Breast augmentation surgery can help you achieve your
perfect breast size and shape. Breast implants are either saline-filled or made
of silicone, and there are multiple incision and placement options to minimize
scarring and get your desired look.
Saline vs silicone implants
have a silicone outer shell and are either pre-filled with saline (salt water)
or are filled after placement. Saline implants are usually less expensive than
silicone implants, and are easier for your surgeon to place. The size of some
saline implants can be adjusted post-surgery through a special fill port to
help you achieve your ideal size.
are pre-filled with silicone, which is a gel that can have a more natural feel.
Silicone implants are more expensive than saline implants, and can be more
difficult to place if your incisions are in your armpit or areola. Silicone
implants are less likely to cause rippling in your skin compared to saline
How breast augmentation surgery is performed
Surgery can be done under intravenous sedation so you’re
awake during the procedure, or under general anesthesia so you’re asleep.
Your surgeon makes small incisions in either your armpits,
along the bottom creases of your breasts, or around the edge of your areola. Incisions
in your armpits or areolas can help hide scarring, but implant placement is
easier with crease incisions. It’s also possible to insert implants through an
incision in your bellybutton, but this more difficult and risky.
Your surgeon makes pockets in your breast tissue and/or chest
muscles to create space for the implants. Pockets under your breast tissue can
help shape your breasts, and pockets under your chest muscles can minimize the
risk of rippling in your skin. During surgery, your plastic surgeon may insert
and remove multiple implant options to ensure your desired size and shape.
After your implants are placed, the incisions inside your
breast tissue are closed with sutures, and the incisions in your skin are
closed up with adhesive or surgical tape.
Your breasts will be wrapped in gauze and you’ll be given a
sports bra or elastic band called a bandeau for support. Pain usually subsides
in one to five days, and you’ll be prescribed pain medication to help. You may
have soreness and swelling for a few weeks. You’ll have to avoid strenuous
activity until you are fully healed. Recovery can be psychologically difficult
as well because the temporary swelling and bruising can mask the final look of
your breasts. It’s important to discuss post-surgery expectations with your
Complications are rare for breast augmentation. Most risks
are the same as with any surgical procedure, which may include pain, adverse
reaction to anesthesia, infection, blood clots, bruising, or bleeding. Here are
other possible complications:
contracture occurs when the natural scar tissue around your implant grows
too thick and squeezes the implant.
is the appearance of ripples or wrinkles on the breast. Women with thinner
breast tissue are more likely to experience rippling. Saline implants have a
higher risk of causing rippling compared to silicone implants.
can occur at the incision sites. Most scarring will fade in time, or can be
camouflaged with medical tattooing. Incisions in your armpits or areolas can
help hide scars.
leaks or ruptures can cause health problems and require implant removal. Leaks
in saline implants are easily detected. It’s recommended that women with
silicone implants get MRI imaging done every three years to detect any issues.
accumulation (seroma) is a buildup of clear fluid in the implant area that
usually goes away on its own, but may require drainage in severe cases.
in breast or nipple feeling is rare, buy may be caused by large implants
that overstretch the nerves in your breasts and nipples.
Costs of breast augmentation
The cost of breast augmentation surgery varies depending on
many factors, including the cost of anesthesia, what type of implant you
choose, and any additional surgical or diagnostic fees. Many plastic surgeons
offer payment plans. Health insurance typically doesn’t cover breast
augmentation surgery, but related treatments after surgery may be covered. You
can speak with your plastic surgeon and health insurance provider for more
exact cost information.