What is breast augmentation?

According to American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation - sometimes referred to as a “breast aug” or “boob job” by patients - involves using breast implants and fat transfer to increase the size of your breasts. This procedure can also restore breast volume lost after weight reduction or pregnancy, achieve a more rounded breast shape or improve natural breast size asymmetry.

What can breast augmentation surgery do?

For decades, breast augmentation has become an effective procedure for increasing the appearance of a woman’s breasts. With consistent innovations in breast implant technology, such as the new silicone gel implants, breast augmentation is the most prevalent plastic surgery in the US. It can be applied for many different reasons, including:

  • Increasing the size of breasts
  • Improving a woman’s body proportions
  • Addressing loss of volume in the breasts (often due to pregnancy, weight loss or aging)
  • Reconstructing the breasts after a mastectomy procedure

Breast augmentation before and after photos

What breast augmentation surgery can’t do?

Breast augmentation does not correct severely drooping breasts. A breast lift may be required along with a breast augmentation for sagging breasts to look fuller and lifted. 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.

Who is an ideal candidate for breast augmentation?

According to Surgi Care Arts, ideal candidates for breast augmentation surgery are women whose breasts have fully developed, who are physically healthy, and who are not pregnant or breastfeeding. Additionally, breast augmentation is suitable if your breasts vary in size or shape, or if one or both breasts failed to develop normally.

Breast augmentation does not correct severely drooping breasts. A breast lift may be more appropriate and can be done in conjunction with breast augmentation.

How do you prepare for breast augmentation?

You’ll consult with our experts about your preferences for size, feel, and appearance of your breasts. The surgeon will describe specific types of implants - smooth or textured, round or shaped like a teardrop, saline or silicone – as well as options for surgical techniques.

Carefully review written information, such as the patient information from the manufacturer of the implant you’ll be getting and keep copies for your records.

Before you decide to have surgery, consider the following:

  • Breast implants won’t prevent your breasts from sagging. To correct sagging breasts, you might need a breast lift in addition to breast augmentation.
  • Breast implants aren’t guaranteed to last a lifetime. The average life-span of an implant is 10 years. Implant rupture is a possibility. Also, your breasts will continue to age, and factors such as weight gain or weight loss might change the way your breasts look. These issues will likely lead to more surgery.
  • Infection
  • Mammograms might be more complicated. If you have breast implants, in addition to routine mammograms, you’ll require additional, specialized views.
  • Breast implants might hamper breastfeeding. Some women are able to successfully breast-feed after breast augmentation. For others, however, breast-feeding is a challenge.
  • Insurance does not cover breast implants. Unless it’s medically necessary – such as after a mastectomy – breast augmentation isn’t covered by insurance. Be prepared to handle the expenses, including related surgeries or future imaging tests.
  • You might need additional surgery after breast implant removal. If you decide to have your implants removed, you might need a breast lift or other corrective surgery to help restore your breasts’ appearance.
  • You might need an MRI scan. The FDA recommends routine monitoring with MRI after three years. However, recent studies show that there’s little data to support routine screening unless you have symptoms.

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