What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation is surgery to enlarge the size of a patient’s breasts. The lay person may call breast augmentation a “boob job” or a “breast aug”.
What is used for Breast Augmentation?
Traditionally breast augmentation involved the placement of an implant. There are many different types of breast implants. Implants may use saline (salt water), silicone, or a combination of saline and silicone. Some implants are round, others have a shape resembling the breast tissue. The surfaces of the implant may be smooth or textured. Smooth implants are more likely to form a “capsule” or “pocket” and are able to move about in this “pocket”. Textured implants allow the implants to “stick” to surrounding tissue.
A patient’s fat may also be used for augmentation. The fat is “harvested” with liposuction from the abdomen, thighs or buttocks and then injected into the breast.
What is used for a specific patient will be up to the plastic surgeon and the patient and dependent on the patient’s personal history and desired outcome.
How is Breast Augmentation done?
Breast augmentation is a surgery that is performed using anesthesia. If an implant will be placed, it can be placed through a skin incision around the nipple, underneath the lower portion of the breast or in the armpit. Very rarely an incision around the navel or belly-button is used.
The implants are most commonly placed beneath the pectoral muscle (subpectoral), but may be placed above the pectoral muscle (subglandular). It is important that patients know the position of the implants for when breast imaging, such as mammograms, are perfomed.
Who gets Breast Augmentation?
Women who desire an improvement in the appearance of their breasts. While breast augmentation is usually considered cosmetic surgery, it may be performed on women whose breasts are different sizes or shapes due to how their bodies developed or whose breasts have been affected by breast cancer surgery.
Special Considerations of Breast Augmentation?
Implants may “leak,” “rupture” or become displaced. Patients may have problems with infection, scarring, pain or changes in nipple sensation or function. The appearance and “feel” of the implants may not meet the expectations of a patient. Implants may need to be replaced. Textured implants may possibly be linked to an unusual cause of lymphoma. Patients with implants need to be followed by their healthcare providers to monitor for implant and breast health problems.
More information on breast augmentation can be found at: