Breast augmentation is surgery to enlarge and uplift the breasts. It involves placing a synthetic implant filled with silicone gel or saline beneath the breast's tissue or muscle.
Surgeons place the implant into the breast using a small cut either:
If you're having a breast lift at the same time, your surgeon may need to make a longer incision.
To schedule a consult:
Breast implants might be right for you if:
Most women we see are between the ages of 18 and 60 who want their breasts to have a fuller appearance.
In certain rare cases, we can operate on younger women to treat breast asymmetry or developmental defects.
For silicone gel implants, women must be over the age of 22.
In most cases, breast augmentation is an aesthetic enhancement or cosmetic procedure.
There are many ways to perform breast augmentation surgery.
Each technique can vary by the site of incision, or where the surgeon inserts the breast implant.
Types of breast augmentation techniques include:
Your plastic surgeon will do a thorough exam of your breasts and take a detailed history.
This includes asking you about:
Your plastic surgeon will do a complete assessment of your breast health, including the most recent mammogram for women over 35.
To help get ready for your breast augmentation, your care team will talk to you about:
Breast augmentation is a major surgery, so you should think carefully about your expectations. Be sure to share your goals with your plastic surgeon.
In addition to the risks linked to anesthesia, complications can include:
Problems with the implant can include:
Overall, breast implants are safe and do not pose a health risk. But they don't last forever. You'll most likely need further surgery on your breasts in the future.
Not every person is a candidate for this procedure. Your risks may be greater or different than those of other patients.
Your plastic surgeon will review all potential risks and complications with you prior to surgery.
Prior to your consultation, you think carefully about your goals because surgeons often combine augmentation techniques.
You and your surgeon will discuss the breast augmentation procedure.
During your consult, you and your plastic surgeon will discuss:
Other common questions from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons include:
Surgeons perform most breast augmentations in a hospital as outpatient surgery.
Be sure to ask someone to drive you to and from the hospital.
Your surgeon will outline on your skin where they plan to make the incisions with a medical skin marker.
Your surgeon will also assess your overall health and any issues that could cause complications, such as:
Surgeons use either general anesthesia or local anesthesia with IV sedation.
Your doctor will use the type that's safest for you.
Right after surgery, most people have pain for 24 to 72 hours.
Some swelling in the breast tissue is common but tends to resolve within a month of surgery.
Most people can go out in public within two to four days post-op.
You'll need to perform an external breast massage to move the implant in its pocket and keep it in its softest state.
For four weeks after surgery, avoid vigorous physical activity such as:
Breast augmentation often produces a rejuvenated, more youthful, and fuller breast appearance.
It does not prevent aging effects of the breasts, so we suggest you have routine follow-ups with your plastic surgeon.
Health insurance rarely covers the cost of elective surgery.
Call 1-877-639-9688 to discuss payment options with UPMC experts.