Breast Augmentation is the surgical placement of breast implants to increase fullness and improve the symmetry of the breasts. Also known as Breast Enlargement, Breast Enhancement and Augmentation Mammaplasty, breast augmentation can increase the fullness and projection of your breasts and improve the balance of your figure, enhancing your self-image and self-confidence.
The skilled plastic surgeons at Hedden Plastic Surgery offer unmatched experience and expertise in helping our patients realize a fuller, more shapely and more proportionate figure with breast augmentation. Our renowned surgeons and compassionate cosmetic surgery staff in Birmingham, Alabama can help you achieve excellent results with FDA-approved saline or silicone gel breast implants.
and Dr. listen closely to each patient to understand what you are looking for to enhance your breasts and your self-image. They will also help you understand the types of breast implants and the sizes and other options that are available.
Dr. Dr. Hedden is a member of the prestigious Mentor LEAD Advisory Board, a select group of plastic surgeons chosen for their leadership and experience in breast augmentation and breast aesthetics.
Saline Breast Implants are FDA-approved for breast augmentation in women age 18 or older. Saline implants provide a uniform shape, firmness and feel. Should sterile salt water leak, saline implants will collapse and the saline will be absorbed and naturally expelled by the body.
Silicone Breast Implants are FDA-approved for breast augmentation in women age 22 or older. Silicone implants are filled with a silicone gel that feels a bit more like natural breast tissue. If the implant leaks, the gel may remain within the implant shell or escape into the breast implant pocket, but the implant will not collapse.
Gummy Bear Breast Implants are form-stable implants that maintain their shape even if the implant shell is broken. With a thicker consistency than traditional silicone gel implants, gummy bear implants are firmer and thought to be less likely to break. They are shaped rather than round, with more projection at the bottom. Implant rotation may lead to an unusual breast appearance.
Round Breast Implants have a tendency to make the breasts appear fuller than form-stable implants. Higher profile options can achieve even more projection. There is less concern about round breast implants rotating out of place.
Smooth Breast Implants are the softest-feeling. These implants can move with the breast implant pocket, which may give more natural movement. However, smooth implants may have some palpable or visible rippling.
Textured Breast Implants develop scar tissue that sticks to the implant, making them less likely to move around inside of the breast and get repositioned. Texturing offers some advantage in diminishing the risk of a tight scar capsule.
Breast implants may also be used for after mastectomy or injury.
Breast implants do not impair breast health. Careful reviews of scientific research by independent groups such as the Institute of Medicine have found no link between breast implants and autoimmune or other systemic diseases.
Whether you choose saline or silicone breast implants, it is important for you to monitor your breast implants and follow up with your plastic surgeon for appropriate checkups.
Breast implants are not designed to last a lifetime and your implants may need to be replaced. You should plan for an annual examination by your plastic surgeon to evaluate the health of your breasts and the integrity of your breast implants.
You may be a candidate for breast augmentation if:
If you want your breasts to look fuller and lifted due to sagging or severe drooping, a may be required in conjunction with breast augmentation. Breast lifting can often be done at the same time as your augmentation or may require a separate operation. Your plastic surgeon will assist you in making this decision.
The Rice Test is a way to begin to get a rough idea of how you might look with breast implants of various sizes prior to your consultation. With bags of rice worn inside a sports bra, you can quickly "try on" different sizes and become educated about fill volume measurements in cubic centimeters (cc's). Visit for full Rice Test instructions.
By choosing a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) for your breast augmentation procedure, you can be assured that you are choosing a highly-trained, board-certified plastic surgeon. ASPS Member Surgeons must meet rigorous standards for training, ethics, physician practice and research in plastic surgery.
Our Birmingham, Alabama plastic surgeons offer complimentary consultations for breast augmentation and other cosmetic surgery procedures. During your consultation, be prepared to discuss:
Your breast augmentation surgeon will also:
Be sure to ask questions at your consultation. It is very important to understand all aspects of your breast augmentation procedure. It's natural to feel some anxiety, whether preoperative stress or excitement about your anticipated new look. Don't be shy about discussing these feelings with your plastic surgeon.
The decision to have breast augmentation surgery is extremely personal. You will have to decide if the benefits of breast augmentation will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable.
The possible risks breast augmentation include:
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all of your questions directly with your plastic surgeon. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks and potential complications.
In preparing for breast augmentation surgery, you may be asked to:
Breast augmentation may be performed in an accredited outpatient or ambulatory surgical center or a hospital. If your breast enlargement is performed as an outpatient procedure, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and stay with you for at least the first night.
Anesthesia choices for breast augmentation surgery include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Incisions are made in inconspicuous areas to minimize visible scarring. You and your plastic surgeon will discuss the incision options that are appropriate for your desired outcome. Incision options include:
Incisions vary based on the type of breast implant, degree of enlargement desired, your particular anatomy and patient-surgeon preference.
The incision and the incision do not leave scars in the breast area. The transaxillary technique uses small incisions within the natural folds of the armpit. The transumbilical technique uses a small incision and at the upper rim of the belly button.
After the incision is made, a breast implant is inserted into a pocket either under the pectoral muscle (submuscular placement) or directly behind the breast tissue, over the pectoral muscle (submammary/subglandular placement).
The method for inserting and positioning breast implants depends on the type of implant, the degree of enlargement, your body type and your surgeon's recommendations.
Incisions are closed with layered sutures in the breast tissue and with sutures, skin adhesive or surgical tape to close the skin.
Fat transfer breast augmentation uses to take fat from other parts of the body and inject it into the breasts. This is an option for women who are looking for a relatively small increase in breast size and would prefer natural results. Your plastic surgeon may have you use a system during the weeks before your surgery to improve results. You may require touch-up injections to retain your improved shape. Certain risks are associated with this breast augmentation technique.
After surgery, you will be taken into a recovery area to be closely monitored. You may be permitted to go home after a few hours. Before leaving, you will be given specific instructions. Be sure to carefully follow all instructions, which may include the following:
Your breasts will be wrapped in gauze dressings. An elastic bandage or support bra will minimize swelling and support the breasts as they heal. You may be instructed to wear a support bra around the clock for the first week or two. It is important to cleanse the incision sites and apply ointment as directed.
After a post-surgical breast augmentation recovery period of 24 to 48 hours and an additional reduced-activity period of a few days, you will likely experience soreness and swelling for a few weeks. Exercise and normal activity can resume at the direction of your plastic surgeon.
To help prevent complications and promote natural results, use these starting 3 to 4 weeks after breast augmentation surgery
Breast augmentation results are immediately visible. Over time, post-surgical swelling will subside and incision lines will fade. Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you fully recover from surgery.
In order to achieve optimal breast augmentation results, it is important that you follow your surgeon's post-operative instructions and return for follow-up visits.
Women who choose silicone implants may need to visit their plastic surgeon regularly for an ultrasound or MRI screening to make sure the implants are functioning properly.
Pregnancy, weight loss, menopause aging and gravity may influence the appearance of augmented breasts over the course of your lifetime. If you become dissatisfied with the appearance of your breasts after a period of years, you may choose to undergo a or Breast Implant Exchange to restore a more youthful contour.
Procedure Information © American Society of Plastic Surgeons