The desire to have a breast implant can arise at any age and for different reasons. In any case, it's important to know what options are available so that you can make a more informed decision.

Breast Augmentation Vs Breast Lift

Breasts can be a major concern for many women of different ages. "Not just for younger women, but at any age. Normally, we start doing breast augmentation from the age of 18, but ladies in their 30s, 40s and 50s also have breast augmentation," says the doctor.

However, in these cases, especially when they've already been pregnant, "breast augmentation may not be enough, because the breast has already gone down a bit so we can increase the volume, but we have to lift the breast as well. So it's no longer called a breast augmentation, but a breast lift with implants or augmentation mastopexy."

Tear-drop, round or fat?

When doctors carry out a procedure like this, there is always a decision to be made with the patient, which is to decide on the best prosthesis to use in the surgery, which will affect the final result. In this regard, there are three options.

“The anatomical implant, known as tear-drop, allows a more natural result because it manages to copy a breast much more naturally, it allows the breast to have a good shape and volume, it fills out the breast, but maintaining its natural shape”. That’s important because “we want an elegant result, but without stigma of breast surgery”.

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Round implants, on the other hand, are more visible at the top. It's no longer as natural as a tear drop. So the question is: Why don't we always use anatomical implants instead of round implants? "Because anatomical implants are more difficult to place and there's a risk that they'll rotate and cause deformations, but that will always depend on the technique and we can guarantee that they'll be well positioned and that they'll have good long-term results, but that will already depend on our technique. They are more difficult, but they look good. If the person already has a lot of breast and just wants to increase the volume, the round one works, but normally when a lady comes for a breast augmentation, she has almost nothing and then it really makes a difference to use the tear drop implant," said the doctor.

However, there is a third option, which is the use of fat. In the case of breast augmentation, the doctor told The Portugal News that the use of fat serves more as an additional measure. "In certain situations we place the implant, but we want a little more enhancement and that's when you can add fat to improve the shape of the breast. Breast augmentation with fat alone can be done, but the result is never as satisfactory because it increases volume but doesn't increase projection, which is why it's rarely used because the result falls short of expectations."

Quick recovery

Another concern for those who undergo surgery is recovery. "With breast augmentation, recovery is great and it's probably one of the fastest and best surgeries. When it comes to breast augmentation without the need for breast reshaping, basically after five to seven days the patient is already returning their normal life," he said.

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"If you don't make any physical effort at work, you'll be working normally after a week. After three to four weeks, they can return to physical activity that doesn't involve jumping, running or arm exercises”.

After the surgery the patient is discharged the same day and the next day they start doing lymphatic drainage to recover more quickly. “To maximise the result, they will always have to wear an appropriate bra”, he said.

Breastfeed in the future?

For ladies who are planning to get pregnant, this is something to consider. However, the doctor said: "Mammoplasty is not a contraindication for pregnancy or breastfeeding. When we use the inframammary approach under the breast, the risk of affecting breastfeeding (not being able to breastfeed or breastfeeding less) is much lower, because the implant is placed without touching the gland, that is, we manage to detach the mammary gland, and place the implant behind the muscle and therefore the risk is much lower."

On the other hand, "when we place the implant through a periareolar incision (along the edge of the areola) we have to cut part of the breast and there is a greater risk of altering or damaging breastfeeding. The disadvantage of the periareolar incision is that the implant has to pass through the gland. We therefore have to partially cut through the gland, but it has the advantage of being a virtually unnoticeable technique”, he said.

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Paula Martins is a fully qualified journalist, who finds writing a means of self-expression. She studied Journalism and Communication at University of Coimbra and recently Law in the Algarve. Press card: 8252

Paula Martins