Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation, also referred to as augmentation mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure aimed at increasing the size of the breasts. It entails the placement of breast implants either beneath the breast tissue or under the chest muscles.

Breast augmentation can serve different purposes for women. For some, it is a means to enhance their self-confidence and body image. For others, it is a part of reconstructive breast surgery following various conditions.

Why Is Breast Augmentation Performed?

Breast augmentation is performed for various reasons, which may include:

  • Breast augmentation can be chosen by individuals who feel their breasts are small or uneven, leading to difficulties in finding properly fitting clothes or bras. The procedure can help improve symmetry and enhance overall proportions.
  • After pregnancy or significant weight loss, the breasts may lose volume and appear deflated. Breast augmentation can restore fullness and shape to the breasts, providing a more youthful appearance.
  • Some women naturally have uneven breasts, while others may develop asymmetry after undergoing breast surgery for other conditions. Breast augmentation can help correct this asymmetry, creating a more balanced breast appearance.
  • Many women choose breast augmentation to enhance their self-confidence and feel more comfortable with their bodies. The procedure can have a positive impact on body image and overall self-esteem.

How To Prepare for Breast Augmentation Surgery?

You will have a consultation with a plastic surgeon to discuss your preferences regarding the size, feel, and appearance of your breasts. The surgeon will explain different types of implants, such as smooth or textured, round or teardrop-shaped, and saline or silicone. They will also discuss surgical technique options with you.

Before making a decision to proceed with surgery, consider the following:


Breast sagging: Breast implants alone will not prevent or correct sagging breasts. If you have sagging breasts, your plastic surgeon may recommend a breast lift in addition to breast augmentation.

Lifespan of implants: Breast implants are not meant to last a lifetime. The average lifespan of an implant is around 10 years, and there is a possibility of implant rupture. Additionally, your breasts will continue to age, and factors like weight fluctuations can affect their appearance, potentially requiring additional surgeries in the future.

Mammograms: Having breast implants can make mammograms more complex. You will likely need additional specialized views along with routine mammograms.

Breastfeeding: Breast implants may affect your ability to breastfeed. While some women are able to breastfeed successfully after breast augmentation, others may face challenges.

Insurance coverage: Breast augmentation is typically not covered by insurance unless it is medically necessary, such as after a mastectomy for breast cancer. You should be prepared to handle the expenses associated with the surgery, including any related surgeries or future imaging tests.

Implant removal: If you decide to have your implants removed in the future, you may need additional surgeries, such as a breast lift or other corrective procedures, to restore the appearance of your breasts.

Monitoring for silicone implant rupture: The FDA recommends routine monitoring for silicone breast implant rupture. This typically involves a breast MRI five to six years after placement, followed by subsequent MRIs every two to three years. Ultrasound may be an alternative screening method unless you experience symptoms. Consult your plastic surgeon regarding the specific imaging needed for routine monitoring of your implants.

Breast Augmentation Procedure

The breast augmentation procedure involves several steps, including:

Anesthesia: Medication is administered to ensure your comfort during the surgery. The options include intravenous sedation or general anesthesia, and your surgeon will recommend the most appropriate choice for you.

Incision: The surgeon will make an incision in a strategic location, such as in the crease beneath the breast (inframammary incision), around the areola (periareolar incision), or in the armpit (transaxillary incision). The choice of incision location depends on factors like the type of implant and your specific anatomy.

Implant Placement: There are two primary placement options for breast implants: submuscular (under the chest muscle) or subglandular (over the chest muscle and under the breast tissue). The surgeon will discuss which placement is best suited for you based on factors such as your body type and the desired outcome.

Implant Selection: You and your surgeon will have already discussed the type, size, and shape of implants during the consultation. The chosen implants, either saline or silicone, will then be carefully inserted into the breast pocket created during the surgery. The surgeon may also use sizers to confirm the desired size and symmetry before inserting the final implants.

Incision Closure: Once the implants are in place, the incisions are closed with sutures. The surgeon may use layered sutures in the breast tissue, and either sutures, surgical tape, or skin adhesive to close the skin.

Recovery and Postoperative Care: You will be taken to a recovery area where you will be closely monitored as you wake up from anesthesia. You may have drainage tubes in place to collect any excess fluid. You will be provided with specific instructions for postoperative care, including wearing a supportive bra, taking prescribed medications, and attending follow-up appointments.

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