Breast augmentation is one of the most common cosmetic procedures performed in the United States and is the cosmetic procedure performed most frequently by our office. It is performed to increase breast size and to enhance breast shape.

Breast augmentation is most frequently done as an outpatient procedure and usually takes about one and a half hours. Augmentation usually is performed with breast implants consisting of a silicone rubber shell and either gel silicone or saline inside the shell. Either implant is soft and designed to mimic the feel and appearance of breast tissue.

Breast augmentation may improve the fullness and projection of the breasts, improve the balance of the figure, and enhance self image and esteem.

Breast augmentation won't correct sagging or droopy breasts. To do this, a breast lift may be required. In some cases, where the amount of sagging is small, a "minilift" may be performed along with breast augmentation.

Breast augmentation is a very individualized procedure and should be done for oneself, not to fulfill anyone else's desires.

Good candidates for breast augmentation are healthy patients who have realistic expectations and whose breasts are fully developed, patients who are bothered by the fact that their breasts are too small or whose breasts have lost volume and form after pregnancy, patients whose breasts vary in shape or who have one or both breasts which have failed to develop normally.

Incisions are generally made in inconsipicious areas such as under the armpits, under the breasts, and around the nipple-areola.

Implant placement is usually either under the breast tissue (sub mammary) or underneath the pectoral muscle (sub muscular).

A discussion of implant size, placement, implant type, and incisions occurs at the end of the patient interview and examination. All of these factors are best decided by a discussion between the doctor and the patient where the patients desires and expectations are balanced by the individual patient factors found in the physical examination.

Complications including unfavorable scarring, bleeding, infection, poor healing, changed in nipple or breast sensation, implant leakage or rupture, wrinkling of the skin over the implant, anesthetic risks, fluid accumulation, blook clots, pain which may persist, deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications, implant displacement, hardened breasts, everything up to and including death can occur. Most frequently, however, patients are pleased with this operation.

*a portion of this information was paraphrased from a publication of the American Society for Plastic Surgeons.