Breast Augmentation

Surgical Procedure

Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure to change the size, shape, volume, or texture of a woman’s breast. Clinically referred to as augmentation mammoplasty, the procedure involves the plastic surgeon usually placing one of two types of FDA- approved implants under breast or chest muscle tissue. Implants come in a variety of sizes and shapes and are inserted by making an incision in the crease of the breast, the armpit, around the areola or, in some instances, in the navel. Breast reconstruction is a more complicated procedure performed on those who have undergone a mastectomy. A breast lift does not involve implants but can be done in conjunction with augmentation. Breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic surgery performed.

Breast Augmentation Stats:

  • Average surgeon-only fee of $3,708
  • The procedure usually takes 1-2 hours
  • Average recovery of about 4 days
  • 286,254 procedures in 2014

Implant Types:


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Breast Implants Decision Guide

Decisions, decisions, decisions. Saline or silicone? Over or under the pectoral muscle? Augmentation or lift – or both? Which incision? Which surgeon? Which anesthesia? What size? What texture? What profile? What payment plan?

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the number of choices that you need to make to get breast implants, you are not alone. In 2010, 296,000 women in the United States got breast implants (pretty evenly divided between silicone gel and saline) and another 93,000 had breast reconstruction surgery. Chances are your friends will have many different opinions about what is the best option for each aspect of the process; even plastic surgeons disagree.

At, we want to give women the opportunity to make informed decisions about their choices for breast reconstruction or augmentation by helping them to educate themselves about the risks and benefits of each aspect. We also want to assist them in weighing the pros and cons with unbiased, reliable information.

First and foremost, you need to decide what is important to you (with an emphasis on you). Your priorities may determine the best options for you. For example, if you have not yet had children and plan to, you might want to avoid an areolar incision and subglandular placement, which may interfere with breastfeeding. On the other hand, if you are considering breast enlargement as part of a “mommy makeover” following nursing and pregnancy, the periareolar incision may be the best option because it is required as part of the breast lift procedure (a common part of the “mommy makeover”). These are only two examples of why it is crucial that women be well-informed about breast implants in advance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What size is right for me?

Use our interactive visualization tools to make a confident choice and get the great look you deserve.

How much does breast augmentation cost?

Prices for breast augmentation vary widely - find out what breast augmentation costs in your area and explore your financing options.

How do I find a plastic surgeon?

Our surgeon finder is designed to help you locate your ideal plastic surgeon using the search criteria that is most important to you.

What should I ask my plastic surgeon?

Get the most out of your breast augmentation consultation and know what questions to ask by using our consultation resources.

What is the breast augmentation procedure like?

Prepare for your breast augmentation procedure by learning about how the surgery is performed.

Should I get silicone or saline breast implants?

There are two types of breast implants: saline breast implants and silicone breast implants. Determine which implant type is right for you.

Are breast implants safe?

Get the information you need about cohesive silicone breast implants before choosing what type of implants that are right for you.

What are Natrelle® Breast Iimplants?

Looking for breast implants that feel more like natural breast tissue and are safe and reliable? Find out why women love Natrelle®

What will my recovery from surgery be like?

Talk with your surgeon regarding what to expect after your surgery and when you can resume physical activity.