Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure to enlarge or change the shape of a women’s breast. It is one of the most common procedures and typically achieves positive results.
There are many reasons a woman may benefit from breast augmentation. Some mothers may be looking to regain their original size after pregnancy or breastfeeding. Some survivors of breast cancer may consider this as part of their breast reconstruction. Many others are hoping to increase their breast size for a number of physical, psychological or emotional reasons. The University of Michigan surgical team helps women navigate their options and make decisions that are right for them.
How are breast augmentations performed?
At the University of Michigan Health System, breast augmentation is most often performed as out-patient procedures using general anesthetic. The procedure takes between one to two hours, depending on the placement of incision. There are four different procedures that may be used during breast augmentation to place an implant, and implants can have a few different qualities. Read more about your augmentation options, including implant qualities, procedure type and surgeon recommendations.
Is a breast augmentation right for me?
If you are looking to increase the size of one or both of your breasts, this procedure may help you. Breast augmentation can correct the size difference between breasts. It can also help reverse size changes of the breast caused by breastfeeding or pregnancy. Women who would like to make their breasts larger for personal or psychological reasons are candidates for breast augmentation.
It is important that any candidate for breast augmentation surgery be in good health, with no active diseases or serious, pre-existing medical conditions. Because of interference with normal wound healing and other potential complications, the University of Michigan Health System does not currently take candidates for breast augmentations who smoke. When preparing for your surgery, your care team will provide guidelines for eating, drinking and smoking as you approach your surgery date. Because certain biopsies for breast cancer may cause a deflation of a breast implant, women who have a high risk or family history of breast cancer and breast cysts may not be a good candidate for augmentation.
At the University of Michigan Health System, we know every patient is unique and that setting expectations leads to a better outcome. Our surgeons work with patients to identify your goals for breast augmentation during consultation. Your care team at U-M encourages you to ask questions while you are selecting a surgeon or procedure. You may benefit from preparing a list of questions before your consultation, including questions about surgeon qualifications and experience, standard practices in the case of an emergency, payment, and insurance. Some frequently asked questions about breast augmentation are available for your review.
During your consultation, you should expect to answer questions about your motivation for breast augmentation including physical and emotional reasons. Your surgeon will explain the augmentation procedure and will answer any of your questions or address your concerns. Together, you will set reasonable expectations for post-operation breast size and potential scarring. You should also plan on providing your surgeon a complete medical history. The surgeon will perform a physical examination of your breast size and shape. To support your confidential medical records, measurements and a photograph will be taken of your breasts before surgery. Expect to discuss any possible risks and possible complications that can come from surgery. Finally, because of the risks associate with breast biopsies after implants are in place, women over the age of 40 should expect to have a precautious mammogram before surgery.
Your surgeons and care team
The plastic surgeons and care team members who perform breast augmentation and help patients recover from the procedure are experts in their field. All of our surgeons are board-certified in plastic surgery and have years of experience in breast reconstruction surgeries. Many of our surgeons are also active in research around breast reconstruction to help make sure that women are happy with the outcomes of their surgery. Learn more about the team through the profiles below.