Breast Augmentation FAQ

How will I be evaluated for breast augmentation surgery?

In order to make a decision or to see if you are a good candidate for breast surgery, our board certified plastic surgeons will perform a breast examination, review your family medical history as well as your personal medical and surgical history along with other factors with you. The surgeon may then take numerous measurements and review the tone and elasticity of your skin, the placement of your nipples and areolas, and the size and shape of your breasts. Your surgeon may also recommend a breast lift procedure if that would contribute to the results that you are looking for.

It is important for you to provide a complete medical history to us at your consultation. This may include any family history of breast cancer, previous mammogram results, breast biopsies, medical treatments received, drug allergies, supplement usage, and review any other medications your are taking.

According to current scientific evidence, getting a breast augmentation does not increase your chance of developing breast cancer. The only thing for patients to consider is the fact that the implants can sometimes make reading mammograms more difficult and may require further testing such as ultrasound or MRI if a problem is seen upon mammogram. This is especially important for women who have breast cancer in their family history. There are different procedures and placements of the breast implants that can allow for fewer interferences with a mammogram, but they would require extra consideration from both you and your surgeon.

If there is a possibility that you will wish to become pregnant, it is important to discuss this with your surgeon. Pregnancy can affect the long-term results of your augmentation in unpredictable ways as breast tissue increases and decreases as women produce breast milk during pregnancy. Also note that most manufacturers as required by law will tell you that your ability or inability to breast feed should also be considered.

What steps do I need to take to prepare for surgery?

In certain circumstances, you may need a mammogram to set up a baseline before your surgery based on age and family history.  By doing this and performing breast self-examinations as recommended, you and your surgeon will be able to detect any changes within your breasts.

If you smoke regularly, it is important that you cease before the date of your surgery. This is always recommended as nicotine constricts your blood vessels and can delay your healing process. There are also several medications that you should avoid before the surgery, such as aspirin and some anti-inflammatory drugs that may cause increased bleeding. Any additional preoperative instructions will be provided by your surgeon.

In all cases, it is imperative to arrange that someone drive you home and stay with you right after the surgery. We also recommend someone should also remain with you during the first night.

What should I expect on the day of my surgery?

You should expect your surgery to be performed within an accredited ambulatory facility, or a hospital.

For your safety and comfort, medications will be administered both orally prior to surgery and intravenously during your procedure. The most common method is by using intravenous sedation administered by our board certified anesthesiologists and for smaller type procedures local anesthesia is used. There are some instances in which general anesthesia would be better and is considered a safer less painful alternative. You will be taken to an area commonly referred to as post anesthesia care unit to recover after your surgery, where the anesthesiologists and ACLS registered nurses and staff at the facility will monitor you closely. During this time, your breasts will be covered with by a surgical bra, tape, or wrapped in gauze.

In most cases, the procedure lasts about an 1 to 1.5 hours and you will be allowed to return home after the surgeons and anesthesiologists give discharge orders when you are in stable condition. Some patients decide to stay longer and this would be if you and your surgeon had decided that you would stay within the surgical facility or the hospital for a night.

How will I feel and look in the beginning?

Honestly, you will feel a little shaky and groggy at first. You will and should be able to walk around your home the day of or day after your surgery. You may not remove any of your dressings or bandages unless advised otherwise by your surgeon.  You will return to our office within 3-5 days for your first post operative check up.

You should expect to find some swelling or discoloration in the beginning, but this should subside. Most of the swelling will be gone in a 4-6 weeks.

When can I go back to my normal routine?

Depending on your job, you may be able to go back to work within 4-7 days after your breast augmentation surgery. Our surgeons may recommend restricting any vigorous or strenuous activities, especially arm movements, for about two or three weeks.

What are the different types of implants?

Today, there are many options available for women 21 years or older who undergoes her first breast augmentation whether it be saline (salt water), silicone (gel) and in addition to that… the silicone implants are either cohesive or ultra cohesive. The implants will either be placed within a pocket that is located underneath the pectoral muscle, between the breast tissue and the chest wall, or right behind the breast tissue. Implant placement is discussed in great detail with you during your examination.


Where will the incisions be placed?

Only a small incision is needed with a saline-filled implant because it is filled with salt water only after the implant has been inserted. This incision tends to be smaller than an inch if placed in the infra mammary fold which is located just above the crease underneath the breast. This is a simple and inconspicuous place for the incision. Again, there are several alternatives for implant placement including an incision on the lower edge of the areola, and a third option is to insert the implant through an incision in the armpit.

