Breast Augmentation


Breast Augmentation

Also known as augmentation mammaplasty, breast augmentation
involves using implants to fulfill your desire for fuller breasts or to
restore breast volume lost after weight reduction or pregnancy.

Click here to see our Breast Augmentation before and after photo gallery

Table of Contents

Why Breast Augmentation?

Enhancing your appearance with breast augmentation

If you are dissatisfied with your breast size, augmentation surgery is a choice to consider. Breast augmentation can:

  • Increase fullness and projection of your breasts
  • Improve the balance of your figure
  • Enhance your self-image and self-confidence

Implants also may be used to reconstruct a breast after mastectomy or injury.

What it won’t do

Breast augmentation does not correct severely drooping breasts. If
you want your breasts to look fuller and to be lifted due to sagging, a breast lift may be required in conjunction with breast augmentation.

Breast lifting can often be done at the same time as your
augmentation or may require a separate operation. Your plastic surgeon
will assist you in making this decision.

Is it right for me?

Breast augmentation is a highly individualized procedure and you
should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to
try to fit any sort of ideal image.

Breast augmentation may be a good option for you if:

  • You are physically healthy
  • You have realistic expectations
  • Your breasts are fully developed
  • You are bothered by the feeling that your breasts are too small
  • You are dissatisfied with your breasts losing shape and volume after pregnancy, weight loss, or with aging
  • Your breasts vary in size or shape
  • One or both breasts failed to develop normally

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Procedural Steps:

What happens during breast augmentation surgery?

Step 1 – Anesthesia

Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical
procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general
anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.

Step 2 – The incision

Incisions are made in inconspicuous areas to minimize visible
scarring. You and your plastic surgeon will discuss which incision
options are appropriate for your desired outcome. Incision options

Inframammary incision

Inframammary Incision

Transaxillary incision

Transaxillary Incision

Periareolar incision

Periareolar Incision

Incisions vary based on the type of implant, degree of enlargement
desired, your particular anatomy, and patient-surgeon preference.

Step 3 – Implant choice

Breast size and shape are important, so be honest and open about your expectations when talking with your surgeon.

Implant type and size will be determined not just on your desired
increase in size but more importantly on your breast anatomy, skin
elasticity and body type.

Options for Breast Implants

Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water.
They can be filled with varying amounts of saline which can affect the
shape, firmness and feel of the breast. Should the implant shell leak, a
saline implant will collapse and the saline will be absorbed and
naturally expelled by the body.

Silicone implants are filled with an elastic gel.
The gel feels and moves much like natural breast tissue. If the implant
leaks, the gel may remain within the implant shell, or may escape into
the breast implant pocket.

A leaking implant filled with silicone gel may not collapse. If you
choose these implants, you may need to visit your plastic surgeon
regularly to make sure the implants are functioning properly. An
ultrasound or MRI screening can assess the condition of breast implants.

Implant manufacturers occasionally introduce new styles and types of implants, so there may be additional options available.

Currently Saline implants are FDA-approved for augmentation in women 18 years of age and older.

Currently Silicone implants are FDA-approved for augmentation in women 22 years of age and older.

Saline or silicone implants may be recommended at a younger age if used for reconstruction purposes.

Step 4 – Inserting and placing the implant

Inserting Breast ImplantsAfter the incision is made, a breast implant is inserted into a pocket either:

  • Under the pectoral muscle (a submuscular placement), or
  • Directly behind the breast tissue, over the pectoral muscle (a submammary/ subglandular placement)

The method for inserting and positioning implants depends on the type
of implant, degree of enlargement desired, your body type, and your
surgeon’s recommendations.

Step 5 – Closing the incisions

Incisions are closed with layered sutures in the breast tissue and
with sutures, skin adhesive or surgical tape to close the skin. Over
time the incision lines will fade.

Closing the Incisions

Step 6 – See the results

The results of breast augmentation are immediately visible. Over
time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade.
Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover
and realize the fulfillment of your goal for fuller breasts.

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Important facts about the safety and risks of breast augmentation

The decision to have breast augmentation surgery is extremely
personal and you’ll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your
goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable.

Your plastic surgeon and/or staff will explain in detail the risks
associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to
ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any
risks or potential complications.

The risks include:

  • Unfavorable scarring
  • Bleeding (hematoma)
  • Infection
  • Poor healing of incisions
  • Changes in nipple or breast sensation, may be temporary or permanent
  • Capsular contracture, which is the formation of firm scar tissue around the implant
  • Implant leakage or rupture
  • Wrinkling of the skin over the implant
  • Anesthesia risks
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Blood clots
  • Pain, which may persist
  • Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
  • Possibility of revisional surgery

Breast implants do not impair breast health. Careful review of
scientific research conducted by independent groups such as the
Institute of Medicine has found no proven link between breast implants
and autoimmune or other systemic diseases.

