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Articles

Breast Augmentation: Augmentation Mammoplasty

Summit Plastic Surgery

Breast augmentation is the name of the surgical procedure performed in order to enhance or enlarge a woman's breasts with the use of breast implants. Saline-filled implants are used almost exclusively for breast augmentation.

Who Is An Ideal Candidate?

The best candidates for breast augmentation are women who desire to enhance their body contour and feel their breast size is too small. Breast augmentation may help a women to feel more self-confident about her body image. Breast augmentation can also correct slightly sagging breasts or breasts that have lost volume due to pregnancy. The goal of surgery usually is to create a natural fuller breast rather than one that appears "over augmented". Women that have a breast asymmetry, congenital abnormalities or have undergone a previous mastectomy may also be good candidates for breast augmentation.

The Consultation

Consultation for breast augmentation consists of a thorough discussion of the patient's desires and concerns. An examination and evaluation of the patient's breasts will be performed. The available surgical options, including a description of how the procedure is performed, will be reviewed. An idea of what results you can expect, including the limitations and risks of surgery, will also be discussed. The types and shapes of the available breast implants will also be discussed. Presently, most breast implants used for breast augmentation are saline-water filled. Patients must be aware of the potential risks associated with breast augmentation surgery. These risks will be reviewed with you at the time of your consultation.

The Procedure

Breast augmentation may be performed in our office operating suite or as an outpatient at the hospital. Either intravenous sedation or general anesthesia may be used. The location of the incision used depends on the patient's anatomy and desires. Every effort will be made to assure that the incision is placed so resulting scars will be as inconspicuous as possible. The most common incisions are usually located underneath the breast in the natural crease or under the arm. Through these incisions a pocket is created behind the breast, the implant is placed either behind or in front of the chest muscle, depending on the patient's anatomy and the type of implant selected. In most cases dissolvable sutures are used and drains are not felt to be necessary. Surgery usually take less than two hours.

The Recovery

Patients may be sore for a period of time after surgery. Bruising is usually minimal, however, swelling may last for several weeks. Most patients are able to return to work within one week after surgery. Patients may be required to wear a surgical bra and limit their activities for a few weeks following surgery.


For most women, the result of breast augmentation is extremely satisfying, even exhilarating, as they learn to appreciate their fuller appearance. Regular examination and routine mammograms for those in the appropriate age groups at prescribed intervals will help assure that any complications, if they occur, can be detected early and treated.


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