Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure that can enhance breast volume and shape using synthetic implants or fat grafting techniques. Also known as augmentation mammoplasty or breast enhancement surgery continues to be one of Australia’s most frequently performed cosmetic procedures.
At Adelaide Plastic Surgery your safety is always our first priority. Our specialist plastic surgeons have the skills and experience to approach each patient journey uniquely, and consider your individual proportions, existing breast form and overall level of health when planning for your augmentation surgery. We believe it’s important for you to be fully aware of the many variables there are to consider in order to safely and correctly achieve your desired aesthetic outcome.
Motivation for augmentation surgery is highly individual, and may be as simple as a personal preference to add volume and shape to your breasts. Augmentation techniques can also be used to balance congenital breast abnormalities or restore breast volume post pregnancy and/or weight loss.
One method to increase breast volume is achieved through the use of silicone or saline implants, positioned behind the breast tissue and/or pectoralis muscle. This technique offers a variety of options in the outcome of your augmentation, due to the wide selection of implants available and the position of implant placement.
An autologous fat transfer is another option for breast augmentation. This method is known as lipofilling or fat grafting, and is an innovative technique that has recently emerged as an alternative to implants. Advanced techniques are used to harvest fat from a predetermined area, such as your thighs, stomach or abdomen, and then safely used to increase volume in your breasts.
Lipofilling can achieve approximately a 50% increase in breast volume per procedure, so is best suited to those looking to achieve a moderate increase in breast size. One of the benefits of this technique is the ability to use your own fatty reserves rather than relying on a synthetic implant.
Your surgeon may suggest one, or a combination of both techniques, to best achieve the aesthetic results your desire. If you’re considering breast surgery, one of our surgeons would be pleased to meet and discuss your options in an initial consultation.
With their extensive knowledge and experience, our specialist plastic surgeons have the skills and expertise to approach each patient journey uniquely, catering to your individual needs.
The Procedure + Surgical Techniques
Augmentation with implants
The locations of incisions and the placement of implants will depend on your surgeon’s preferences and recommendations. At Adelaide Plastic Surgery, our surgeons generally prefer the inframammary approach for incision sites, which is an incision in the fold of skin under the breast. The location of this incision site allows for the residual scar post-surgery to be neatly camouflaged within the natural breast fold.
Depending on your individual surgery, your breast implant can generally be positioned either:
- Between the breast tissue and the chest muscle
- Behind the large chest muscle, called the pectoralis
- Partially behind the chest muscle, or the ‘dual plane’ technique
Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and can slightly vary your final outcome. These options will be discussed in your consultation, where your surgeon will recommend a technique best suited to your individual preferences
Augmentation with lipofilling
The techniques used for lipofilling or fat grafting for breast augmentation will depend on your surgeon’s preferences and recommendations. This method of augmentation uses liposuction to harvest adipose tissue (fat), commonly from the buttock, thigh or abdomen. Your surgeon will pre-determine the volume required and the best suited location for this liposuction during your initial consultation, which is dependent on your individual body type.
Once harvested, the fat is then re injected into the breast using a sterilised syringe and needle. Our plastic surgeons take care to distribute the fat smoothly and evenly. This is to ensure best possible aesthetic results, as well as improving the likelihood of the fat cells finding blood supply and surviving in this new location.
For further information on the procedure, we highly recommend you watch the animated video on our website, which outlines breast augmentation surgery in more detail.
Hospital Stay and Anaesthesia
For reasons of patient safety, this procedure is performed under a general anaesthetic with an anaesthetist present. Surgery can take place as a day procedure but in some instances an over night stay is required. Your plastic surgeon will discuss your choices in your initial consultation and determine which option is best for you.
Types of Implants
There are a range of implant characteristics that your surgeon can use to deliver the outcome you’re hoping for, including
- Round or anatomical (tear drop) shape
- Textured or smooth surface
Each implant type also varies in height, profile & projection.
Some clinics only give their patients a choice between a limited selection of pre-ordered, ‘set sized’ implants. We don’t believe this gives our patients a broad enough choice, which is why our surgeons offer over 340 implant sizes to choose from. This ensures you will have the best possible outcome, tailored specifically to your individual body type.
In order to keep your consultation as smooth and efficient as possible, we ask that you please bring all relevant documentation with you on the day. This includes your referral letter, Medicare card, private health insurance details, any third party or return to work insurance information, and any relevant scans i.e. x-ray or ultrasounds.
During your initial consultation with one of our specialist plastic surgeons, you will have extensive opportunity to discuss expectations and desired results. Your surgeon will explore the different methods of augmentation, and review implant size, shape, placement and technique, or discuss the details of lipofilling depending on your surgical needs. You will also have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the procedure.
You will then meet with one of our experienced breast care nurses, where you will have clinical images taken as a before and after reference for both yourself and your surgeon. All our images are confidential and are stored securely online pursuant to the current Privacy Act. You will also be given the option to utilise our 3D Vectra Imaging System. This advanced technology simulates the results of your breast augmentation and what it will look like on your own body. This is a service our patients often find beneficial in their decision-making process. Read more about this here.
Your breast care nurse will take your measurements and fit you with a post-operative bra. If you are having a breast augmentation with implants, your nurse will then guide you through the different shapes and sizes, based on your earlier discussion with your surgeon and their recommendations. You will have the opportunity to touch and feel various implants, as well as try different implant “sizers”. These “sizers” fit neatly into a bra, and will give you a good indication as to the appearance of your new breasts post-surgery. Our nurses will also demonstrate a simple and effective system, known as the “rice test”, which allows you to experiment with implant sizes in the comfort of your own home.
The final stage involves meeting with your surgeon’s personal assistant. You will be given an in-depth quote including the surgeon, hospital and anaesthetist fees, along with some take home information on your procedure.
There is a lot of information to take in after your first consultation. We encourage our patients to go home and discuss their procedure with loved ones and come back for a subsequent visit. We find our patients almost always come back with additional questions they hadn’t previously thought of, and this second visit allows you to go into your surgery feeling confident and fully informed about your procedure. We recommend that you allow an hour for this consultation. Please keep this in mind when organising parking so that you don’t feel the need to rush.
Before your procedure
There are a number of things you can start to implement before your procedure, to encourage a smooth recovery and ensure you are as comfortable as possible post-surgery.
It is important that you:
- Exercise – having good physical health will significantly help your recovery
- Are not currently pregnant or breastfeeding
- Provide a complete medical history to your specialist plastic surgeon, including all current medications, as some may need to be stopped prior to surgery
- Quit smoking
- Pre-arrange someone to transport you too and from your surgery, as well as stay with you 48 hours after returning home, due to the general anaesthesia required for surgery
- Ensure you follow pre-operative instructions, such as fasting times, or your procedure may have to be cancelled
- Have plenty of loose comfortable clothing that is easy to get in and out of post-surgery i.e. zip through jackets
- Prepare your recovery area! You’ll want to have everything you need to recover easily accessible and within arm’s reach. We suggest comfortable pillows, icepacks, prescribed medications, emergency contact details, a phone, as well as things to keep you entertained
Time frame for recovery will vary depending on your individual surgery details, the nature of your employment and your overall level of health. Your surgeon will discuss this with you prior to surgery, and it is important to allow yourself the recommended recovery time. Vigorous activity and exercise should be avoided for the first six weeks, however gentle walking is encouraged after the first week.
On discharge, you will be given specific postoperative instructions to facilitate recovery, and a follow-up appointment will be made with your plastic surgeon. These instructions will cover everything you will need to know in order to make your recovery as smooth and comfortable as possible.
Post-surgery it is common to have some bruising and swelling, as well as a feeling of tightness across your chest. This is perfectly normal, and typically resolves within the first two weeks, however can persist for up to a month. A tape dressing is applied across the incision lines. You can shower as usual, leaving the tape intact. Pat the tape dry with a towel or blow dry with a hairdryer on a cool setting. If the tape comes off before your next appointment you can call us to arrange another appointment earlier with our nurses. Do not swim or have a bath during this time.
You may be required to wear your bra day and night for up to six weeks from the day of your surgery. The bra helps control the bruising and swelling, gives you support and helps reduce your pain. Patients often purchase two post-operative bras, to allow one to be laundered while the other is worn.
A plastic tube may be inserted into each breast to drain off any excess fluid. These will remain in place until the drainage is minimal, and are removed by a nurse usually a day or two after your surgery. Your sutures will be removed on day 10–14, unless your surgeon has used dissolvable sutures. Occasionally half your sutures are removed at this visit, and the other half are removed the following week.
Our team is here to support you to make a swift, uncomplicated recovery. We offer a 24/7 on-call medical assistance service for all our post-operative patients.
Breast Implant Registry
Our surgeons are pleased to participate in The Australian Breast Device Registry (ABDR). The registry is designed to track patient health outcomes, monitor the long-term safety and performance of breast devices and benchmark the quality of surgery involving breast implants.
If you would like more information please click here.
Ready to book an initial consultation?
If you are ready to book your initial consultation, please book online or call us to book with one of our helpful team members. We’ll be pleased to help you start your journey.
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Stay up to date
News – March 23, 2023
Will my surgery leave me with a scar?
Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Anthony Porter and Jo Herreen RN discuss everything you need to know about post surgical scarring in our latest blog post. Read it now