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Breast Augmentation FAQ

Before you undergo breast augmentation at our Grand Rapids, MI practice, you will have several decisions to make about your implants and your surgical process. Our experienced and compassionate surgeons understand that there is a great deal of information to keep straight. In an effort to streamline the process, they have provided their answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this popular surgery.

Dr. Dennis Hammond, Dr. Andrea Van Pelt, and Dr. Melissa Kath understand that every case is unique and strive to give you exceptional personal care. If you have additional questions about breast augmentation, request a consultation online or call us at (616) 464-4420.

Breast Augmentation Before & After Photos

Breast augmentation before photo

Breast augmentation after photo

This patient got silicone breast implants and is shown here before and 3 years after her surgery. See more cases like this one in our before-and-after photo gallery of real breast augmentation patients.
*Keep in mind that each patient is unique and your results may vary.

Who is a good candidate for breast augmentation?

Breast augmentation is a good procedure for women who are unhappy with the size of their breasts. Strong candidates have breasts that are fully developed, are in good overall health, and are non-smokers. It is also important for patients to be in good emotional health, with a positive outlook and a goal of achieving personal fulfillment, rather than getting surgery to please someone else.

How much does breast augmentation cost?

At Partners in Plastic Surgery, we customize each surgery to our patients' exact specifications. Because each breast augmentation is different, it's tough to offer a general estimate over the internet. We use several different factors when estimating the cost of surgery, including the fees charged by our anesthesiologists and the cost of the breast implants you select. During your consultation, we offer you a written estimate that reflects the details of your surgery.

Should I choose saline or silicone implants?

This is a highly personal decision that should be based on your aesthetic goals and body characteristics. Dr. Hammond, Dr. Van Pelt, and Dr. Kath have a lot of experience using both kinds of breast implants for their Grand Rapids breast augmentation patients, and will guide you in your decision. Both materials have their advantages, and both can create beautiful results. For instance, saline implants usually require shorter incisions, while silicone implants tend to look and feel more natural. Your surgeon will help you come to a good choice based on your preferences.

Will I have visible scars?

As with any plastic surgery, scars are an inevitable part of the process, but our surgeons use specialized techniques with dissolving internal stitches that ensure the resulting scars are very fine and discreet. They primarily use 2 kinds of incisions: under the breasts in the body's natural crease or around the edge of the areolas. Our medical team will also provide you with aftercare instructions so that you can help your incisions heal quickly, fading over time until they are nearly invisible.

What is recovery like?

Recovery after breast augmentation usually takes about a week, with most patients feeling comfortable returning to work in that time. Swelling and bruising can last about 10 days. We encourage our patients to begin walking as soon after surgery as they can, because this light activity promotes healing. More strenuous exercise should be resumed slowly, and your surgeon will clear you for various activities over time. We will provide you with detailed instructions about medications to manage any discomfort and how to care for your incisions.

Will I be able to breastfeed after breast augmentation?

This is a very common question from our breast augmentation patients, many of whom plan to have children in the future. Most women are pleased to find out that breast implants rarely interfere with the ability to breastfeed. Our surgeons use techniques that avoid the milk ducts and nipple structures that are necessary for nursing. Be sure to talk to your surgeon about your desire to breastfeed during your consultation so these techniques are incorporated into your surgery.

How long do breast implants last?

While most breast implant manufacturers give their products a warranty of 10 years, many women never need to have their implants replaced. If there is a leak or rupture, your surgeon can replace one or both implants during a simple surgical procedure. While implant complications are rare, many women visit our surgeons to replace saline implants with silicone, or change the size of their implants.

Do breast implants affect mammograms?

Breast implants can affect a technician's ability to get views of your breast tissue during a standard mammogram, but a technician can take special views for a good evaluation. When you go in for a breast cancer screening, be sure to mention that you have implants so the staff can take these extra views.

Are there other procedures I should consider?

Many patients who are interested in breast augmentation would also benefit from a breast lift. Dr. Kath, Dr. Van Pelt, and Dr. Hammond perform both procedures together to give the patient fuller, more shapely breasts. Many women also choose body contouring procedures such as a tummy tuck in conjunction with breast augmentation as part of a comprehensive package called a "mommy makeover." Your surgeon can make recommendations about whether any other procedures would work well for you.

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