What should I expect from my breast augmentation?

This procedure will enhance the shape of your breasts and make them fuller. You may feel a boost in your self-confidence as current cosmetic studies indicate, and you may also find it is easier to wear certain types of clothing.

How long will this last?

With the exception of an implant deflation, which would necessitate a surgical replacement and a different implant, your results will last for several years. Most implant manufacturers advise every 7-10 years and they provide a lifetime warranty on the implants. However, every woman’s breasts are naturally affected by gravity and age, and this will eventually alter their shape and size. If you feel unhappy with the appearance of your breasts after a period of years, you have the option to have a breast lift to restore their youthful shape.

What is a breast implant?

Sounding very medical like….it is an implant shell, otherwise known as a sac, that is made up of a rubbery material called silicone elastomer. This implant is then surgically inserted beneath the tissues in your chest.

What is a Saline-Filled Breast Implant?

This is an implant made up of a silicone shell that is then filled with a sterile saltwater solution. Our human body is made up of a liquid that is similar to saline.

What are the different types of breast implants?

There are a variety of surface textures, shapes, and sizes for breast implants. Implant shells can have a smooth surface or a textured surface. Different implant manufacturers whether it be Mentor, Allergan, or Sientra come in tear-drop or round shapes with different type profiles.

Should I expect any pain?

For several days following the operation, you will likely feel a little tired and sore. Your breasts will probably be sensitive to any physical touch for a few weeks or longer and may remain swollen and look a little odd shaped during that time. You may also feel tightness or heat in your breasts. This is normal since your skin is adjusting to your new breast size. Your surgeon may recommend that you wear a compression bandage, jog bra, or a postoperative bra in order to provide additional support while you are recovering. He or she may also suggest breast massage exercises and to avoid strenuous activities.

Following the breast implant surgery, you may experience pain of a varying range of intensity and duration. You may experience pain due to increase in size, surgical technique, placement, or capsular contracture, which may cause nerve entrapment or painful movement during muscle control. In any case of extreme pain, you should consult your surgeon.

If I have breast implants, can I still have a mammogram?

Yes. Both women with implants and without implants can go through a mammogram. There are several difficulties that come with scheduling routine mammography screens when you have breast implants, which tend to require more views, time, and even radiation. Even so, it is shown that the benefit in finding cancer outweighs the risk of supplement x-rays.

Breast implants can cause difficulties with interpreting images from a mammogram, requiring the use of accredited mammography centers and displacement techniques that allows a physician to accurately look over the breast tissue. In order to minimize any chance of a rupture and to get the best possible view of the breast tissue, women must inform the mammography technologists if they have implants or notify the imaging center when scheduling. Most accredited hospitals and x ray facilities are more than proficient to carry out mammography on patients including cone views for women that have breast implants.

Will I be able to breastfeed with breast implants?

Manufacturers will tell you that the ability to successfully breastfeed may be impeded by the presence of implants. Our surgeons believe that your ability or inability to breast feed is not dependent upon breast implants as they are placed under the muscle and your milk ducts are not hindered during your surgery.  It is important to discuss all concerns with your surgeon, since it is possible that certain incision sites may be responsible for the ability or inability to breastfeed.

At this point, it is not completely known as to whether some substance of the implant, such as silicone, is able to enter into the breast milk or what effect this might have on an infant. Also note that medical  a medical study that measures silicone levels did not find higher levels within breast milk from women with implants.

Are there any side effects to the sensitivity of my breast?

It is possible that the sensitivity of the breasts and/or nipple can either increase or decrease after breast surgery due to inflammation. These side effects can range from little to no feeling at all called hypo-sensitive to intense sensitivity or hyper-sensitivity after your initial surgery. This side effect can be temporary and rarely permanent.

Will I have these breast implants for the rest of my life?

Breast implants will not last forever. If your breast implants do not give you problems, there is no set time at which “old” implants need to be replaced. All implant manufacturers offer a lifetime product warranty that the implants are free of defect. It is also more than likely that you will have to visit with your surgeon several times after you have gone through your initial surgery, and there may be additional surgeries beyond that but that time varies in each patient. The reason for a second surgery at some point in time is either due to a leak or deflation to replace the implant, shifting, infection, capsular contracture (hardening or scar tissue) or in some cases a lifestyle change. A lifestyle change is someone choosing to go smaller or larger in size, wanting a different size or shape or removal altogether.