Answers About Breast Augmentation

One of the most common procedures performed in typical cosmetic surgery practices is a breast augmentation. Yet no matter how common the procedures may be inside the practices, there are many questions and concerns shared by the patients who are considering them. Although each case is unique and has individual factors affecting the answers, there are certainly some common questions frequently asked by the women interested in a breast augmentation performed by Panacea Plastic Surgery in Atlanta.

To help each patient understand a bit more of what to expect in pursuing a breast augmentation here, Dr. Kimberly Singh of Panacea Plastic Surgery took time from her schedule to directly address some of the most common questions.

Who makes a good candidate for a breast augmentation?

“Most women who want larger breasts are good candidates for augmentation (breast implants).”

Do I need a lift in addition to my augmentation?

“Sometimes women have large breasts that are ptotic (saggy) and think they need a breast implant because they feel like they have no upper breast fullness. Often times, these women may need a lift with an implant or even a lift alone if they already have the volume of tissue they desire. A good rule of thumb, is whether or not you like your breast size in a bra, when they are lifted – if the answer is yes, then it is likely you may just need a lift. However, if you like the lifted look in a bra but still feel like your breasts are too small, then you may need a lift and a augmentation (implant).

Should I choose saline or silicone?

“Both are great, and can give you the look you want. Silicone implants feel more natural to many women. Women under 22 cannot have silicone implants due to the FDA regulations and so are offered saline. Beyond the age stipulations, it’s really your choice.”

What kinds of incisions are used in a breast augmentation?

“There are lots of incision options- the most common are under the breast (inframammary incision), periareolar ( around part of the dark part that the nipple sits on), transaxillary (armpit), and transumbilical (through the belly button).

I use the inframammary incision almost exclusively because it allows me to really preserve the most important anatomic boundaries of the breast, not to mention it is associated with the lowest infection rates. It’s really well hidden and the scar typically heals beautifully.”

How big should I go with my implants?

“Every women is scared that their plastic surgeon will make them too big! In my practice, I have yet to have a women say after an augmentation that they wish they went smaller! I have, though, had women say they wish they went a little bigger. That’s not to say that you should go too big. Your plastic surgeon should take specific measurements of your breasts, chest, and ribs and look at your entire upper body to find an implant that is really tailored to you- one size does not fit all.”

How much does it usually cost? Will insurance cover it?


“Insurance does not pay for breast augmentation- it typically costs about 5000 dollars including surgeon fees, anesthesia, and implants.

Make sure your surgeon is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons! It really does matter and it means that your surgeon can not only do the procedure but has also been trained to provide you with the best preoperative planning and postoperative care. Sadly, many doctors today perform breast augmentation who are not plastic surgeons. Be a smart patient and ask questions!”

When can I go back to work after a breast augmentation?


“Most patients can return to work (assuming they don’t do a lot of heavy lifting) within a few days after surgery.”

Will my implants be placed over or under the muscle?


“It really depends on the patient. there is not one surgery that fits all. A lot of factors come into play such as how much soft tissue you have under your skin, your level of activity, how much ptosis(sagging) you have, etc. some patients are good candidates for a combination of under and over the muscle called a dual plane augmentation. your plastic surgeon should discuss their recommendations with you and why they think so.”

Are silicone breast implants safe?

“Yes they are and they are approved by the FDA.”

But what if they rupture? “This is very rare with the implants we use now. If they were to rupture, they would be replaced, often at no cost to the patients.”

And what if they leak? “Again, this is also very rare. The implants we use now are very cohesive and if you were to cut them in half with a knife, they would be in two solid pieces as opposed to being a slimy mess (like the implants used in the 60s and 70s).”

After my breast implants are in, can is still get mammograms?

“Yes!!! …and you’d better! I typically get mammograms on my patients before they get implants so down the road there will be a baseline exam to compare before and after her implants were placed. Whether your implants are located above or below the muscle they can be imaged with special displacement views that your radiologist will use. Do make sure you tell them when you schedule your appointment that you have implants.”

If you have further questions about breast augmentation, you may enter it in the comments below. Or feel free to contact us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Singh so you can make a more informed decision about your options.

Click the image above to see more before and after shots of breast augmentation performed by Panacea Plastic Surgery.