Breast augmentation surgery is a very safe procedure. Statistically it has a low rate of complications and research shows it provides measurable improvements for women’s quality of life and sense of wellbeing. Despite this, safety is at the forefront of women’s minds when considering a breast augmentation - and so it should be!
Key considerations pertain to the choice of surgeon, selection of implant, the facility where the surgery is performed and the technique used. It’s important to put your safety interests ahead of finding the cheapest ‘deal’ or a surgeon that can perform your surgery asap! Optimal safety measures take time, and steps such as using an accredited hospital and anaesthetist - or taking extra precautions to avoid bacterial contamination - might add to the costs involved, but they can also significantly impact your short and long term outcomes.
Macquarie University has put together a 14 Point Plan which offers proven strategies for surgeons to use when they are inserting a breast implant. Published in 2013, it is now adopted around the world as best practice for plastic surgeons who frequently perform breast augmentation surgery. Each step aims to reduce bacterial contamination, which in turn minimises the risk of breast implant complications.
Dr Sharp is one of the specialist plastic surgeons in Brisbane and Ipswich who has chosen to taken the 14 Point Plan Pledge. This means he has committed to using techniques and practices that help reduce the risk of bacterial contamination (listed below) including the use of a Keller funnel to deliver the implant into the breast pocket, using form stable breast implants and submuscular placement. While it isn’t possible to completely eradicate the chances of complications, these factors have all been shown to help lower the risk.
The Macquarie University 14 Point Plan:
- Use intravenous antibiotic prophylaxis at the time of anaesthetic induction
- Avoid peri-areolar incisions
- Use nipple shields to prevent spillage of bacteria into the pocket
- Perform careful atraumatic dissection to minimize devascularised tissue
- Perform careful hemostasis
- Avoid dissection into the breast parenchyma.
- A dual plane pocket has anatomic advantages
- Perform pocket irrigation with correct proven triple antibiotic solution or betadine
- Minimise skin-implant contamination
- Minimise the time of implant opening, reposition and replacement of implant
- Change surgical gloves prior to handling the implant. Use clean or new instruments that were not used in the pocket dissection
- Avoid using a drainage tube, where possible
- Use a layered closure
- Use antibiotic prophylaxis to cover subsequent dental or surgical procedures that produce bacteremia, and have lifelong follow-up
want to know more about Dr Sharp's approach to breast augmentation?