muscle and tissue
- Directly under the mammary
The type of incision and the location of placement of breast implants may influence the final outcome and the functionality of the tissue. Your doctor will be the one who will have a final say on what type of incision and where to place the implants, therefore, it is crucial that you discuss everything with them first.
What are the different types of breast enhancement surgeries?
As of date, there are three main types of breast enhancement surgeries:
- Fat Transfer
How it Works:
From the name itself, this procedure involves the transfer of your own fat to your breasts. It is also commonly called fat grafting. To qualify for it, you must have enough good quality fat (at least 150-250cc) for transfer. The stomach and inner thighs are the most usual source of fats.
- Minimally invasive so there are less scarring, downtime, and discomfort.
- A "natural procedure" because no synthetic material is inserted into the body.
- Enhances breast size while reducing undesirable fats.
- Can be used in combination with silicone gel to achieve softer breasts.
- Smooth surface; moderate increase in breast size so it looks more natural.
- Repeated procedures can be carried out to achieve the desired results (with a 8-12 week interval).
- Not suitable for women who do not have enough body fat.
- May cost more due to the extra time and care involved in the procedure.
- Can only increase breast cup size up to one size bigger.
- The body may tend to absorb the transferred fat over time.
- Silicone Breast Implants
How it Works:
Silicone breast implants are the most popular and most preferred breast enhancement procedure in Singapore because they are able to give a more definite shape and size increase. Depending on the desired size, items made of a silicone material will be placed in your breast through an incision. Cohesive gel, which is a type of silicone-based breast implants, is a lot more durable and rarely changes shape.
- Ultra soft and gives a natural feel.
- Can increase breast cup size to three to four times of the original.
- Implant rippling (folds and wrinkles) is uncommon compared to saline implants.
- Safe and has not been linked to cancer or other diseases.
- Firmer gels give a better shape and may last longer.
- Since silicone implants are pre-filled, longer incisions are required.
- Ruptures or leakage are hard to detect because the gel does not collapse.
- For the above reason, regular follow-ups and examinations with your doctor are required to make sure that the implants are intact and functioning well.
- Saline Breast Implants
How it Works:
Through an incision, a silicone shell is inserted into the breast and then filled with saline or (sterile salt water). The amount of fluid to be injected will depend on your desired size. Today, saline implants are less preferred compared to silicone implants.
- Can be adjusted during operation to achieve equally sized breasts.
- Can be adjusted even after the operation (usually with breast reconstruction).
- Does not require a large or long incision.
- Saline implants are filled with water, so ruptures can be easily detected because the water will leak out and the breast implants will deflate.
- Can cost less than silicone breast implants.
- Implant rippling (folds and wrinkles) can be visible and felt.
- Since the consistency is water-like, breasts may appear less firm.
- Breast deflation is more like to occur when breast implants rupture.
- Heavier compared to silicone implants.
- Considered as old technology.
If you are wondering whether saline or silicone will be a better material for you, have a discussion with your doctor.
How much bigger can your breasts get after breast enhancement surgery?
Like any medical procedure, the final results you can get is highly dependent on the individual and can differ from person to person. The size of the breasts after breast enhancement surgery can be determined by a lot of factors such as:
- Your desired size.
- Your overall body frame.
- The percentage of breast tissue you currently possess.
- Skin laxity
- Present breast size, shape and symmetry
Usually, doctors advise that you shouldn’t go more than twice the size of your current breast size. Going beyond this may increase the risk of complications and will require a longer downtime.
In addition to enhancing the size, depending on your doctor’s recommendations, you can choose to have a narrower cleavage, more side boob, or perkier breasts. These different factors can influence the final size and volume of breast implants.
What's the most common breast implant shape chosen in Singapore?
The two most common breast implant shapes are:
- Round shape
These are typically recommended for women with looser tissues who want a sturdier implant that remains soft to the touch. It is important to note that round shaped breast implants may give you a fuller look but also appear more artificial.
- Teardrop shape
On the other hand, tear drop shaped breast implants are typically recommended for women with breast tissues that are relatively tight and wish to have a more proportional and natural-looking breasts.
Also, implants with a teardrop shape are specifically designed to imitate the natural shape of the breast and are usually the most natural choice for breast implants. Yet because of that, they have the tendency to flip or turn and can sometimes produce exactly the opposite to the intended effect.
What should I expect during a breast augmentation procedure?
