Sunday, April 26, 2009

Breast Augmentation

What is a “boob job”?

Breast augmentation involves placing an implant behind the breast tissue to add volume to small breasts, or to replace volume lost from pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Implants come in variety of sizes/shapes, textures, profiles – the possibilities are endless!

Types of breast implants:

ALL breast implants are composed of a silicone shell.

The implant fill material is either:

  • Saline (sterile salt water)
  • Silicone gel (SAFE!)

There has been a lot of misinformation and negative hype attributed to silicone over the past two decades. For more information, see an upcoming blog entry on the safety of silicone and visit

Where is the implant placed relative to the breast?

A breast implant may be placed in the subglandular or submuscular position. See

the blog entry about subglandular versus submuscular placement for additional details.

What incisions are used?

Incisions for breast augmentation may be in the breast fold (inframammary), around the areola (peri-areolar), through the areola and around the nipple (trans-areolar), in the armpit (transaxillary), or rarely through the umbilicus (TUBA).

See the blog about breast implant placement for details about each method, advantages and disadvantages and outcomes.

What to expect after augmentation surgery:

  • Temporary swelling of the breasts
  • Mild pain (more with submuscular implants)
  • Drainage tubes (no showering while these are in place)
  • Avoid lifting more than 5 pounds for 2-3 weeks

Risks and potential complications of breast augmentation:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding or hematoma
  • Capsular Contracture
  • Asymmetry
  • Deflation / Rupture
  • Temporary change in sensation
  • May need future surgery to change implants if problems arise

Things to remember about breast augmentation:

  • Gravity and aging will eventually alter virtually EVERY breast
  • Some women choose to undergo a breast lift later in life to restore a more youthful contour
  • Implants do not affect mammograms or breast cancer risk

Be sure to visit a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon for a consultation or to learn more about breast augmentation.

Visit the Women’s Plastic Surgery website for even more information.