Plastic Surgery Q&A: I'm Considering Breast Augmentation. Where Do I Begin?

Who is a good candidate for breast augmentation?

Ideal candidates are women who are either thin, normal body weight or slightly overweight. You must also be over the age of 18, since hormonal changes in the teenage years can affect breast size. Most commonly, the procedure is performed to increase the size of breasts that are considered too small. It can also be done to correct a reduction in breast volume that occurs after pregnancy, to balance a difference in size between the two breasts, and as a reconstructive technique following breast surgery. Women with breasts that are very droopy (ptosis) are not good candidates for breast augmentation unless a breast lift (mastopexy) is also performed.

What kind of implants are there? How do I choose?

Today, there are many different types of breast implants that are FDA approved. There are three companies that sell breast implants in the U.S. These are Allergan, Mentor and Sientra. Only board-certified plastic surgeons have access to ALL the various types of implants. At the Kryger Institute of Plastic Surgery we use every type of implant, allowing us the flexibility to tailor each breast augmentation to the needs of the particular patient. All breast implants are made of a silicone shell. The shell can be filled with either silicone gel (Silicone/Gel implants) or a salt-water solution (Saline implants). Implants come in round shapes or anatomic (tear drop) shapes. They also come in various sizes and dimensions. There now a vast selection of implants to choose from. Your surgeon should walk you through the advantages and disadvantages of each type of implant with you. Some women are not good candidates for certain types of implants. This will be determined at your initial consultation with your surgeon. Learn more about implants from our breast implant FAQ.

Does insurance cover this?

Most insurance companies do not consider breast augmentation to be medically necessary, and therefore carriers generally do not cover the cost of this procedure. Make sure your surgeon discusses costs / fees with you at your initial consultation. One exception that will usually be covered by insurance is augmentation of one breast to match a reconstructed breast on the other side (e.g. after reconstruction after mastectomy).

How long until I can go home after surgery?

Breast augmentation can be done safely as an outpatient, and most patients will be able to go home the same day. Some patients may prefer to spend a night or two in the hospital if they have young children at home or live alone and do not have any help at home.

How much pain is there?

Pain from breast augmentation surgery is highly variable, and ranges from minimal to severe. It is worst in the first few days after surgery, but then it rapidly improves. It is impossible to predict a person's expected pain. If you have done well with surgery in the past, you will likely be fine after this surgery. Either way, by the end of the first week, most people's pain is controlled with over-the-counter Tylenol or Motrin.

For more info, visit Kryger Institute Of Plastic Surgery 


Gil & Zol Kryger are board-certified plastic surgeons, and founders of the Kryger Institute of Plastic Surgery in Thousand Oaks, California offering a full range of both cosmetic and reconstructive procedures.