How is a breast augmentation done?

Tara Whitworth
This procedure is done under general anesthesia and generally lasts from 1-2 hours. The process involves making an incision in the crease under the breast (inframammary fold), in the areola (nipple), or in the armpit (transaxillary) and inserting the breast implant. The implant may be placed under the muscle (submuscular), or above the muscle (sub-glandular). The incision is then closed with sutures.

Breast implants come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and are saline filled or gel filled. Your physician will help you decide what size and type of breast implant works best for you.
Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery
Breast augmentation procedures should be performed under general anesthesia in an accredited ambulatory facility.  Board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeons perform breast augmentations daily. I personally perform many breast augmentations weekly. The majority of patients have either saline or silicone implants placed in the dual plane or the subpectoral pocket. In other words, the implants are placed at least two-thirds underneath the pectoralis major muscle with the lateral third of the implant often placed behind the glandular tissue. 

The approach to breast augmentation can include an incision made through the inferior areola under the nipple, the inframammary approach under the crease, or under the armpit known as transaxillary. Saline and silicone implants are now FDA approved. Patients must be 22 years of age in order to have silicone gel implants placed. Implants can be placed either subglandular or retromammary, above the muscle, or submuscular or behind the muscle. In general, we most often place the implants behind the muscle in order to reduce visibility, capsular contracture, and palpability of the bags. 

Once again, breast augmentation should be performed by board-certified plastic surgeons who have trained and have the experience and judgment to understand the anatomy of the chest wall.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.