Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation surgery involves using breast implants or fat, referred to as fat transfer breast augmentation, to increase the size of your breasts or restore breast volume that has been lost after weight reduction or pregnancy.

Breast augmentation is clinically referred to as augmentation mammaplasty.

Breast augmentation can:

  • Increase fullness and projection of your breasts
  • Improve the balance of your figure
  • Enhance your self-image and self-confidence

Breast implants may also be used for breast reconstruction after mastectomy or injury.

What breast augmentation surgery won’t do

Breast augmentation does not correct severely drooping breasts. If you want your breasts to look fuller and to be lifted due to sagging, a breast lift may be required in conjunction with breast augmentation.

Breast lifting can often be done at the same time as your augmentation or may require a separate operation. Your plastic surgeon will assist you in making this decision.

Breast augmentation cost

The average cost of breast augmentation surgery is $3,708, according to 2014 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

The average cost for removal of breast implants was $2,330 in 2014.

If you are a breast augmentation candidate, please remember that costs can vary. The average fees referenced above do not include anesthesia, operating room facilities or other related expenses.

A surgeon’s fee for breast augmentation surgery may vary based on his or her experience, the type and cost of breast implants used, as well as geographic office location.

Many plastic surgeons offer patient financing plans for breast augmentation surgery, so be sure to ask.

Breast augmentation cost may include:

  • Anesthesia fees
  • Hospital or surgical facility costs
  • Medical tests
  • Post-surgery garments
  • Prescriptions for medication
  • Surgeon’s fee

Your satisfication involves more than a fee. When choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area for breast augmentation surgery, remember that the surgeon’s experience with breast implants and your comfort with him or her are just as important as the final cost of the surgery.

Breast augmentation surgery and health insurance coverage

Most health insurance plans will not cover cosmetic breast augmentation costs, related complications or another surgery to revise the appearance of your breasts.

Some carriers even exclude breast diseases in patients who have breast implants.

You must carefully review your health insurance policy.

Breast augmentation candidates

Breast augmentation is a very personal procedure and you should do it for yourself, not for someone else.

You may be a candidate for breast augmentation surgery if:

  • You are physically healthy
  • You have realistic expectations
  • Your breasts are fully developed
  • You are bothered by the feeling that your breasts are too small
  • You are dissatisfied with your breasts losing shape and volume after pregnancy, weight loss, or with aging
  • You are unhappy with the upper part of your breast appearing “empty”
  • Your breasts are asymmetrical
  • One or both breasts failed to develop normally or have an elongated shape

Many patients find it helpful to review breast augmentation photos and learn about what to expect during recovery as they navigate the decision-making process to have surgery.

Breast augmentation recovery

During your breast augmentation recovery, you will be taken into a recovery area to be closely monitored following surgery.

Your breasts will be wrapped in gauze dressings and an elastic bandage or support bra will minimize swelling and support the breasts as they heal.

You may be permitted to go home after a few hours.

Before leaving, you will be given specific instructions that may include how to care for your breasts following surgery, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection, and when to follow-up with your plastic surgeon.

You may be instructed to wear a support bra around the clock for the first week or two. It will be important to cleanse the incision sites and apply ointment as directed. Be sure to follow all instructions carefully.

After a post-surgical breast augmentation recovery period of 24 to 48 hours and an additional reduced-activity period of a few days, you will likely experience soreness and swelling for a few weeks.

Exercise and normal activity can resume at the direction of your plastic surgeon.