Breast augmentation surgery has now reached its 6th decade since its infancy in the 1960s. During this time, remarkable advances have been made in both surgical technique and in the safety and sophistication of implants. What hasn’t changed, however, is that an expert surgeon is needed to achieve a great result.
Dr Frank Lin is a Melbourne-based specialist plastic surgeon with sub-specialty interest and training in breast surgery, breast augmentation and breast implants, especially for Asian patients
Dr Lin has trained with some of the world’s foremost experts in breast surgery, including in the use of endoscopic techniques for breast augmentation. At our Melbourne clinic, we are committed to taking the time to help you understand the pros and cons of breast augmentation surgery, and to help you achieve the best possible result.
Dr Lin’s experience and training make him uniquely qualified to produce great results for Asian patients wishing to undergo breast augmentation.
What are some important considerations in breast augmentation?
During your consultation, Dr Lin will discuss with you what must be considered before undergoing breast augmentation, including:
- The shape, size and texture of the breast implants
- The method of insertion (open or endoscopic)
- The plane of insertion
- What is involved in the surgery
- The likely recovery process
- The potential problems with the surgery
What type of breast implant would suit me?
Common breast implants used in Australia include silicon gel or saline filled implants, with silicon being used in the majority of breast augmentation procedures. While modern silicon gel breast implants are much safer than the earlier generation devices, it is important to know they are not guaranteed to last a lifetime. Furthermore, implants are available in a variety of coatings including smooth or textured. Dr Lin will discuss with you the pros and cons of each type of implant. You will also have the opportunity in the rooms to see and feel the different implants for yourself.
What is the best incision for breast implant?
Infra-mammary (under the breast fold) incision is the most common incision used for breast augmentation. Axillary (under the armpit) incisions may be more suitable particularly for Asian breast augmentation patients.In Asian patients, an important consideration is the likelihood of keloid scarring which are more common on the torso. In some cases, patients may be suitable for an endoscopic (keyhole) technique.
Am I suitable for a minimally invasive, or endoscopic, approach?
For patients who may be at higher risk of keloid scarring, such as Asian patients, this is the preferred technique.
In this operation, the incision is placed at the apex (the highest point) of the axilla. A tunnel is created and an endoscope (fibre-optic telescope) is inserted. The space (or pocket) for the implant is created under crystal clear fibre-optic vision which is displayed on a HD monitor. This ensures a clear, accurate and safe dissection which is not possible with traditional axillary implant techniques.
This is a far more technically demanding operation compared to the infra-mammary fold approach, and often takes much longer to master. It is for this reason that Dr Lin has travelled extensively abroad to learn from the pioneers of this technique, which is far more popular in Asia than in Australia.
What is the best plane for breast implant insertion?
The common tissue planes used are sub-glandular (under the breast tissue – right diagram), sub-muscular (under the pectoral muscles – left diagram) or dual plane. Many factors are taken into account when making this important decision, including the volume and shape of existing breast tissue, skin quality, lifestyle, previous surgery, and many others.
What is involved in breast augmentation surgery?
- The operation is performed under general anaesthetic at an accredited private hospital.
- Operation time is typically 2 hours.
- During the operation your safety is our main priority. We would routinely use antibiotics to prevent infection and blood thinning medications to prevent clots (DVT).
- Occasionally, drain tubes may be used at the end of the operation.
- For an infra-mammary approach, you will have short scars in the natural fold under the breast.
- For an endoscopic axillary (armpit) approach, you will have small scars in the natural skin creases in the armpit.
What is the recovery after breast augmentation surgery?
- For your comfort and safety, we generally recommend an overnight stay in hospital. Occasionally, patients may be able to be discharged the same day.
- Most women have some discomfort for a few days. This varies depending on the specific type of operation performed. You will be prescribed appropriate medications to keep you comfortable during this period.
- We recommend a supportive garment, such as a crop top, for both comfort and support.
- Most women should plan for 1-2 weeks off work and 4-6 weeks of avoiding contact sports or heavy lifting.
- A regular schedule of post-operative consultations will be provided by Dr Lin and his staff. This includes regular scheduled review appointments with the practice nurse as well as Dr Lin.
- You will also be seen by the practice dermal therapist, who will assist with management of the surgical scars and with LED light therapy.
*Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.