Breast Augmentation


Women may consider breast augmentation surgery for reasons ranging from a discontent with their current breast size to reconstruction after breast cancer. Breast augmentation surgery is commonly performed to increase breast size. This surgery can help to restore your confidence and shape. You may want to provide symmetry to uneven breasts, restore volume after breastfeeding, or reach the desired cup size. Breast augmentation surgery can help you do just that.


Breast augmentation surgery will help enhance the breast size and volume of your breasts by using breast implants to craft your desired outcome. Your surgeon will opt for a goal that gives symmetry to the breast and increased volume while also taking into account the natural proportion of the body. The surgery is performed using breast implants (either silicone or saline) that are placed under the breast tissue or chest muscles. The formal name for the procedure is augmentation mammoplasty.

Results of breast augmentation surgery usually mean the breast size will be larger, fuller and more symmetrical.


You’ll want to consider breast augmentation surgery if you’re unhappy with your current breast size, shape, or if your breasts are uneven. You might be recovering from a mastectomy due to breast cancer, need to restore lost fat from pregnancy and breastfeeding, or just be unhappy with the size of your breasts. These are all reasons to consider breast augmentation surgery.

Because your breasts can continue to grow throughout your 20s, you must be 18 or older to receive saline implants and older than 22 to receive silicone implants. Anyone who wants to feel more confident, have better breast projection and have a fuller, more rounded breast shape is a great candidate for breast augmentation surgery.

Overall, candidates for breast augmentation will have breasts of a smaller size, have uneven breasts or have breasts that have become unstructured after pregnancy or breastfeeding.


If you’re concerned about sagging breasts in addition to size issues, combining a breast lift with breast implants can create beautiful results. Implants add volume but won’t lift the breasts. This is something you’ll want to discuss during your consultation. If you’re happy with the size of your breasts, a breast lift alone can create a perkier breast shape.


There are choices available for your breast augmentation surgery. You’ll need to consider the type of implants that are available and how they work with your body and the result you wish to see after surgery. Your surgeon will go over the right options for you. First, breast measurements will be taken to understand the size your breasts will be able to reach and how they will work with your body type. Your surgeon will also explain the importance of knowing how far the breasts will project out from the chest and which implants can give you a great chance at that look.


Your surgeon will explain the difference between saline and silicone implants and what that means for your outcome. Generally, silicone implants provide a more natural look while saline implants give a bolderrounder look. All implants are made with an outer layer of silicone. Either option can help inspire confidence in your body shape. There is also a difference in the way they feel and the cost of the implant.


You’ll also want to consider where the implant will be inserted. Implants can be inserted through an incision on the underneath part of the breast at the crease. This is called an inframammary technique. They may also be inserted through an incision in the inferior portion of the areola. The implant can be placed either above (subglandular) or below (submuscular) the pectoralis major muscle.

A majority of the breast implants are placed beneath the muscle leaving the implant less visible and less prone to imperfections


To get the correct look, the silicone layer of the implant is filled with a silicone gel that gives a natural feel and texture while still remaining extremely durable. Implants filled with saline are adjustable to the size and style that you want but they have a more rounded and less natural appearance. Other types of shapes available for your implant are as follows:

Round Implants: A great option for sagging breasts, the round implant will give larger projection and are the most common type of implants selected. There are several different types of round implants that can work for your body type.

Smooth Implants: These implants are soft and moveable. They give the appearance of moving as you move, leading to a more natural feel and look.

Silicone Gel (Gummy Bear) Implants: Also known as gummy bear breast implants, these have a highly cohesive gel that makes up the implant. These implants hold their shape even if they have no outer silicone shell. They are a firm and durable choice for your breast surgery. 


Before choosing who will do your surgery, make sure to find a fully-trained surgeon that is well-versed in breast augmentation surgery. You’ll want a caring and competent team to help you get the right results. This will help make sure you get your desired outcome and reduce unwanted errors. Your plastic surgeon will meet with you in person before doing your surgery.

During this meeting, your surgeon will listen to your wishes and examine your breasts to see if your desired result can be achieved. Your team will take measurements of your body shape and current breast positioning. You’ll also see pictures of different types of procedures and outcomes. If you will benefit from surgery, your doctor will walk you through the expected results you can expect to achieve from surgery. You’ll also walk through the procedure, learn what to expect from surgery, choose the right implants for your breasts, and be given the chance to ask any necessary questions that you may have.

