6 Common Questions About Breast Augmentation

A woman researches breast augmentation questions on her laptop.

Something I tell patients considering breast augmentation and breast implants at my Birmingham, Alabama, practice is not to be shy about asking questions. Frankly, I would rather my patients get their answers from me than a less authoritative source on the internet. And the truth is that even though there are some very helpful online forums such as RealSelf, the best answers always come from a surgeon who can examine patients personally.

However, some questions are asked so often by women researching breast implants that I believe it would help to answer them in a blog post. Besides questions about the procedure itself, its cost, and recovery, I’ll also answer some of the questions about breast implants that I hear from my patients.

Common Questions About Breast Augmentation

How do I know what size of breast implants to choose?

Choosing their breast implant size is exciting for patients, but it also can cause some anxiety because they worry about not getting the results they want. This is a highly personal choice that depends on several factors. It’s pretty common for a patient to say she wants to increase her bra cup size from A to a C or B to a D, for example. But bra sizes aren’t universal, and implants are sized by volume (cc).

Sometimes a patient has a friend or family member who has breast implants and says she would like the same size. But 350 cc implants, for example, won’t look the same on a patient with a different build, breast dimension, and amount of natural breast tissue. It’s my job to help guide patients to choose implants that will achieve the goals they describe during their consultations.

How long do breast implants last? 

You may have read that there is a “rule of thumb” that you should consider replacing implants about 10 years after your primary breast augmentation procedure. Breast implants, however, may last for many more years than 10, and there is no reason to undergo a second procedure if you’re happy with the appearance of your breasts. That being said, implants are not designed to last a lifetime, and most women undergo breast revision surgery at some point.

What’s the best age to get breast augmentation? 

As with virtually all elective cosmetic surgery, age is not an important factor when thinking about the ideal candidates for certain procedures. The only actual limitations are that the FDA has approved silicone breast implants for patients 18 and older and silicone implants for patients 22 and older.

What type of breast implant feels the most natural? 

The answer is in the “touch” of the beholder. Most patients and plastic surgeons, however, believe that cohesive silicone gel implants look and feel more like natural breasts than saline-filled implants. Think about how water balloons feel, and that’s a close approximation of the sensation you’ll get with saline implants.

How much does breast augmentation cost in Alabama? 

If you compare the cost of breast augmentation here to other areas of the nation, you’ll find that the average is lower than in most metropolitan cities. Still, the cost can vary even within a city or state based on the surgeon’s experience and qualifications, the type of implants used, and other factors. You may find the cost of breast augmentation in Birmingham is slightly more than in Tuscaloosa or Huntsville, but price shouldn’t be the determining factor in your choice of a plastic surgeon.

How should I choose a plastic surgeon for breast augmentation? 

If the cost shouldn’t be the main criteria for choosing a surgeon, what should be? Start with looking for a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Other plastic surgery boards exist, but ABPS-certified surgeons complete more years of training, and it’s the only board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.

In addition to board certification, look for a surgeon who is experienced in breast procedures, read patient reviews on reputable independent websites, and look at the results the surgeon creates by viewing their patients’ before-and-after photos.

I am an ABPS board-certified plastic surgeon with more than 20 years of breast enhancement and reconstruction surgery experience. Take a look at my patients’ comments about their experiences and browse through my patients’ breast augmentation before-and-after photos to get an idea of the type of results I create.

If you’re looking for an experienced breast augmentation specialist, you can contact my practice using the online form to request a consultation. Or call us at (205) 933-9308 to schedule an appointment.

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