Plastic Surgery | Dr. Enrique Etxeberria, Plastic Surgery in Bilbao

Breast surgery

Plastic Surgery - Breast surgery - Breast Augmentation

Breast Augmentation

  • Print
  • Send email
  • Download PDF

A breast augmentation or augmentation mammoplasty, is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed nowadays. With the passage of time, factors such as age, genetics, pregnancy, changes in body weight, exposure to the sun and gravity can all cause changes in the shape and size of the breasts. Through this procedure, women who are not satisfied with the size of their breasts or have experienced changes in their appearance, can ensure they look fuller and in better shape. During an augmentation mammoplasty an implant is inserted into a little sac formed in the breast tissue. This can contribute towards increasing or balancing breast size, recovering their volume or shape following partial or total loss of same. If you would like more details on this section you can download the PDF with more complete information.

Want to see your new you before the procedure?

In Spain, in the European Union and in the United States, viscoelastic silicine-gel implants are authorised, which consist of an external layer of silicone rubber filled with silicone-gel. There is no evidence to suggest that silicone implants increase the risk of breast cancer, disorders of the connective tissue or auto-immune diseases. Breast implants differ in shape, texture and profile. They can be round and anatomical, and can have a smooth or textured surface. Recently, the Allergan house has launched a new shape: the “510” or bioconcave. The profile of the implant can be standard, moderate or high. Lastly, implants vary according to their size and volume. The type, style and size of the breast implants you choose will depend on your lifestyle, your corporal contours, the amount of breast tissue you have, and the size and appearance you want to achieve. Be sure to speak in detail with your doctor about the choice of breast implant that would be suitable for you. Using the BIODYNAMIC software (Natrelle, Allergan) your surgeon will be able to hone in – in accordance with your observations – on the suitable implant, showing you the most suitable option in digital format, as well as showing you a simulation in front of the mirror to thereby enable you to see a very close approximation of the results you hope to achieve.


The breasts are made up of galactophorous glands and ducts surrounded by adipose tissue which gives them their shape and softness. The elasticity of your skin also contributes towards breast shape. As you know, certain factors such as age and pregnancy can affect the elasticity of the skin and breast tissue, which causes changes in the shape and appearance of the breasts. Breast implants – schematically speaking – can generally be inserted into two locations, known as submuscular and subglandular placement. Submuscular placement refers to an implant partially or wholly located under the pectoral muscle, against the thoracic wall. On the other hand, subglandular placement refers to an implant located under the breast tissue, but on top of the pectoral muscle.


The inframammary incision is performed along the crease the base of the breast.


The periareolar incision is one of the most widely used incisions in a breast augmentation procedure. In general, one small, sole incision is made around the perimeter of the areola.


The transaxillary technique is made in the natural crease of the armpit; thanks to so doing there will be no scars on the breast. A small incision is made within each armpit.


Your surgeon will fit you with a special bra or compression bandage to help the healing process. Compression bandages provide support and comfort, minimise swelling and help maintain the position of the implants. This is why it is important to use the compression bandage as advised by your doctor.


Generally, breast augmentation procedures last approximately one to two hours. Prior to beginning the procedure, the area to be treated will be rigorously cleaned and an anaesthetic administered. Depending on the preferences of the surgeon and the nature of the procedure, local anaesthetic may be used in combination with intravenous sedation or general anaesthetic.


It is very likely that you will be able to return to work within three to seven days of the procedure. However, it is important to avoid strenuous activities or lift heavy objects for approximately three to four weeks. This can delay healing and the implants could be damaged. Once the implants have been accommodated and the swelling has disappeared, you will be able to notice the end results of the procedure. It is important to know that the shape of your breasts will continue to change over time. However, the results obtained from a breast augmentation are generally long-term, which means that your breasts will maintain for some years the fuller size and better shape you had hoped for.


After a period of post-operative recovery of between 24 and 48 hours and an additional period of reduced activity for a few days, you will probably experience irritation and swelling for a few weeks. You can go back to exercising and your everyday activities as soon as the surgeon tells you. As time passes, the post-operative swelling will go down and the incision marks will fade away. You will receive specific instructions, amongst which may be: how to care for your breasts after the surgery, what medication to apply or to take orally in order to help with the healing and reduce the risk of infections, and when to make a follow up visit to your surgeon. Be sure to ask specific questions of your surgeon about what may happen during the recovery period, in particular, where will I be taken after the surgery? What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery? Will I have bandages after the operation? When will they be removed? Will the stitches be removed? When? When can I return to my everyday activities and start exercising again? When should I return for follow-up care? The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are anticipated, there are no guarantees. In some cases, it may be that optimal results cannot be achieved with just one sole surgical procedure and more surgery may be required. Be cautious. Following the instructions of your doctor is key to the success of your intervention. It is important that the incisions made during the operation are not exposed to excessive force, abrasion or movement during the healing period. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to look after yourself.


The results of your breast augmentation surgery will last a long time. You will find certain styles of clothing and swimwear more comfortable. The same as many women who have breast augmentations, you may feel an increase in self-confidence. It is possible that the implants may need to be changed or checked. It is important you know that your implants are not permanent and may need to be changed in the future. You must anticipate the need for future consultation with your plastic surgeon in order to analyse changes in your breasts.