Make sure to bring a list of important questions and information that you want to ask your surgeon so that you don’t forget to ask them while considering all your options. 


Once you’re considered a candidate for breast augmentation surgery, you’ll be given instructions to follow before the day of your surgery. Make sure to follow these instructions closely as not to hold up or delay your surgery time or day. You’ll most likely have your breast augmentation surgery in an outpatient surgery center and will be able to go home the same day.

During your procedure, you can expect to be given general anesthesia that will prevent you from feeling any pain. Your surgery will be performed and you’ll be monitored until you wake up from anesthesia and are able to go home. You will have to have someone drive you home from surgery and present for your recovery at home for at least the first 24 to 48 hours.


Breast augmentation patients often combine body contouring procedures with augmentation. Women who have had children, for example, may get a tummy tuck and liposuction at the same time as breast augmentation. This combination surgery is typically called a mommy makeover. Combining procedures is safe when the surgery is performed by a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon. You can discuss your options during the consultation.


Once your healing begins, you’ll be excited to see the first signs of your new breasts. At first, you may think your breasts are higher than expected, but it will take 3 months for your breasts to settle into their stable location. Do not wear an underwire bra during this time. You’ll want to make sure to follow up with your doctor to make sure your healing is on track and that everything looks great with your results.

You’ll want to continue to have follow-up appointments at least every 3 years to ensure your implants are holding up well and that you don’t have any other symptoms or complications.


After your procedure, you’ll be given instructions for your recovery, which might include pain management, healing, and looking for the following side effects:

  • Excessive bleeding and bruising
  • Redness or excessive pain
  • Leaking of fluid or pus from the incision site that may signal an infection
  • Scar tissue
  • Movement of the implant
  • Fever

Other symptoms will be discussed with you before and after your surgery.

You can expect a good recovery after breast augmentation surgery, but you’ll want to craft some time to heal and give yourself a period of rest. After breast augmentation surgery, it may take at least a week before you’re able to resume any normal activities. You may want to schedule any time off of work ahead of your surgery because it may take up to two weeks to recover.

During your recovery, you’ll want to keep your breasts wrapped with a bandage and supported with a special bra while you heal and avoid underwire bras for up to 6 weeks after surgery. If you have stitches, your doctor will remove them and check on your healing. Your doctor will give you exact instructions for rest and recovery time, as well as the proper instructions for taking care of your breasts after surgery. You’ll most likely be able to shower 48 hours after surgery but will need someone present with you during that initial recovery time.


What’s the difference between breast augmentation and breast implants?

Breast augmentation is the name of the procedure that enhances the size of a woman’s breasts using breast implants. Implants are silicone shells that can be filled with either cohesive silicone gel or saline.

Can you get breast augmentation without implants?

Some surgeons perform breast augmentation with a technique called fat transfer, which uses the patient’s own fat to enhance the breasts. Because not all of the transferred fat survives the process, the results are not predictable. Dr. Earle does not perform fat transfer breast augmentation because of its limited effects and its inability to reshape the breasts the way breast implants can. Creams or other products you might see advertised do not augment the size of the breasts.

Can you breastfeed with implants?

Breast augmentation shouldn’t interfere with your ability to breastfeed an infant. If you’re planning to breastfeed, you should avoid getting incisions on the lower edge of the areolae because there is a slight risk of disrupting the breasts’ milk ducts.

Is breast enhancement surgery safe?

Breast augmentation surgery has an excellent track record for safety. Any surgical procedure involves some risks, but they are significantly reduced when your procedure is performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Earle.

Will I need to replace my breast implants eventually?

Even though breast implants are durable, they are not designed to last forever. Most breast augmentation patients either replace or remove their implants at some point. Implants can last 15 to 20 years, in general, and there is no need to replace them if you’re happy with the way they look and don’t have any complications.

What if I decide I want to remove my implants?

Women choose to remove their implants for various reasons. They may be at a different point in their lives and want smaller breasts, or they may find that implants limit an active lifestyle. Implant removal surgery, sometimes called explant surgery, is always an option. Because the implants may stretch the skin, you may need to have a breast lift when the implants are removed.

Is breast augmentation painful?

A general anesthetic is used during breast augmentation surgery to ensure patients remain comfortable during the procedure. Prescription pain medication or over-the-counter pain relievers can manage any discomfort patients experience during the recovery process.



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