Breast enlargement: Various modalities

Who would potentially require breast enlargement?

Patients with a natural breast volume deficiency, that could affect their level of self-esteem and choice of clothes.

“Some patients need enhancement due to breast volume deflation after pregnancy and breast feeding. A smaller group seeks correction for severe volume discrepancy which may be in-born or post surgery,” said Dr Ng.

What are the various methods of breast enhancement?

There are surgical, non-surgical methods and combination of both. Patients who are not keen in foreign material may consider the Brava (negative suction device) or a combination of Brava with fat transfer to the breast.
Artificial filler injection has been controversial and associated with undesirable complications.

Is fat transfer to the breasts effective?

Each session of fat transfer to the breast can increase the volume by half to one cup size. This can result in soft and natural breast consistency.

Fat is harvested from the abdomen and thighs in a non-traumatic fashion. It is then processed after centrifugation.

Injection is given carefully in the subcutaneous layer of the skin to ensure optimal survival of the fat cells. Non-surviving fat cells do not turn cancerous but leave behind calcification that may cause confusion during mammography.

Several sessions may be necessary to achieve the desired outcome.

What are the various types of breast implants and are they safe?

Breast implants can be filled with saline or silicone. They are either circular or tear drop (natural profile) in shape.

To most common implant used nowadays contains cohesive silicone gel in tear drop shape. This type of implant simulates the natural appearance of the breast and its content resists extensive leakage even when the implant is ruptured.

Silicone breast implant has good safety record.

What are the considerations when choosing breast implants?

The main points of discussion with your surgeon would include size, type of implant, location of the cut and placement of the implant.

The most common incision is at the breast fold. This incision affords easy access and allows more accurate orientation of tear drop shaped implant.

Incision in the armpit used to be popular with round implant.

Incision around the areolar can affect nipple sensation and limit the size of implant if the areolar is small.

“For most Asian patient with smaller breast volume, the implant is usually placed behind the chest muscle (subpectoral). This placement provides more soft tissue coverage and reduces the incidence of capsular contracture (scarring) around the implant,” said Dr Ng.

What is the recovery process after breast implant surgery?

Breast enhancement is a day surgery procedure.

Most patients return to work within a few days and the swelling and bruising would resolve in about two weeks. Self-massage would be taught to hasten the recovery.