Dr O’Mahony believes the goal of Breast Implant Surgery is to provide women with natural looking and feeling breasts that enhance their figure. Many women have concerns about the size or shape of their breasts and breast implant surgery can successfully correct many of these problems.
• Very small breast size
• Difficulty filling clothes, bras, bikinis
• Self consciousness in swimwear
• Lack of ‘cleavage’
• An imbalance between the upper and lower body size
• Asymmetric breast development
• Breast ‘deflation’ after pregnancy and breast feeding
• Breast asymmetry after cancer surgery
Who is suitable for breast implants?
To be a suitable candidate for Cosmetic Breast Implant Surgery you must be in very good health, of normal weight and a non-smoker. You must not take any medication that might thin your blood, including anti-inflammatory medications and herbal remedies, for 2 weeks before surgery. You must also be over the age of eighteen as cosmetic surgery on minors is unlawful. There is no specific upper age limit for breast implant surgery, but the types of breast surgery most suited to older age groups may not include breast implants.
Breast implants are sometimes used to correct breast asymmetry due to congenital problems such as Tuberous Breast Deformity or acquired problems such as Breast Cancer surgery. More specific information on these conditions and their treatment can be found by following the links for Breast Reconstruction and Breast Asymmetry.
Breast implant sizes
Contrary to popular perception, breast implants when sized correctly can give a very natural appearance to the breast. Choosing the implant size that best suits you is very important and should not be rushed.
If you are considering surgery it helps to think about what type of appearance you are seeking. Some women wish to look ‘enhanced’ whilst others prefer the more natural appearance. If you are considering larger implants it is also important to appreciate that the width of your chest will in some way determine what size will fit you.
Dr O’Mahony does not delegate the task of breast implant sizing, she prefers to do this with you herself and will spend as much time as you need. In addition she will ask you to return for at least one further consultation before proceeding with surgery.
Choosing your correct size
To determine your suitability for breast implant surgery and to measure what size implants can be used, Dr O’Mahony will begin by examining your breasts and measuring your breast and chest width.
Based on the type of appearance prefer, she will provide a series of different sized implants for you to model in a mirror. This way you can decide what size suits your figure.
If you have a favourite style of clothing you wish to try on with the implants please bring it with you to the consultation. A firm fitting T-shirt can often be very helpful when deciding on implant size.
The types of breast implants
In Australia most breast implants are made of a silicon gel covered with a silicon shell. They are designed to look and feel soft and natural.
Silicon is an inert material that is commonly used in a variety of medical devices. It has been used successfully to make breast implants for nearly 40 years, although the implant design has undergone significant refinement over this time to enhance their safety, longevity and appearance.
Dr O’Mahony will show you the different features of silicon breast implants and explain their significance during your consultation.
Other materials are sometimes used for cosmetic breast implants. These include saline filled and polyurethane covered (‘Brazilian’) implants. Dr O’Mahony does not routinely use these implants and can discuss her reasons for this with you.
Breast implant insertion
Breast Implant Surgery is undertaken under general anaesthetic in a hospital, usually as Day Surgery.
In order to insert breast implants an incision is most often made in the fold under your breast. This scar usually heals nicely and is very well hidden, although like all scars it is permanent.
Alternative incision sites such as around the nipple/areola are occasionally used if severe breast asymmetry exists. Dr O’Mahony does not insert implants through the armpit or other sites.
Breast implants can be placed directly under the breast tissue where they sit on top of the chest muscle, or directly under the pectoralis major muscle of the chest. It is more common to place the implants under the muscle, although Dr O’Mahony will advise you of the best position for your implants when she examines you.
What sort of recovery time can I expect?
After you have recovered from the general anaesthetic and you are comfortable you will be discharged from hospital. You will need an adult to drive you home and be present with you for the next 24 hours. You will be provided with instructions and a prescription for pain relief.
The dressings will be removed at Dr O’Mahony’s office in the first week. The stitches are dissolvable and the wound will require a strip of tape to be placed over it for 6-8 weeks to reduce scarring. You will need to wear a soft sports bra with no underwire for 6 weeks day and night. You cannot undertake any sports for 6 weeks, and then slowly return to normal physical activity. Depending on what type of work you do, you will need at least one week off work.
What are the risks of Breast Implant Surgery?
It is very important to recognise that despite being a Cosmetic Procedure, insertion of Breast Implants is a surgical operation requiring a general anaesthetic, and like all medical procedures carries with it some degree of risk.
These risks are minimised to some extent by choosing a fully qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon, who operates only in accredited Hospitals with a Specialist Anaesthetist. However, complications may still occur during your operation, your recovery and into the future. Dr O’Mahony will discuss these risks and complications in detail during your consultation.
Further information on Breast Implant Surgery can be found on the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons website www.plasticsurgery.org.au
What is the cost of Breast Implant Surgery?
Dr O’Mahony’s office will send you a written quote for surgery after your first consultation. The quote will include the costs of the implants, the theatre and hospital fees, dressings and the surgical fees. The Specialist Anaesthetist will provide a separate quote. Medicare and Health Insurance do not cover cosmetic Breast Augmentation.
Before embarking on any Cosmetic Surgery, it is important to appreciate that if unexpected complications occur which necessitate further surgery or hospitalisation, whilst Dr O'Mahony would endeavour to limit any surgical costs, additional anaesthetic and hospital costs can still be incurred.
Breast implant surgery to correct breast asymmetry or deformities may be covered by Medicare or Health Insurance but this is at the discretion of Medicare and Dr O’Mahony would need to seek approval from Medicare prior to proceeding.
How do I choose a Surgeon for my Breast Implants?
When choosing a Surgeon there are a number of factors to consider. The most important decision you make when planning Breast Implant Surgery is to consult a fully qualified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. This means choosing Surgeon who has undertaken the rigorous training in Cosmetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery to become a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS Plast), and a member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). By law these are the only Surgeons in Australia who are recognised as Specialist Plastic Surgeons.
Due to a lack of clear regulation of Cosmetic Surgery, there are a number of other Doctors who advertise and perform Breast Implant Surgery who do not have the recognised specialist qualifications. Alternatively some will quote ‘qualifications’ that are designed to sound similar to those of genuine Plastic Surgeons. To ensure your safety it is important to be fully informed about your choice of surgeon. A list of fully qualified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons can be found by visiting the ASPS website www.plasticsurgery.org.au, or the RACS website www.surgeons.org.
Once you are confident in the training and expertise of your surgeon it is also important that you feel comfortable with them. You should feel that you have had enough time to consider your options and ask as many questions as you wish. You should have the opportunity to return for a second or third consultation before deciding to proceed with breast implant surgery. If you are unsure, it is wise to consider seeking a second opinion before proceeding with Cosmetic Surgery.