Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation surgery can give a woman the larger and more beautiful breasts that she has always wanted. This type of surgery is the most popular cosmetic surgery for women in the U.S. today. Thanks to today's sophisticated surgical techniques, women can achieve the change they want more safely and effectively than ever.

Who is a Good Candidate for Breast Augmentation?

Candidates for breast augmentation are women who are overall healthy adults with no major medical issues. Women who have breast augmentation should be at a stable healthy weight. The best candidates for breast augmentation are women who are unhappy with their breast size and want to have larger breasts.

Benefits of Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation can have a number of benefits, including improved self confidence. Many women feel more confident facing the world proudly after breast augmentation. Clothes often fit better and look better because the patient can finally fill out shirts, swimsuits, and dresses the way they've always wanted to.

Breast Augmentation Techniques

There are many different breast augmentation techniques today. Dr. Rau will consider the patient's unique anatomy along with their desired outcome to determine which incision type, implant shape, implant placement, and implant type is right for them.

Incision Options

There are 4 different options in breast implant incisions. They include:

  • Inframammary: This is the most common type of breast augmentation incision. The incisions are created below the breasts, allowing the implants to be inserted and moved into the proper position.
  • Peri-Areolar: The peri-areolar incision type is made around the areola in a circle pattern. This kind of incision is designed to conceal scarring within the areola, but it does increase risk of numbing in that area.
  • Transaxillary: Transaxillary incisions are rarely used today, and are generally deemed a suboptimal approach for most people. These incisions are made in the armpits and the implants are then moved into place on the chest cavity.
  • Transumbilical: As with transaxillary incisions, transumbilical incisions (navel incisions) are rarely used. In this incision, breast implants are placed in a small tunnel starting at the navel and then moved up into the chest.

Implant Shapes, Style, Texture, Sizing

The implant shape depends on what type of look the patient wants. Round breast implants continue to be the most popular and teardrop shaped implants are a newer implant most-useful for breast cancer reconstruction patients who lack any sort of breast shape.

Both smooth and textured implants are available today. Smooth implants are less likely to wrinkle, but they don't adhere to the chest tissues as well as textured implants do and thus may be more likely to shift. Textured implants are able to gain and keep traction on the chest, making them unlikely to shift. However, textured implants may be more prone to wrinkling.

Implant sizing is a highly individual thing, and Dr. Rau will help each patient determine what size is best for their body. The goal is to help patients achieve an attractive look that is still proportionate and natural looking.

Implant Types: Saline vs Silicone

Saline implants are filled with saline solution, very much like what is found in the body naturally. Saline implants are firmer than silicone ones. These implants can be filled to the proper volume during the breast augmentation. Saline implants are FDA approved for use in breast augmentation.

Silicone implants are made of a cohesive gel, and many women believe that they are more natural looking and feeling than saline implants. The volume of these implants can't be changed during surgery, so the right size must be carefully chosen ahead of time. Like saline implants, silicone implants are FDA approved for use in breast augmentation.

Implant Placement

The placement of the implants is very much dependent on the individual and their desired look. Most women desire a natural look, which usually means that medium profile implants are placed partially underneath the pectoralis muscle. The muscle holds the implants in place prevents them from being too high on the chest cavity. Some patients may prefer a more dramatic and less natural look, which may involve high profile implants placed atop the pectoralis muscle.

Preparing for Breast Augmentation

Patients will typically need to have blood tests done ahead of the breast augmentation. Certain medications may need to be discontinued, including both prescription and non-prescription drugs. Even some supplements, especially herbal supplements, may need to be discontinued before surgery as they increase bleeding. Patients will also be given specific instructions to prepare for anesthesia.

The Procedure

Breast augmentation surgery generally lasts from 1 to 2 hours, although it may take more time if additional surgeries are being done at the same time. Patients are placed under general anesthesia or IV sedation for the procedure. Once the sutures are placed, the breasts are wrapped in dressings and a compression garment. The patient will then rest in a recovery area until they are awake and ready to return home.


After returning home, patients need to limit strenuous activity but are encouraged to walk around, as this improves circulation and helps with healing. Patients will continue to wear the compression garment during recovery. Pain can be managed with prescription medication or non-prescription pain relievers. Most patients are able to return to non-strenuous work within a week. Normal exercise routines can typically be resumed within 4 to 6 weeks.

Results to Expect

Good results are closely tied to realistic expectations. Dr. Rau and his team will work with patients before the surgery to help them understand what the surgery results will look like.  

At Rau Plastic Surgery, a patient can experience state-of-the-art imaging with VECTRA 3D software. This system allows a patient to visualize what they will look like after surgery with a particular implant.

The results can be seen as soon as the dressings are removed, but swelling will initially make the breasts appear larger than their true size. Swelling may not completely dissipate until several months after the surgery. Patients should wait until swelling has completely gone down to purchase new bras to ensure proper fit.

Other Procedures to Consider

In some cases, other procedures are needed to get the desired result. If breast position is too low, a breast lift can be performed along with the augmentation. If breast size is too large and a new shape is desired, a breast reduction can be performed before implants are placed.

Ready to Learn More About Breast Augmentation?

Dr. Jeffrey Rau and the team at Rau Plastic Surgery are experienced in breast augmentations and are happy to meet new patients. This popular staple procedure in the plastic surgery field, is quite complex and deserves the individualized attention of a focused artistic surgeon. