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Home » Sexual Resources » Sex Articles » Women's Sexual Health

Breast Enlargement & Lifts
Myths & Information About Surgery

Although there are quite a few myths about how to make your breasts larger (from special creams to exercise techniques), the truth is that there really is no way to change the size of your breasts except through cosmetic surgery.

What you can do is opt to have the surgery or learn how to be comfortable with the size and shape of your breasts and understand that there are pros and cons to all different types of bodies. We've all gone through times when we didn't like parts of our bodies.

Men often worry about the size of their penises and even women who have large breasts have their own concerns too; some find that their backs or shoulders hurt, for example.

Lisa Lawless
By Lisa S. Lawless, Ph.D.
Psychotherapist & Sexuality Expert

CEO & Founder of
Holistic Wisdom, Inc. & NAASAS

Copyright: Holistic Wisdom- Do NOT Copy Warning

Copyright © Holistic Wisdom, Inc.

Related Topics

Breast Implant Debate

Breast Implants In The Army

Breast Implants For Men

The core issue is that many women have breast augmentation before really understanding even basic risks, so we have provided information below to help examine this topic.

Breast Surgery: Implants & Lifts

A breast implant or lift is not necessarily a simple operation, but it's normally safe when performed by a qualified plastic surgeon. Nevertheless, as with any surgery, there is always a possibility of complications or a reaction to the anesthesia. Bleeding and infection following a breast lift are uncommon, but they can cause scars that can widen over time.

Mastopexy (the procedure for correcting the size, shape, and position of sagging breasts) does leave noticeable, permanent scars, although they'll be covered by your bra or bathing suit. The procedure can also leave you with unevenly positioned nipples or a permanent loss of feeling in your nipples or breasts. It may be a good time to quit smoking as well because smokers have show to have poor healing and wider scars.

Common Reasons

  • To enhance the body contour of a woman who for personal reasons feels her breast size is too small.

  • To correct a reduction in breast volume after pregnancy.

  • To balance a difference in breast size.

  • As a reconstructive technique following breast surgery.

  • Following a mastectomy due to breast cancer.

Breast Augmentation Requirements

Breast augmentation can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but it won't necessarily change your looks to match your ideal or cause other people to treat you differently. Before you decide to have surgery think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with your surgeon.

The best candidates for breast augmentation are women who are looking for improvement not perfection in the way they look. If you're physically healthy and realistic in your expectations you may be a good candidate. You may also want to consider how important this really is... and look to accept your body the way it is.


Types of Implants

A breast implant is a silicone shell filled with either silicone gel, composite or a saltwater solution known as saline.

  • Saline breast implants have an elastomer silicone outer shell that is filled with a sterile saline solution.

  • Silicone breast implants also have an elastomer silicone outer shell filled that is filled with a viscous silicone gel. There have been to date five generations of silicone breast implants with focus on keeping them from leaking. The fifth generation of silicone breast implants is made with a semisolid gel to help reduce any chance of it leaking.

  • Composition breast implants typically have an elastomer silicone outer shell with a possibility of various fillers, such as soy oil and polypropylene string.


Breast Augmentation Risks

Breast augmentation is relatively straightforward assuming you have a good surgeon, which is key to this going well. But as with any operation, there are risks associated with surgery and specific complications associated with this procedure. The most common problem, capsular contracture (picture shown below), occurs if the scar or capsule around the implant begins to tighten. This squeezing of the soft implant can cause the breast to feel hard.

Capsular contracture can be treated in several ways, and sometimes requires either removal or 'scoring' of the scar tissue or perhaps removal or replacement of the implant. As with any surgical procedure, excessive bleeding following the operation may cause some swelling and pain. If excessive bleeding continues, another operation may be needed to control the bleeding and remove the accumulated blood.

A small percentage of women develop an infection around an implant. This may occur at any time, but is most often seen within a week after surgery. In some cases, the implant may need to be removed for several months until the infection clears. A new implant can then be inserted.

Some women report that their nipples become oversensitive, undersensitive or even numb. You may also notice small patches of numbness near your incisions. These symptoms usually disappear within time, but may be permanent in some patients.

