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Breast Augmentation (Breast Implants)

This plastic surgery procedure involves the placement of either silicone or saline implants in the breasts. Women may choose to have breast augmentation for various reasons, including changing the shape of the breasts after pregnancy, enlarging the size of smaller breasts or gaining symmetry between breasts.

Who Is a Good Candidate?
A good candidate for breast augmentation is physically healthy, has realistic expectations and has breasts that are fully developed. Additionally, breast augmentation is suitable if your breasts vary in size or shape, or if one or both breasts failed to develop normally.

Breast augmentation does not correct severely drooping breasts. A breast lift may be more appropriate and can also be done in conjunction with breast augmentation.

What to Expect
Incisions vary based on the type of implant, the degree of enlargement desired, your anatomy and patient-surgeon preference. Incisions are made in inconspicuous areas to minimize visible scarring. Some incision options include:

  • Inframammary—under the breast
  • Transaxilliary—in the underarm
  • Periareolar—around the nipples

You should discuss incision options, as well as implant size and type (silicone or saline), with your surgeon.

After the incision is made, the breast implant is inserted into a pocket either directly behind the breast tissue, over the pectoral muscle (submammary/subglandular) or under the pectoral muscle (submuscular).

Incisions are closed with layered sutures in the breast tissue and with sutures, adhesive or surgical tape to close the skin. Over time, the incision lines will fade.

Recovery Information
You will be given specific instructions after cosmetic surgery, including:

  • How to care for your breasts following surgery
  • Medications to apply or take orally
  • Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health
  • When to follow up with your cosmetic surgeon

Although many factors are involved in recovery time, most patients have a recovery period of 24 to 48 hours and an additional few days of reduced activity. Soreness and swelling can last several weeks.

For more information about this cosmetic procedure, visit The American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Find a Doctor
To locate a board-certified cosmetic surgeon affiliated with Gwinnett Medical Center–Duluth, search the online physician database or call 678-312-5000.