Breast Augmentation

Breast Augmentation

Breast AugmentationBreast enlargement, known as augmentation mammoplasty, can enhance the body contour of a woman who is unhappy with her breast size. This procedure may also be used to improve the loss of breast volume following pregnancy and nursing. Additionally, the operation may help balance breast asymmetries. Saline filled or the newly FDA approved silicone gel implants may be surgically implanted by three standard routes with placement either above or below the chest muscle. The standard routes are periareolar (around the areola), inframammary (lower breast folds), and transaxillary (arm pits). Also, saline implants may be placed transumbilically (via the navel). 

The implant is composed of an outer flexible, silicone shell, and filled with either saline or silicone gel. The outer surface may be smooth or textured. Implants also have various sizes, profiles and shapes to meet the individual needs of each woman.

While breast augmentation will enlarge the breasts, the surgery will not alter underlying basic defects in breast shape and form. Major asymmetries may be improved but will not be completely corrected with breast enlargement alone. A noticeable difference in the size, shape, or orientation of the two breasts is considered normal and is actually the rule. If breast size and/or nipple position asymmetries are severe, additional procedures to further improve symmetry may be necessary.

Long term experience with breast enhancement surgery has demonstrated that this operation has a high patient satisfaction rate.

Who is a Candidate for Breast Augmentation?

  • Women who want larger breasts
  • Women who want to enlarge their breast volume
  • Healthy women without connective tissue diseases
  • Healthy women without breast malignancy

Intended Results of Breast Augmentation

  • Larger and fuller breasts
  • Less asymmetry and size difference

Procedure Description for Breast Augmentation

  • Breast Augmentation is usually performed in an accredited outpatient surgical facility under general anesthesia or conscious sedation with local anesthesia.
  • Surgical scar(s) are hidden in the infra-mammary folds, peri-areolar border (the border between the areola and normal breast skin), arm pits or the belly button.
  • Saline or silicone implants may be placed either above or below the chest muscle.


Recuperation and Healing for Breast Augmentation

  • Discomfort is controlled with oral medications and long-acting local anesthesia.
  • A soft bra or compression garment is usually worn for several days postoperatively.
  • Patients are usually discharged to the care of a responsible adult and recover at home.  
  • All sutures are internal and do not need to be removed.
  • Light activity may be resumed in 7 days. Sports activities may be resumed in 2-4 weeks (depending on your surgeon).

Other Options for Breast Augmentation

  • Breast lift - if sagging is an issue.
  • Areolar reduction, nipple lift or repositioning


The specific risks and suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation with your cosmetic surgeon. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are unusual.


Reviewed by Victoria Karlinsky-Bellini, MD, FACS,