Excluding consultation time, the entire breast enhancement process takes between 50 to 90 minutes. Here is the general step by step process during breast enhancement surgery:
- General anesthesia will be administered to your body to put you in deep sleep.
- Your doctor makes an incision so the breast implants can be inserted with the use of a special sleeve.
- The items are placed inside the tissue and properly positioned, then, the cut is closed using absorbable sutures.
- A specialised waterproof dressing is then placed over the wound to allow you to take a bath without getting it wet.
Will there be pain during and after breast enhancement surgery?
Technically, since you will be given general anaesthesia, you will not feel anything during the operation. You will be put into a deep sleep and once you awake, the procedure will have been over already.
Since breast enhancement is a highly invasive manipulation, you should expect discomfort and mild pain around the incision area. There is no need to worry because they are mostly tolerable. In fact, patients say that they are able to walk out of the day surgery without any help.
Note that you may experience occasional pains, swelling and bruising over the next couple of weeks while the wound is still healing and recovering. This, however, will not stop you from doing your everyday routines.
In addition, some patients also feel out of breath during the first few days every time they lie flat. Don’t worry because this is quite common due to the weight of the breast implant. You will get used to it in no time.
What postoperative care should I consider?
The following weeks post-surgery are the most important time for a better and faster recovery. Typically, patients are advised to:
- Limit movement in their arms or move as slowly as possible shifting unexpectedly.
- Avoid sudden irregular movements to prevent the implants from displacing
- Practice religious disinfection on the incision site
- Not irritate or rub in the wound
- Take the week off to allow better recovery
How long will it take until my breast implants look natural?
Breast implants take a while to settle down. During the recovery period, they may feel firm and sit high as the skin around them will be tightly stretched. Since muscles are involved, the swelling may take a couple of months to completely subside (but it is not likely to interfere with your everyday routine).
Here are the developments you should expect over time:
- After 2 - 3 months after the operation, the swelling would have subsided and the tightness will be reduced. Your breasts will start to settle into a natural position resulting in improved breast shape.
- After 4-6 months after the operation, your breast should feel soft and natural-looking.
If your breasts still feel firm, unnatural, and swollen after 5-6 months, it is most wise to call your doctor as soon as possible.
How much does breast enhancement surgery cost in Singapore?
In Singapore, prices for breast enhancement surgery range from $7,500- $14,500.
The following are some of the many factors that influence cost of breast enhancement surgery:
- Doctor’s fee
- Anaesthetist’s fee
- Type of breast implant
- Brand of breast implant
- Surgical equipment and consumables charge
- Pre- and postoperative medications
Are breast implants long-lasting?
Thanks to technology, the new 5th generation breast implants are designed to last for a lifetime. However, items with weaker shells can only hold on somewhere between 15-20 years.
Also, in comparison to the older saline breast implants, the longevity of silicone implants are usually more superior.
Doctors usually recommend a yearly follow-up examination and screening to assess the state of the breast implants.
What side effects should to watch out for?
Generally speaking, getting a breast implant does not cause long-term side effects or adverse reactions on patients. However, you should be cautious and watch out about the following:
- Capsular contracture: A condition where the breast implants may feel abnormally hard
- Rupture: Though rare, if left undetected or untreated, ruptures and leaks may cause severe infections.
This is why, as mentioned above, it is important for you to have follow-up check-ups with your doctor yearly or every two years to make sure that the breast implants are still in place and have no leakage.
What can I do if I’m not satisfied with the result of breast enhancement surgery?
Once the breast implants have settled and you are not satisfied with the way it looks, it is better to talk to your immediate, so he/she can give you advice and recommendations on the next steps to be undertaken. Make sure to pinpoint what aspect you are dissatisfied with. Some of these can be fixed in a breeze. Others may require more significant interventions such as you undergoing a series of treatments.
How can I choose the best surgeon in Singapore?
Unfortunately, there is no 'perfect type' of breast implant. What looks good on your friend may not look good on you. This is why thorough dialogue with your doctor is highly encouraged. Based on your body type and physical assessment, an experienced and well-trained specialist will be able to provide quality recommendations to achieve your desired result.
To choose the right professional for you, these are the following points you should consider:
- Make sure you are dealing with a qualified and accredited plastic surgeon in Singapore who has extensive training in cosmetic breast enhancement surgery.