There is no evidence that breast implants will affect fertility, pregnancy, or your ability to nurse. If, however, you have nursed a baby within the year before augmentation, you may produce milk for a few days after surgery. This may cause some discomfort, but can be treated with medication prescribed by your doctor.




When It Does Not Go Well

Occasionally, breast implants may break or leak. Rupture can occur as a result of injury or even from the normal compression and movement of your breast and implant, causing the man-made shell to leak. If a saline-filled implant breaks, the implant will deflate in a few hours and the salt water will be harmlessly absorbed by the body.

Bottoming Out

Asymmetry Off

Capsular Contracture

Symmastia / Breadloafing

If a break occurs in a gel-filled implant, however, one of two things may occur. If the shell breaks but the scar capsule around the implant does not, you may not detect any change.

If the scar also breaks or tears, especially following extreme pressure, silicone gel may move into surrounding tissue. The gel may collect in the breast and cause a new scar to form around it, or it may migrate to another area of the body. There may be a change in the shape or firmness of the breast.

Both types of breaks may require a second operation and replacement of the leaking implant. In some cases, it may not be possible to remove all of the silicone gel in the breast tissue if a rupture should occur.

A few women with breast implants have reported symptoms similar to diseases of the immune system, such as scleroderma and other arthritis-like conditions. These symptoms may include joint pain or swelling, fever, fatigue, or breast pain.

Research has found no clear link between silicone breast implants and the symptoms of what doctors refer to as "connective-tissue disorders," but the FDA has requested further study.

While there is no evidence that breast implants cause breast cancer, they may change the way mammography is done to detect cancer. When you request a routine mammogram, be sure to go to a radiology center where technicians are experienced in the special techniques required to get a reliable x-ray of a breast with an implant. Additional views will be required.

Ultrasound examinations may be of benefit in some women with implants to detect breast lumps or to evaluate the implant. While the majority of women do not experience these complications, you should discuss each of them with your physician to make sure you understand the risks and consequences of breast augmentation.


Planning the Surgery

In your initial consultation, your surgeon should evaluate your health and explain which surgical techniques are most appropriate for you, based on the condition of your breasts and skin tone. If your breasts are sagging, your doctor may also recommend a breast lift. Be sure to discuss your expectations frankly with your surgeon. He or she should be equally frank with you, describing your alternatives and the risks and limitations of each.

You may want to ask your surgeon for a copy of the manufacturer's insert that comes with the implant he or she will use, just so you are fully informed about it. Also, be sure to tell your surgeon if you smoke, and if you're taking any medications, vitamins or other drugs.

Your surgeon should also explain the type of anesthesia to be used, the type of facility where the surgery will be performed and the costs involved. Because most insurance companies do not consider breast augmentation to be medically necessary, carriers generally do not cover the cost of this procedure.


Having the Surgery

The method of inserting and positioning your implant will depend on your anatomy and your surgeon's recommendation. The incision can be made either in the crease where the breast meets the chest, around the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple), or in the armpit. Working through the incision, the surgeon will lift your breast tissue and skin to create a pocket, either directly behind the breast tissue or underneath your chest wall muscle (the pectoral muscle). The implants are then centered beneath your nipples.

Some surgeons believe that putting the implants behind your chest muscle may reduce the potential for capsular contracture. Drainage tubes may be used for several days following the surgery. This placement may also interfere less with breast examination by mammogram than if the implant is placed directly behind the breast tissue.

Placement behind the muscle however, may be more painful for a few days after surgery than placement directly under the breast tissue. You'll want to discuss the pros and cons of these alternatives with your doctor before surgery to make sure you fully understand the implications of the procedure he or she recommends for you. The surgery usually takes one to two hours to complete. Stitches are used to close the incisions, which may also be taped for greater support. A gauze bandage may be applied over your breasts to help with healing.


Follow Up is Important

Regular examination by your plastic surgeon and routine mammograms for those in the appropriate age groups at prescribed intervals will help assure that any complications, if they occur, can be detected early and treated.


Finding a Reputable Surgeon

To find a plastic surgeon who performs this procedure, visit the online referral service of the ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons). ASPS, founded in 1931, is the largest plastic surgery organization in the world and the foremost authority on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. All ASPS physician members are certified by the ABPS (American Board of Plastic Surgery) or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.


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