Are You a Good Candidate for Breast Augmentation?

Reviewed by Grant Stevens, MD, FACS

If you are not content with the size or shape of your natural breasts or have become dissatisfied with the toll that pregnancy, breastfeeding or weight loss has taken on them, breast augmentation can help.

Breast augmentation is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures, but is it right for you? How do you know if you are a good candidate for breast augmentation?

You've come to the right place. This article will help you decide whether breast augmentation is the correct choice for you.

Common Reasons for Breast Augmentation

Women seek breast surgery for a number of reasons, including:

  • Small breasts
  • Asymmetrical breasts
  • Drooping or sagging breasts after pregnancy and breastfeeding (this condition requires two procedures, breast lift and breast augmentation, both of which are often part of a mommy makeover)
  • Changes in breast size or shape due to massive weight loss, such as those that follow bariatric surgery
  • Reconstruction after surgery to treat breast cancer
  • Cosmetic improvements after breast reconstruction

Breast augmentation surgery can enhance the size and shape of your breasts, correct imbalances, improve firmness and restore a more youthful body contour.

Best Candidates for Breast Augmentation Surgery

The best candidates for breast enlargement are women who have a thorough understanding of the procedure, including its risks, benefits and costs. Realistic expectations about the outcome are also important. Breast augmentation can improve your figure, but it can't change any other aspect of your life or make a bad relationship better. Women should only consider undergoing breast augmentation for themselves and not at someone else's urging.

You should be in good physical health, exercise regularly and be of normal weight. Smoking cigarettes can affect the healing process, so if you do smoke, you should quit before breast augmentation.

The first step toward finding out if you are a candidate is a thorough consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has extensive experience performing breast augmentation. He or she will examine your breasts, your skin tone and the rest of your anatomy to help determine if you are an appropriate candidate. You also may have the option of viewing plastic surgery photos from past patients to better gauge expectations. Other factors, including breast augmentation cost and whether your lifestyle and commitments will allow you to take enough time off to recuperate properly, also play a role in determining your candidacy.

Start the process by locating a qualified plastic surgeon now.

About the Reviewer of This Article

Grant Stevens, MD, FACS, is the medical director of Marina Plastic Surgery Associates in Marina del Rey, CA. He is a board certified Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the International College of Surgeons. Dr. Stevens is the director of the USC Aesthetic Surgery Fellowship and Aesthetic Surgery Division. He is on the editorial board of Aesthetic Surgery Journal and is on the board of directors of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery . He is past chairman of the California Medical Association Advisory Panel on Plastic Surgery and has received the Special Congressional Certificate of Recognition and the Distinguished Service Citation from the Medical Board of California.