Other important considerations:

  • Breast implants are not guaranteed to last a lifetime and future surgery may be required to replace one or both implants.
  • Pregnancy, weight loss and menopause may influence the appearance of augmented breasts over the course of your lifetime.

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My recovery

After a post-surgical recovery period of 24 to 48 hours and an
additional reduced-activity period of a few days, you will likely
experience soreness and swelling for a few weeks.

Exercise and normal activity can resume at the direction of your
plastic surgeon. Over time, post-surgical swelling will decrease and
incision lines will fade.

When you go home

If you experience shortness of breath, chest pains, or unusual heart
beats, seek medical attention immediately. Should any of these
complications occur, you may require hospitalization and additional

The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science.
Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee. In some
situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a
single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.

Be careful

Following your physician’s instructions is key to the success of your
surgery. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected
to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing.
Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for

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The results will be long-lasting

The results of your breast augmentation surgery will be long-lasting.
You will find it easier to wear certain styles of clothing and swim

Like many women who have had breast augmentation, you may also have a boost in self confidence.

Implants may need to be replaced or revised

It’s important to know that your breast implants are not permanent
and may require replacement during your lifetime. You should expect to
have future visits with your plastic surgeon to discuss changes in your

Over time, your breasts can change due to aging, weight fluctuations,
hormonal factors and gravity. If, after a period of years, you become
dissatisfied with the appearance of your breasts, you may choose to
undergo a breast lift or implant exchange to restore a more youthful

Continue to follow your plastic surgeon’s instructions and attend follow-up visits as scheduled.

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How much will breast augmentation surgery cost?

Cost is always a consideration in elective surgery. A surgeon’s cost
for breast augmentation may vary based on his or her experience, the
type of breast implant used, as well as geographic office location.

Many plastic surgeons offer patient financing plans, so be sure to ask.

Cost may include:

  • Surgeon’s fee
  • Hospital or surgical facility costs
  • Anesthesia fees
  • Implant cost
  • Prescriptions for medication
  • Post-surgery garments
  • Medical tests

Most health insurance plans will not cover cosmetic breast
augmentation surgery, related complications or another surgery to revise
the appearance of your breasts. Some carriers even exclude breast
diseases in patients who have breast implants. You must carefully review
your health insurance policy.

Your satisfaction involves more than a fee

When choosing a plastic surgeon for breast augmentation, remember
that the surgeon’s experience with breast implants and your comfort with
him or her are just as important as the final cost of the surgery.

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Words to know

  • Areola: Pigmented skin surrounding the nipple.
  • Augmentation mammaplasty: Breast enlargement by surgery.
  • Breast Augmentation: Also known as augmentation mammaplasty; breast enlargement by surgery.
  • Breast Implants: Medical devices placed in
    your body to enhance an existing breast size or to reconstruct your
    breast. Breast implants can be filled with either salt water (saline) or
    silicone (elastic gel).
  • Capsular contracture: A complication of
    breast implant surgery which occurs when scar tissue that normally forms
    around the implant tightens and squeezes the implant and becomes firm.
  • General anesthesia: Drugs and/or gases used during an operation to relieve pain and alter consciousness.
  • Hematoma: Blood pooling beneath the skin.
  • Inframammary incision: An incision made in the fold under the breast.
  • Intravenous sedation: Sedatives administered by injection into a vein to help you relax.
  • Local anesthesia: A drug injected directly to the site of an incision during an operation to relieve pain.
  • Mammogram: An x-ray image of the breast.
  • Mastectomy: The removal of breast tissue, typically to rid the body of cancer.
  • MRI: Magnetic Resonance Imaging; a painless test to view tissue similar to an x-ray.
  • Periareolar incision: An incision made at the edge of the areola.
  • Saline implants: Breast implants filled with salt water.
  • Silicone implants: Breast implants filled with an elastic gel.
  • Submammary or subglandular placement: Breast implants placed directly behind the breast tissue, over the pectoral muscle.
  • Submuscular or subpectoral placement: Breast implants placed under the pectoral muscle, which is located between the breast tissue and chest wall.
  • Sutures: Stitches used by surgeons to hold skin and tissue together.
  • Transaxillary incision: An incision made in the underarm area.
  • Ultrasound: A diagnostic procedure that projects high frequency sound waves into the body and records the echoes as pictures.

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