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Breast Augmentation (Augmentation Mammoplasty)

Breast Augmentation (Augmentation Mammoplasty) is a surgical procedure performed in order to increase the size and/or alter the shape of a woman's breasts through the use of breast implants. This plastic surgery procedure typically takes anywhere from 1-2 hours. Most patients are back to work in a few days. By inserting an implant behind each breast, surgeons are able to increase a woman's breast size by one or more bra cup sizes.

Important Note: Every single patient is different, and has a different scenario. Because of that, it is very important that prior to making a decision, you contact a board certified plastic surgeon, and consult with them about your goals, desires and to see if you are a good candidate for this plastic surgery procedure.



Are you a Good Candidate?

The best candidates for Breast Augmentation are women.

Is this you?

  • Have your breast lost there fullness due to weight loss or pregnancy?
  • Are your breasts moderately disproportionate in size or shape?
  • Are you unhappy with the shape of your breast?
  • Are you unhappy with the firmness of your breast?
  • Do you feel that your breasts are too small?
  • Are you willing to discuss, with your plastic surgeon, your desired results and what your goals are of the surgery? Are you willing to listen to the advice your plastic surgeon has for you, as some times, what you think is the best procedure for you, is not. A different procedure may accomplish your desired results.
  • Are you over 18 years old (saline breast implants) or over 22 years old (silicone breast implants)?

If you:

  • Have unrealistic expectations this may not be for you. You should discuss this with your plastic surgeon.
  • Are not physically healthy, you would not be a good candidate for breast augmentation.
  • Are doing this for someone else, you should reconsider. It is a very personal decision, and therefore, it is your decision.




  • Reaction to the anesthesia.
  • The most common problem is capsular contracture. This occurs if the scar or capsule around the implant begins to tighten.
  • Excessive bleeding following the operation may cause some swelling and pain.
  • A small percentage of patients can develop an infection around the implant. This can occur at any time, but most often seen within a week after surgery.
  • Some patients report that their nipples become oversensitive, undersensitive, or even numb but this usually disappears over time.
  • Leak or ruptured breast implant.

The majority of women that have breast augmentation do not experience these complications. You should, during you initial consultation with your plastic surgeon, discuss all possible risks and complications. Also, be sure to ask your plastic surgeon about the longevity of the implants, the warranty on the implants, and questions about regular breast health.



The Procedure

Breast Augmentation will take anywhere from 1-2 hours, dependant on the incision location and the patient. Your incision location, and the location of the implant, will depend on your anatomy and the recommendation of the plastic surgeon.

The incision can be made in 4 different locations. It can be made in the crease, where the breast meets the chest, around the areola (dark skin around the nipple), through the armpit, or through the belly button (navel incision is not possible with silicone breast implants). Your plastic surgeon will recommend the best incision location for you, which will give you the best results and the least amount of scarring.

Your plastic surgeon will lift your breast tissue and skin to create a pocket, either directly behind the breast tissue or beneath the pectoral muscle and on top of the chest wall. Once the implants are positioned in the pocket, the incision is closed and a bandage may be applied over your breast to quicken the healing process. Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon during the initial consultation which incision location he or she prefers and why.

Also, you should ask your plastic surgeon where he or she prefers to place the implants and what he or she would recommend for you.



Choices with Implants

This is your decision, and you should discuss with your plastic surgeon during the consultation:

  • Saline or Silicone
  • What size should I go?
  • What shape am I looking for?

This can be determined during you initial consultation. It is based on your anatomy, personal desires, body type, and how big you want to go. Other things to consider are your lifestyle, personal preferences, goals etc. You should always heavily weigh your plastic surgeons opinion as well, as he or she deal with this on a daily basis, and can really help you in making the right choice for yourself.

The outer layer of breast implants are made of solid silicone, a rubber shell. They can be filled with either saline solution (sterile salt water) or elastic silicone gel. Both have been extensively tested both by private companies and by the government for safety. They have both been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The size of the breast implants is measured in cubic centimeters. This is also commonly referred to as cc's. This is based on the amount of either saline or silicone filler placed into the breast implant shell. There are a couple other things to consider as well. Texture can be either smooth or textured. The shape can be round or anatomic (shape of a teardrop). The breast implant can be low, medium or high profile. Another thing to consider would be the diameter of the breast implant.



After Surgery, your recovery:

The first few days you will be sore and in some pain and discomfort. Typically, you will be walking around within two days. Your plastic surgeon will prescribe you with some medication for this pain. Typically, but dependant on the degree of your surgery, you will be released within a few hours.

Within 5 days, your dressing, if given to you, will be removed. Sometimes you will be given a surgical bra. Before you leave, you plastic surgeon will give you instructions on exactly what you can and can not do. To answer a couple common questions, your plastic surgeon will direct you on how to change your dressings, how to shower, and how to be most comfortable. Your surface stitches will be removed within ten days. The swelling in your breasts may take up to five weeks to go away.



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