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Am I a Good Candidate for Breast Augmentation? (video)

6 things to know about breast implants and breast enhancement

6 things to know about breast implants and breast enhancement

Salvatore Pacella, MD, a plastic surgeon at Scripps Clinic, discusses who the best candidates for cosmetic breast surgery are, how they can best achieve that natural look as well as advances that have made breast enhancement procedures safer and longer lasting.

Video transcript

1. How do you know if you're a good candidate for breast augmentation surgery?

One simple question, if you are unhappy with the appearance of your breasts, then you are a candidate most likely for breast surgery.


If your breasts are too small, there are many options for implants. Over the last several years, we have small implants; we have lower profile implants; we have implants in various different shapes and sizes to accommodate any woman's frame. They can look both projected and full, or very, very natural and subtle. So we have many, many options.

2. How can you achieve a natural appearing breast augmentation?

So, one of the best ways to look at achieving a natural appearing breast augmentation is to really spend the appropriate amount of time with your surgeon to get the appropriate size ahead of time. There are many, many different sizes and shapes of implants and it is almost mathematical as to choosing which implant is going to fit best with your particular body frame. 

3. What can you expect with recovery after breast surgery?

In general, recovery after breast augmentation is relatively easy. Most patients are on pain medications for a couple of days. Most are able to go back to work within about a week. Most are able to exercise or lift weights after about three to four weeks. And, you can fit into the special bra you have always wanted in about six weeks afterward.

4. How many breast implant replacements can you expect over your lifetime?

In general, a common teaching years ago was that implants had to be changed every 10 years. That's not necessarily the case anymore. There have been massive changes in implant technology. In general, if it's not affected or if it's not broken, we don't need to change it out.

5. How will your ability to breastfeed be affected after breast surgery?

So, usually the ability to breastfeed is not affected after a breast augmentation. The breast implant actually goes right behind the breast not on top of the breast. So, it doesn't affect the connection between the milk ducts and the breast itself.

6. How safe are modern breast implants?

Over the last 10 to 20 years, there have been huge advances in the type of silicone that's used for breast augmentation. We now use a more cohesive gel implant, that stays exactly in its position. So, no longer do we have issues with implant silicone leaking into the armpit or along the chest wall. It's exceptionally safe.

Watch more Ask the Expert videos now for quick answers to common medical questions.