Breast augmentation is a breast enhancement procedure that enlarges the size of the breasts through the use of breast implants. Women who are ideal candidates for a breast lift generally have small or unevenly sized breasts.

Breast augmentation surgery involves making an incision underneath the breast, near the nipple, in the armpit or in the belly button. The plastic surgeon then inserts and positions the implant either under the breast tissue or under the pectoral muscles. Depending on the implant type and procedure used, the breast implant may be prefilled or filled by the cosmetic surgeon when the implant is inserted.

In the case of unevenly-sized breasts, an inflatable or fillable breast implant is used. The plastic surgeon can then adjust the amount of fill to make the smaller breast the same size as the other one.

breast augmentation

Breast Implant Surgery FAQ

How will I know how big my breasts will be?
Your plastic surgeon may ask you to try on breast “sizers”. This helps gives you a general idea of what your breasts will look like. Some surgeons also have computer programs that show what you would like with different-sized breasts.

Also, breast implants tend to be wider than a natural breast, so if you wear a C cup now, a D cup will likely be needed after breast augmentation.

What will be the shape of breasts after surgery?
The same shape as your breasts now, only larger. The shape of the breasts does not change after breast augmentation.

How long does breast surgery take?
Breast augmentation surgery takes between 1 to 3 hours. The length of surgery is determined by breast implant placement and type of incision.

Will I have to stay in the hospital?
No – most breast augmentation surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure. Most women are able to return home within a few hours after surgery.

How large is the incision made for a breast implant?
The incision for a breast implant is between 1 to 1½ inches in length.

Where is the incision made for a breast implant?
The incision is made either below the breast (the most common), under the armpit, near the nipple or at the belly button.

Will the incision leave a permanent scar?
Yes. Over 3 to 6 months, the scar will turn from red to pink, gradually getting lighter in color, thinner, and flattening out. After a year, the scar may be fairly unnoticeable.

Am I a candidate for breast augmentation?
Several of the following feelings or conditions may indicate that you are a good candidate for breast augmentation:

  • you bothered by the different-sized of your breasts
  • you feel that your breasts are too small
  • you feel your hips are too large in comparison to your bustline
  • you feel self-conscious wearing a swimsuit or form-fitting top
  • your breasts have become smaller and lost their firmness after pregnancy
  • you feel that weight loss or aging has changed the size and shape of your breasts

Others conditions include,

  • you are 18 years of age or older (the FDA does not allow implants in people under age 18)
  • you have no history of chest radiation therapy
  • you have no history of autoimmune or connective tissue diseases, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
  • you accept the fact that the breast implant may not last forever, and you may have to have additional surgery in the future

Who is not eligible for breast implants?

  • Women with existing malignant or pre-malignant cancer of your breast without adequate treatment
  • Women who are currently pregnant or nursing
  • Women with active infection anywhere in your body

Can I breastfeed after breast augmentation?
The answer is YES. For women who have breast augmentation, breastfeeding is no more difficult with implants than without. Even though there was fear that breastfeeding with silicone implants would endanger the child, there have been studies performed to show this not to be the case. The main reason is that the silicone molecule is too large to pass into the milk ducts.  

How long does breast augmentation surgery usually take?
Breast augmentation surgery usually completed within one to three hours. The duration varies according to the technique used, the placement of the implants, the patient’s anatomy, and the type of anesthesia used.