The top seven facts to know about breast augmentations

Published: October 1, 2018

Some answers to the most commonly asked questions are below:

1. The choice of breast implant type is not as simple as saline versus silicone. When considering the appropriate breast implant for a patient, our surgeons take many factors into account including shape (round or teardrop-shaped), texture (smooth or textured shell) profile and overall size. The appropriate size should be based on body proportions, posture and skin elasticity. Our surgeons discuss these options with each patient. In addition, we use the Vectra XT 3D camera so patients can see the different virtual implants shown on photos of their own bodies.


2. There are three incision options available for placement of a breast implant:

  • Inframammary uses an incision in the breast crease.
  • Periareolar uses an incision in the nipple area.
  • Transaxillary uses an incision in the under arm area. An endoscope is used to assist in creating the pocket for the implant.

Some patients may be a good candidate for only one or two of these breast surgery approaches – or all three. Our surgeons have extensive experience in all of the breast augmentation incisions.

3. When it comes to implant placement, there are two pocket options for the implant itself; under the pectoralis major muscle (submuscular, partial submuscular or biplanar) and under the breast gland itself (subglandular). There are advantages and disadvantages to both positions, and all three of our surgeons have a great deal of experience in both pocket placement options.

4. Sagging breasts cannot be fixed simply through a breast augmentation. Some patients believe that an augmentation will fix sagging breasts, but actually when you increase volume in the breasts it can exacerbate the appearance of sagging. A breast lift or mastopexy is the appropriate procedure to correct sagging breasts. A breast lift involves tightening tissues and removing any excess, as well as potentially repositioning the areolas and nipples to more suitable positions. When a patient wants to both lift and augment their breasts, a lift combined with a breast augmentation can be performed.

5. It is true that all breast implants will need to be replaced at some point. While today’s breast implants are long-lasting, they are still devices that are not designed to last for a lifetime. Almost all implants will last more than a decade before they require replacement. Most breast augmentation patients will outlive their implants and/or may choose to receive a breast lift in the future when their implants are replaced.

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6. Your final results are not what you see immediately after surgery. Many patients become distressed with the level of swelling they see in the days immediately following the surgery. This swelling can take weeks to resolve, along with the adjustment of breast implants to an appropriate position. Eventually the swelling does subside and the implants settle in.

7. All patients who smoke cigarettes must stop smoking for a minimum of two weeks prior to their augmentation procedure. Nicotine can constrict blood vessels and therefore poses a problem with blood circulation. The carbon monoxide created by cigarettes can affect the oxygen supply to the healing tissue. So as a result, even one single cigarette before surgery can create a risk to healing.

“I had wanted to get a breast augmentation for a long time and when I left my first appointment at Edina Plastic Surgery I literally cried from happiness and excitement. The ability to see my own body on the computer was very important to me.  Not only was I able to see what the implants would look like when placed under the muscle, I was able to see what it would look like on me vs. what it looks like on others. For patients looking for unsurpassed expertise and the highest level of technology, Edina Plastic Surgery is the only place to go. I am extremely happy with my results and would recommend them highly.”

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