Breast augmentation, also known as augmentation mammoplasty, is a type of surgical procedure aimed at increasing the shape, size, and fullness of the breast.
The surgery requires placing saline, silicone, or other composite breast implants below the patient’s breast tissues or chest muscles in order to enhance the overall size of the breast. On average, the implant could last between 7 and 12 years.
Over the last recent years, breast augmentation has become one of the most sought-after cosmetic procedures all over the world, most especially in Singapore. One of the most common reasons behind this is because Singaporean women believe that it can help to improve their self-confidence can make them feel a whole lot better about themselves.
Deciding to undergo a breast augmentation procedure for the first time can be both exciting and overwhelming. There are just so many things that you need to learn – from choosing the right implant to managing your recovery time.
So in this article, we’re going to discuss some of the most frequently asked questions that women have when it comes to breast augmentation.
What is Breast Augmentation?
How is the procedure done
Types of Breast Implants
Should you undergo this procedure?
How to prepare for a BA
What are the risks involved
How is the procedure done
How long is the recovery period
Alternatives to BA
Price of Breast Augmentation in Singapore
Reviews of patients
How to find a good surgeon
What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation is a type of surgery aimed at increasing both the size and shape of the breast. It usually involves using breast implants to enhance the breasts’ size. Sometimes, a procedure known as the fat transfer is also used, where fats coming from other parts of the patient’s body will be taken and implanted into the patient’s breast in order to improve its volume.
There are many reasons why women would opt for breast augmentation, although the most common reason is to improve the looks of their body.
But aside from looking attractive, some women would undergo breast augmentation for other reasons. For instance, women who lost a lot of weight may need to undergo the surgery in order to reshape their breasts. In some cases, a reconstructive breast surgery may also be required as part of the breast cancer treatment.
How is the Procedure Done?
There are three primary methods of undergoing breast augmentation procedure:
Inframammary (under breast incision) method
One of the most popular methods used in breast augmentation is the use of breast implants. A breast implant is basically a medical prosthesis that’s implanted inside the breast. In this procedure, the surgeon will make an incision or cut at the underside of the patient’s breast, right on that area where the skin folds. After this, the surgeon places the prosthesis or the implant into the opening. Because of the cut, you can expect a scar on your breasts after the surgery, although the scars could fade eventually, but will not disappear completely.
Trans-axillary (armpit) method
Another technique that a surgeon may use for breast implant is by placing it through a cut below your arm. This surgery is performed using an endoscope, which comes with a camera and has surgical instruments at the bottom. The tool is then inserted into the cut. For this method, you won’t have any scars on your breast but there will be visible scars at your arm’s underside.
Another method is by making a cut around your areola’s edge where the implant will be placed. The areola refers to that darkened part around your nipple. However, for this procedure, you might encounter problems with breastfeeding in the future.
Depending on the cosmetic surgeon, breast augmentation can be performed in many ways and it’s important that you discuss this with your doctor before you decide to undergo the surgery.
What types of Breast Implants are there?
As discussed above, breast augmentation would require inserting an implant in the breast in order to augment or enhance the size. Below are three of the most common implants that cosmetic surgeons use when it comes to breast augmentation:
Silicone Gel – this implant is the most common of all and it’s made from a silicone outer shell with silicone gel inside it. If in the event that the gel will leak, it either stays within the shell or it spills into the pocket of the breast implant. This is why if you’re going to choose this implant, you need to undergo regular checks with your doctor.
Saline Implants – this implant is filled with a sterilized saline solution, similar to salt water. It’s kept inside a silicone shell, which can be filled with varying amounts of saline solution, depending on the firmness and shape that the patient would want for her breasts. Unlike the silicone gel, when the saline solution leaks, the body will absorb the solution naturally. Thus, this is a much better alternative to the silicone gel.
Alternative Composite Implants – this implant is made from soy oil, polypropylene string, or other materials.
Is Breast Augmentation Right For Me?
Breast augmentation is a procedure that would require patients to undergo a surgery. Therefore, you need to think hard enough before deciding to go through with it. Here are some of the things that you should know about the procedure:
It will not prevent your breasts from sagging – one of the most common misconceptions about breast augmentation is that patients believe that this is the solution to their sagging breasts. If your aim is to correct your sagging breasts, then a breast lift is what you need.
It is not guaranteed to last a lifetime – breast implants are expected to last 7 to 12 years, the average is 10 years. There’s a possibility that the implant could rupture. You also need to consider the fact that as you age your breasts will also age. Furthermore, factors like weight loss or weight gain may also affect the shape and size of your breasts.
Mammograms could become more complicated – when an implant is placed in your breasts, it may be difficult to diagnose breast cancer if you have one since the implant could affect the results of the mammogram test.
It could affect your ability to breastfeed – there are some women who are still able to breastfeed right after undergoing a breast augmentation procedure although others find breastfeeding to be a challenge. It’s important that you discuss this with your doctor if you have plans to give birth in the future.
Your insurance will not cover the breast implant surgery – except if it’s medically necessary, your insurance company cannot cover the cost of breast augmentation procedure.
How to Prepare for the Breast Augmentation?
If you are determined to go through with the surgery, your surgeon should discuss with you what your options are and will help you to decide the size of the breast implant that’s suitable for you. The size of the breast implant will mainly depend upon your own personal decision.
Your doctor may put different sizes of implants into your bra so you will know how they feel and see how it will look on you and decide which size is more comfortable for you. Your doctor will also explain the different types of implants, including the different shapes and textures that it comes with.
The best method of estimating the most suitable size of the implant is in filing a plastic bag with water and then placing it in the patient’s bra. A sweater or shirt is then worn over so as to estimate the final result.
Your doctor may also ask you to undergo a baseline mammogram before you go through with the surgery. This is for your doctor to know the type of medications to use for the surgery. If you’re smoking, your doctor may ask you to quit for a certain period of time leading to the surgery.
What Are the Risks Involved in Breast Augmentation?
Before you decide to undergo the breast augmentation surgery, it may be worth it to understand the possible risks and complications that come with it. Your doctor may also discuss these risks with you prior to the surgery.
Infection – it’s rare for patients who have undergone breast augmentation to catch an infection. Yet, it does happen to some patients and can be really distressing. Some of the most common signs of infection are redness and swelling of the breast and fever. Your doctor may prescribe you with antibiotics for treatment. If your body doesn’t respond to the antibiotics, then the implant will be removed and replaced after the wound is totally healed.
Bleeding – right after surgery, there are instances when bleeding could occur at the implant pocket. When this happens, your surgeon will have to surgically remove the implant in order to control the bleeding. The wound will immediately be cleaned and a new implant will be placed. Signs of bleeding are increased pain, bruising, and swelling.
Capsule contracture – this refers to the hardening or distortion of the breast that sometimes comes with pain. In this case, a surgical incision of fibrous scar capsules around the implant will be required or a partial removal of the implant may be necessary. The implant can be inserted back with a new packet. Around 30 to 35 percent of patients have suffered from capsule contracture after breast augmentation surgery.
Problems with mammography – the breast implant could possibly block some areas of your breast from being visualized in a mammography but this can be avoided if the implant will be inserted below the muscle. If the implant could affect the mammogram results, patients who are at risk of developing breast cancer might not be diagnosed correctly.
What To Expect during your Breast Augmentation Surgery?
The breast augmentation surgery can be done in a surgical clinic or at a hospital’s outpatient facility. Unlike other surgery procedures, there is not a need for you to stay at the hospital for recovery and your doctor may ask you to go home right after the procedure is completed. It’s recommended that you ask someone to accompany you who can drive you home after the surgery.
In some cases, a general anesthesia will be used so you will be asleep during the entire time that the surgery is performed. Sometimes, local anesthesia will be applied, during which, you will be awake although your breast will feel numb during the entire time that the breast augmentation is performed. The procedure usually lasts between one to two hours.
What Happens During the Recovery Time?
For a few weeks after the surgery, you can expect to feel swelling and soreness on your breast area. Bruising could also take place.
While you are recovering, your doctor will ask you to wear a sports bra or a compression bandage to provide added support to your breast and maintain the proper positioning of the implants. Your doctor may also prescribe pain relievers to help manage the pain.
It’s important that you follow the instructions of your doctor when it comes to going back to work or returning to your usual activities. If your job is not that physically demanding, your doctor may allow you to return to work a week after the surgery.
Make sure you avoid doing strenuous activities during your recovery time. Avoid situations that could raise your pulse or trigger your blood pressure to increase – at least for a few weeks. During your recovery period, your breasts will be very sensitive to any jarring movements or physical contact.
In some cases, surgeons may use sutures that do not absorb on their own during the surgery. Sometimes, a drainage tube will be placed near the breasts. In this case, you will be required to go back to your doctor’s clinic for the removal.
Observe your breast and your body during the recovery period and inform your doctor immediately if you notice something disturbing symptoms. For instance, if you notice redness and warmth in your breast, or if you are having a fever, then you need to see your doctor immediately. This could indicate that you are having an infection.
If you’re having chest pains or have difficulty breathing, call your doctor right away. Do not ignore any symptoms that you feel during the process of recovery.
How Long Is the Recovery Period?
The recovery period will vary from one patient to another. If there are no complications, you should be able to get back to your normal routine after a few weeks. Breast augmentation will not really put you out of action for a very long time and you will have follow-up appointments with your doctor in order to monitor your process of recovery.
Most patients are able to get back to work after a week of recovery. However, your doctor may ask you to refrain from doing strenuous activities. Even if you feel like your breasts have already been healed, you must put off performing demanding physical activities until your doctor gives you the green light.
Are There Alternatives to Breast Augmentation?
If you believe that breast implant is not for you, yet you are determined to enlarge your breast, your best bet is to opt for implants that make use of your own fat cells in enhancing the tissues in your breast.
Also known as fat grafting, the process requires two separate procedures that will be performed on the same day.
Fat Grafting Step 1 – Removal of fat tissue from the body
The first part of the procedure requires removing the fat tissues. At this stage, you’ll be administered with a local anesthesia and the doctor will start to manually remove the fat tissues from those parts of your body where the fats are to be obtained. Some of the most common areas are the buttocks, thighs, and belly. The process is almost the same with the liposuction procedure except that it’s minimally invasive.
Fat Grafting Step 2 – Injecting fat tissue into breasts
The second part of the procedure is injecting the fat tissues into your breasts. For this method, the fat tissues that were harvested from your body will first be processed. This involves removing any unwanted components, such as water, blood, and oil. After that, the doctor will start injecting the fat tissues into your breast using very fine needles. The fat cells have to be injected into the various sections of your breasts in order to enhance the transfer of fats and make your breasts appear fuller and bigger.
It’s worth talking to your doctor about fat grafting if you believe that it’s more suitable for you than breast implant.
What is the cost of Breast Augmentation in Singapore?
The final cost depends on the surgeon, the method of BA and the facilities they use. In general, here is the approximate pricing for BA in Singapore, which includes surgeon fee, pre and post review, implant cost, consultation, anesthesia and also GST:
The price range should be anywhere between $8,000 – $15,000, depending on the factors above.
Reviews of patients who have undergone Breast Augmentation in Singapore
Here is one patient sharing her experience:
I had a bad breast implant surgery one year ago by another doctor. The position too high and the scars were sink in. After depressed for a year, I decide redo cos my friend got hers done by him and the result look v good. The doctor change my round implants to teardrop and put them below muscle. He also help me to redo the scar and even help me laser after for free. The 1st doctor advertise his price is cheaper, but in the end plus plus plus end up more than the second Doctor. Maybe cos I am not local. I learn my lesson, but at least now I like my breasts.
Here is another patient sharing her review:
I did my breast augmentation on 30 Nov 14. Initially I was having depression the first week because of the height and swelling of breasts. But the doctor assured me and gave me a lot of attention. The swelling came down after 1st week and even more after 1 month. I see the results by 2nd month and I was extremely happy about it. My surgeon is a good doctor with no air and very caring. He is very hygienic and safe doctor that takes all precautions for a surgery. He is Korean trained and the stitches he sew on my breast are very fine thin line. Almost invisible to tell there is a surgery line. I didn’t like a waiting time because his clinic is always crowded. But again, I would prefer a qualified and experience doctor to handle my plastic surgery needs. Thanks again to his skillful pair of hands.
For the full list of best doctors performing Breast Augmentation in Singapore, please visit here.
Now that you know everything about breast augmentation, you should be able to decide for yourself if the surgery is worth it or not. If you believe that the procedure is what you need, the first step is to look for a cosmetic surgeon that can handle the procedure for you.
There are lots of good cosmetic surgeons in Singapore that are well capable of performing the surgery. Make sure you choose someone who is trained and licensed to perform the breast augmentation surgery so do your research well.