- Check their track record to find out how many procedures they have performed during their practice so far and also how many of them are carried out on a monthly basis.
- Make sure the clinic is properly equipped to perform breast enhancement procedures. Also, ask if they have a wide array of implants to choose from.
- Don’t hesitate to view their portfolio containing before and after pictures to get a better idea of their skills and work.
- Ensure the surgeon can fully help you understand the procedure you are about to undertake. Ask as many questions as you can and don’t leave any questions unanswered. Trustworthy doctors will not hide anything from you because your safety is their priority.
Part 2: Plastic Surgery Vs. Less Invasive Procedures.
- Breast Enhancement Surgery Vs. Breast fillers
Breast fillers usually come in the form of injectables. Compared to surgery, they are non-invasive. However, based on previous reports, breast fillers are capable of causing severe complications and reactions of the immune system that can develop years after the original procedure.
Serious problems that endanger your health include but are not restricted to: severe infections and the formation of cysts. Over time, fillers might also migrate to other parts of the body, resulting in distortions and debilitating, unbearable pain.
If you have had injectables in the past and are now starting to exhibit these problems, you should call a well-trained doctor right away. In most cases, they will have to be removed through surgery.
In Singapore, breast fillers are illegal. If you know a salon or clinic that offer such a procedure, you had better stay away or report them because it is not permitted by the law.
- Breast Enhancement Surgery Vs. Breast Lift
Like breast enhancement, a breast lift is also a surgical procedure that aims to restore the shape of the boobs. Clinically known as mastopexy, the procedure restores the shape of the bust by removing any excess skin and lifting or reshaping the underlying breast tissue. Needless to say, this results in perkier and shapely breasts.
Breast lift, however, does not involve an increase in breast size. No implants are inserted to make that happen. Normally, this type of manipulation is sought after by women who have sagging breasts caused by pregnancy or age.
- Breast Enhancement Surgery Vs. Other Non-Invasive “Breast Enlargement” Treatments
In Singapore, there are a lot of salons and spas that promise instant “breast enlargement” treatments. These include herbal breast therapies, suction cups and even breast enhancement via laser technology.
Unfortunately, breast enhancement that will result to increase in size can only be achieved by surgery and insertion of breast implants. Do not fall for scams that offer miracle treatments—ones that will only waste your money and will leave you disappointed.
Part 3: Debunking myths on breast enhancement surgery.
While breast enhancement surgery has gained popularity among a lot of women in recent years, there are a lot of myths and hearsay circling around that intimidate other people from getting breast enhancement. You might have heard rumours from friends or heard from someone else or read something online about botched jobs.
Here are some of the most popular myths about breast enhancement and the truths behind them:
- Breastfeeding is not possible/allowed after breast enhancement surgery.
Truth: Breastfeeding is still very possible even after breast enhancement surgery or with breast implants. It can happen if your doctor does not cut off your milk ducts. They can make an incision under your boobs to fix the problem.
You do not need to worry about getting pregnant even if you have existing implants. Breastfeeding is sage because silicone cannot mix with breast milk. The only issue you may encounter is a slight inflammation on the chest. That said, women with large implants may have reduced milk production.
- Breast implants will make your breasts look fake.
Truth: Breast enhancement surgery done by an experienced and well-trained plastic surgeon will look and feel natural. However, it will take weeks (even months) to achieve natural results. As discussed previously, the implants will not settle right away and your bust may sit high during the first few weeks. At the sixth month mark, expect your cleavage to be looking great. What is more, the softness will be the same as that observed in natural breasts.
Remember, your doctor will play a significant role in recommending the right products and the proper procedure tailored just for you.
- Breast implants will cause loss of breast sensitivity.
Truth: Unless your surgeon chooses to have the incision on the nipple area, loss of breast sensitivity is very rare. Occasionally, some patients feel a little numbness or oversensitivity on the nipples right after the operation and return to normal over time. Other people do not experience any changes at all. It will vary from person to person.
- You have to avoid certain food types after breast enhancement surgery.
Truth: There is no scientific basis for this claim. Patients can eat whatever they want after surgery. However, if you are allergic to general anaesthesia or other medications, it is critical that you inform your doctor firsthand to avoid complications during and after the operation.
- You have to replace the implants every now and then.
Truth: As discussed earlier, the newer generation of breast implants are specially designed to last for a lifetime. The only exception are occasions where ruptures are detected through medical devices or you happen to develop complications and infections.