Breast Enlargement

breast augmentation

Breast enlargement today is a common plastic surgery procedure. You may seek breast enlargement for a variety of reasons, such as enhancing your self confidence, improving your appearance after child bearing and aging or modifying your body's natural contour.

You should know that sagging breasts will require a breast lift, which can be performed in conjunction with breast enlargement surgery if necessary to achieve your goals.

Factors to Consider

  • The shape and projection of the treated area: The patient's nipple projection can alter the final appearance of a breast augmentation.
  • Distance between bodily areas: Every patient has a different distance between the breasts, which can alter the result from one to another. The location of the chest wall, rib cage, and circumference of the patient may also impact the final appearance of the breast enlargement.
  • Proportion: The volume of the patient's rib cage can affect appearance of breast enlargement.
  • Stretch marks, laxity, tone, mature breast age: All of these factors may impact the appearance after breast enlargement.
  • Asymmetry: Most women are uneven. One side might need one size and other breast may need a different size. Two to three teaspoons in volume can make a difference, and when you change the implant size, the width may also be different.
  • Reoperations: Many reoperations after breast enlargement occur because patients wish to be larger than the results of the first procedure.

Consult a Qualified Plastic Surgeon

Talk to a qualified doctor about your goals and the breast enlargement options available. Using a qualified doctor will increase your odds of success, reduce the risk of complications, and help ensure that you receive the most appropriate treatment for your breast enlargement goals.

It's important to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon from the American Board of Plastic Surgery with extensive experience in all of the breast-related procedures. Board certification may not always guarantee the best results; however, board certification does require specific and rigorous surgical education and training, which can help you achieve a safe outcome that meets your expectations.

The type of certification is also important. There are more than 150 self-designated boards, but only a handful that are designated by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), such as the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Here are some tips to consider when consulting a breast enlargement plastic surgeon:

  • Review credentials, education, training, type of certification held, and number of times the procedure has been performed in the practice.
  • View before-and-after photos of patients who received different types of breast enlargement plastic surgery.
  • Bring a photo that shows the appearance you are looking for. This will help the surgeon understand your expectations.
  • Ask about the types of breast implants to choose from (for example saline versus silicone), as well as options for placement and incision.
  • Request a list of pre- and postoperative instructions. Following these instructions can reduce the risk of complications. The list may include:
    1) no eating or drinking after midnight, the night before surgery
    2) a prescribed antibiotic for both before and after the procedure
    3) stopping certain medications
    4) finding someone to drive you home after the procedure
  • Ask about complications and possible side effects of the procedure.
  • The recovery period and your activities after surgery should be explained to you as well.

During your consultation, the doctor will complete a medical evaluation. The doctor will also provide a list of instructions to follow before the procedure. Instructions might include no eating or drinking after midnight, an antibiotic for both before and after the procedure, stopping the use of certain medications, and having someone drive you home after the procedure.

Complications and Risks

As with any surgery, there is a risk of complications related to infection or reaction to anesthesia. You can avoid most complications by selecting the right plastic surgeon and by following pre- and postoperative instructions. With proper precautions by the surgical team, complications are typically minimized or prevented. For more information about risks, read more about breast surgery complications.