Procedures / Surgical / Breast Procedures / Breast Augmentation
Enhance the size and shape of your breasts
For women who feel their breast size is too small or to enhance their body contour, a breast augmentation enhances the size and shape by inserting an implant behind each breast.
Sometimes referred to as a boob job, a breast augmentation or or augmentation mammoplasty can also be done to correct reduced breast volume following pregnancy, to balance out different sized breasts or as part of a breast reconstruction surgery.
If you're considering a breast augmentation, this outline will give you a basic understanding of the procedure when it can help, how it's performed, and what results you can expect. It can't answer all of your questions, since a lot depends on the individual patient and the surgeon. Dr. Walker is more than happy to clarify any misunderstandings, please contact her office with any questions or concerns you may have.
What happens during breast augmentation surgery?
Step 1 - Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during breast augmentation surgery.
Step 2 - The incision
Incisions are made in inconspicuous areas to minimize visible scarring and vary based on the type of implant, degree of enlargement desired, your particular anatomy, and patient-surgeon preference.
Step 3 - Implant choice: Silicone or saline?
Breast size and shape are important, so be honest and open about your expectations when talking with your surgeon. Implant type and size will be determined not just on your desired increase in size but more importantly on your breast anatomy, skin elasticity and body type.
Step 4 - Inserting and placing the breast implant
After the incision is made, a breast implant is inserted into a pocket either under the pectoral muscle (a submuscular placement) or directly behind the breast tissue, over the pectoral muscle (a submammary/ subglandular placement). The method for inserting and positioning implants depends on the type of implant, degree of enlargement desired, your body type, and your surgeon’s recommendations.
Step 5 - Closing the incisions
Incisions are closed with layered sutures in the breast tissue and with sutures, skin adhesive or surgical tape to close the skin. Over time the incision lines will fade.
Step 6 - See the results
The results of breast augmentation surgery are immediately visible. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade. Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover and realize the fulfillment of your goal for fuller breasts.
If you have more questions about breast augmentation, take a look at our resources and education section.
Good candidates for breast augmentation
Breast augmentation can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but it won't necessarily change your looks to match your ideal, or cause other people to treat you differently. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with your surgeon.
The best candidates for breast augmentation are women who are looking for improvement, not perfection, in the way they look. If you're physically healthy and realistic in your expectations, you may be a good candidate.
Watch a Breast Augmentation Overview from ASPS
Types of Implants
Breast implants are medical devices with a solid silicone, outer shell. The implant shell may be filled with either saline solution (sterile salt water) or elastic silicone gel. Both saline and silicone gel breast implants are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Approval means that an implant has been rigorously researched and tested, and reviewed by an independent panel of physicians for safety.
Adult women of any age can benefit greatly from the enhancement breast implants provide. It is usually recommended, however, that a woman’s breasts are fully developed prior to placement of breast implants.
- Saline implants are FDA approved for augmentation in women 18 years of age and older.
- Silicone implants are FDA approved for augmentation in women age 22 and older.
- Saline or silicone implants may be recommended at a younger age if used for reconstruction purposes.