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Published on March 17, 2020

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What nobody tells you about breast augmentation

Curious about breast augmentation but overwhelmed by the 36 million results that pop up when you search for answers online? If so, keep calm and read on. We're tackling some of the most Googled questions to demystify the procedure, recovery and more.

What's the difference between a breast augmentation and a breast lift?

Allison Derrick, MDAllison Derrick, MD

Augmentation increases the size of the breast. A lift addresses the shape of the breast. In other words, if you're satisfied with the volume of your breasts but wish the girls were perkier, a breast lift may be the better choice. As board-certified plastic surgeon Allison Derrick, MD, explains, the procedures aren't always exclusive: "Not all patients are candidates for an augmentation alone. Depending on a patient's anatomy, they may be a better candidate for both a lift and an implant in order to achieve their goals."

Are saline or silicone implants better?

Each type of implant has a silicone shell, but saline implants are filled with saline while silicone implants are filled with, you guessed it, silicone. The FDA has approved both for use in augmentation, meaning saline and silicone implants have been determined to be safe. "Depending on your goals and presenting anatomy, there may be benefits of one type over another," Dr. Derrick says. "Typically, it comes down to your preference." The best way to choose? "My recommendation would be for you to seek consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to further discuss the nuances and examine the two types of implants in person so you can make the best decision," she says.

Can you breastfeed after a breast augmentation?

Yes, generally speaking. Specific incisional approaches and implant placements can be used to limit disruption of breast tissue and milk ducts. It's important to note though that even when care is taken to help ensure you'll be able to breastfeed in the future, it's not something that can be guaranteed 100%.

How long does a breast augmentation or breast lift take?

If you're getting a breast augmentation, you're generally in surgery for about 45 minutes to an hour. A breast lift can take twice as long.

What is recovery like after breast augmentation?

Recovery after a breast augmentation varies but most often involves taking less than a week off work, followed by six weeks of restricted activity. Think no heavy lifting or HIIT workouts—things that could disturb the chest wall. If you have a job that's physically demanding, you may require more time off work.

How can you learn more about breast augmentation?

All patients meet with a board-certified surgeon for about an hour consultation to discuss their goals, surgery and implant options, as well as come up with a plan tailored to their needs. If you're ready to learn more, you can set up your consultation today.

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