What is breast augmentation?

Breast augmentation, also known as augmentation mammoplasty, can be a cosmetic procedure or a reconstructive procedure in the case of breast reconstruction surgery. The procedure involves implants being inserted beneath the breasts to enlarge them. The implant type and size depends on factors such as how much bigger you want your breasts to be, your breast anatomy, skin thickness and elasticity, and body type.


The procedure


The location of the incisions and the implants will depend on your plastic surgeon’s recommendations, your anatomy and your preferences. The preferred locations of incision are; under the breast, between the tissue and the chest muscle or behind the chest muscle. Each position has its advantages and disadvantages. Your plastic surgeon can provide details and will recommend which position is likely to be best for you.

The plastic surgeon will create pockets into which the implants are inserted and will make adjustments to achieve as much breast symmetry as possible.

The incisions are closed with sutures (stiches) to allow blood and fluid to drain during the first few days of healing, your plastic surgeon may insert a drainage tube that is easily removed with little discomfort.


What will it do?


Breast implants can be used to:

  • Enlarge small breasts

  • Restore breast volume after weight reduction or pregnancy and breastfeeding

  • Even up asymmetric breasts

  • Reconstruct a breast after mastectomy or injury


The two main types of breast implant used in Australia are:


Saline implants – a silicone envelope filled with varying amounts of sterile salt water (saline). This can affect the shape, firmness and feel of the breast. If the implant shell leaks, a saline implant will collapse and the saline will be absorbed and naturally expelled by the body.


Silicone implants – a silicone envelope filled with an elastic gel that feels much like natural breast tissue. If the implant leaks, the gel may remain within the implant shell or it may escape into the scar capsule (area around the implant) or even into the breast tissue. A leaking implant filled with silicone gel may not collapse.

Implants are placed behind the breast, not within the breast tissue. Implants can be inserted either:


  • Between the breast tissue and the chest muscle, or

  • Behind the large chest muscle called the pectoralis major


Each position has its advantages and disadvantages. Your Specialist Plastic Surgeon can provide further details and will recommend which position is likely to be most suitable for you.

Is it right for me?


Breast augmentation is a highly individualised procedure and may not be suitable for everyone. Always talk to your Specialist Plastic Surgeon before making a decision. Your Specialist Plastic Surgeon will assess your condition and general health, and plan the treatment that is best suited to you.

Before you decide on breast augmentation with implants, there are some important issues to keep in mind:

  • Breast implants may affect your ability to breastfeed

  • Breast implants are not guaranteed to last a lifetime and future surgery may be required to replace one or both implants

  • Smokers are at increased risk of complications from any surgery. If you are serious about undergoing cosmetic surgery, you should try to quit smoking

  • If you are concerned about the way you look or are thinking about cosmetic treatments to boost your confidence, there are alternatives to cosmetic surgery. These may include other treatments, wearing padded bras or accepting yourself the way you are


Breast augmentation may be a good option for you 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 ageing

  • Your breasts vary in size or shape

  • One or both breasts failed to develop normally


Remember that the shape and size of your breasts before surgery will influence the surgical procedure and the outcome.


Expectations of surgery



Will I have scarring?


Scars are an inevitable part of any invasive surgery. Your Specialist Plastic Surgeon will endeavour to minimise scarring and to keep your scars as inconspicuous as possible by locating the incisions in easily hidden sites. That way, scars will be along natural skin lines and creases. Scars may fade with time and become barely noticeable. If you are prone to scarring, you should advise your surgeon.

Will I need revisional surgery?


Breast implants are not guaranteed to last a lifetime. Future surgery is often required to replace one or both implants. As with all surgical procedures, revisional surgery may also be necessary to correct any problems that may develop.

What are the costs of this procedure?


Cost is always a consideration in elective surgery. Prices for individual procedures can vary widely between Specialist Plastic Surgeons. Some factors that may influence the cost include the surgeon’s experience, the type of procedure used and the geographic location of the office.

Costs associated with the procedure may include:


  • Surgeon’s fee

  • Hospital or surgical facility costs

  • Anaesthesia fees

  • Prescriptions for medication

  • Post-surgery garments

  • Medical tests


We welcome any questions you may have regarding fees.

Breast augmentation procedure video

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