Breast enlargement is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in New Zealand. It is used to help women increase their bra cup size, enhance the shape of their breasts and restore lost volume after weight loss or pregnancy.
Breast implants are the most common form of breast enlargement, but you might be surprised to learn that other options are available. In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of breast implants and explore some breast enlargement alternatives that may be suitable for you.
Breast implants are prosthetic containers that are typically filled with a silicone gel or sterile saline solution. They are an excellent option for women who wish to achieve shapelier, fuller or more proportional breasts.
During surgery, the implants are placed inside the breast to augment the patient’s natural breast. The operation usually takes several hours under general anaesthetic with a night in hospital. It can take a few weeks to fully recover, so your doctor may recommend taking some time off work after your procedure. Most patients are able to return to desk jobs about a week after surgery, while those with labour-intensive jobs typically need at least three weeks off.
Breast implants have been used since the early 1960s and are generally considered to be very safe. However, there are some risks to be aware of, including:
- Breast pain
- Changes in breast sensation
- Internal scarring
- Implant leakage or rupture
- The need for further breast surgery
- Cancer (lymphoma)
While breast implants don’t have a specific expiry date, revision procedures are often needed after about 10 years to replace or remove the implant.
Hormonal breast enlargement
The combined oral contraceptive pill (otherwise known as “the pill”) is one of the most common types of contraception used in New Zealand. The pill contains oestrogen and progestogen, two hormones that occur naturally in your body.
When you start taking the pill, your hormone levels change, which can cause a range of side effects, including headaches, mood changes, skin changes, tenderness around the breast area and slightly increased breast size.
Shifts in hormone levels can also cause the body to retain fluid, which can make the breasts feel larger. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the dose of hormones in the pill, the more likely it is that you’ll experience an increase in breast size.
If you’re looking to temporarily increase breast size, you may want to consider external expansion.
External expansion is a completely non-surgical procedure that involves the use of a suction pump device. Breast cups are placed over the breasts and a pump is used to create a vacuum, which stimulates blood flow to the area and swells the breasts.
The effect is temporary. When you stop using the device, your breasts will return to their normal device, but it can be useful if you wish to temporarily enhance your figure for a specific social event.
Autologous fat transfer breast enlargement
Autologous fat transfer (AFT), sometimes referred to as fat grafting, is a relatively new form of breast augmentation. It is a minimally invasive procedure that uses your own fat tissue to increase the size and enhance the shape of your breasts.
The AFT procedure involves using liposuction to remove fat tissue from an area of the body with excess fat (typically the thighs, buttocks or belly). The fat is then prepared and injected into the breast area in very fine strips that are less than 1 mm in width.
One of the limitations of conventional AFT is that only a small amount of fat can be transferred due to limited space within the breast. Here at the Skin Centre, our experienced specialists use external expanders to gently expand the breast before surgery which adds space to the breast and allows for greater size increases.
AFT may be a good option if you’re looking for a modest breast size (1 cup size) increase and want a less invasive procedure compared with breast implants.
AFT is done as a day surgery, under local anaesthetic. There are no scars, your breasts feel and look natural afterwards because they are natural. Dr Salmon has been doing liposuction and fat grafting since 1995. If you put on weight your breasts may increase in size, conversely if you lose weight they may diminish slightly.
A mammogram, USS or MRI before and after surgery is used to document any change in your breasts and as a baseline for ongoing care of your breasts.
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The Skin Centre is committed to helping you achieve your unique cosmetic goals. We provide state of the art facilities and a team of world-class specialists who are experts in the fields of fat grafting and dermatologic surgery.