Although small breasts are genetically determined and are no indication of a womans feminity, the condition can cause psychological distress and this can often be exacerbated by unkind comments from others who lack understanding. Women affected in this way can have their self-conﬁdence boosted by having the size of their breasts reshaped by surgery.
Breast Augmentation is a surgical procedure which makes the breasts larger. It is achieved by placing an implant under the breast tissue, or behind the pectoral muscle on which the breast lies if the skin surrounding the breast is a little thin. The implants are usually inserted via an incision through the inframammary fold (underneath the breasts) but they can also be inserted via incisions made around the areola or in the armpit.
A breast implant is made of an outer layer of silicone and maybe ﬁlled with either silicone gel or salt water (saline). The life of an implant is about ten years, although it can last much longer without presenting any problems. Leakage of silicone can occur either by slow seepage or by rupture of the implant but this is often contained within a ﬁbrous capsule formed by the body around the implant. No serious health problems have been linked with leakage of silicone gel. However, implants that have been ﬁlled with soya bean oil in the past have caused certain health issues to arise. Any women concerned about soya bean implants can get additional information from the MHRA -The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.
On some occasions the capsule which forms around the implant can become thickened and contracted, resulting in a sensation of firmness in the breast. This is known as a capsular contraction and is caused when the body's natural defences respond to the introduction of a foreign body. Treatment or, very occasionally, removal of the implant may be necessary. Unlike breast reduction, breast augmentation does not affect the ability of a women to breastfeed and there is no evidence that silicone is found in breast milk. There may be a difference in skin and nipple sensation and breast augmentation will always leave scars on the breast or in the armpit but are usually positioned to minimize visibility when, for example, wearing a swimming costume.