Initially, you'll consult with a plastic surgeon about your preferences for size, feel and overall appearance of your breasts. The surgeon will describe specific types of implants — smooth or textured, round or shaped like a teardrop, saline or silicone — as well as options for surgical techniques.
Review any documentation carefully, and keep copies of all pertinent information for your records.
Before you decide to go ahead with surgery, consider some important factors about breast augmentation:
- Breast implants won't prevent your breasts from sagging. To correct sagging breasts, you might need a breast lift in addition to breast augmentation.
- Breast implants aren't guaranteed to last a lifetime. Implant rupture is a possibility. Also, your breasts will continue to age after augmentation — and factors such as weight gain or weight loss might further change the way your breasts look. Any of these issues might lead to additional surgery.
- Mammograms might be more complicated. If you have breast implants, in addition to routine mammograms, you'll require additional, specialized views.
- You might need routine MRI scans. The Food and Drug Administration recommends monitoring silicone breast implants with routine MRI scans every two years, starting three years after the initial implant surgery.
- Breast implants might hamper breast-feeding. Some women are able to successfully breast-feed after breast augmentation. For others, however, breast-feeding is a challenge.
- Insurance might not cover breast implants. Unless it's medically necessary — such as the need for implant reconstruction after a mastectomy — breast augmentation isn't covered by insurance. Be prepared to handle any expenses that accompany breast augmentation, including related surgeries or future imaging tests.
- You might need additional surgery after breast implant removal. If you decide to have your implants removed, you might need a breast lift or other corrective surgery to help your breasts maintain an aesthetically pleasing appearance.
If you decide to have the surgery, you may need a baseline mammogram ahead of time. Your doctor might adjust certain medications before the surgery as well. For example, it's important to avoid aspirin or other medications that can increase bleeding.
If you smoke, your surgeon will ask you to stop smoking for a certain period of time before the surgery.
Arrange for someone to drive you home after the surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night.
July 16, 2015
- Neligan PC, et al. Breast augmentation. In: Core Procedures in Plastic Surgery. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 18, 2015.
- Breast augmentation. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/breast-augmentation.html. Accessed May 18, 2015.
- Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/ImplantsandProsthetics/BreastImplants/ucm239995.htm. Accessed May 18, 2015.
- Breast implants: Local complications and adverse outcomes. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/ImplantsandProsthetics/ucm259296.htm. Accessed May 18, 2015.
- Breast implant surgery. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/ImplantsandProsthetics/BreastImplants/ucm064176.htm. Accessed May 18, 2015.
- Golden AK. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 22, 2015.
- Pruthi S (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 21, 2015.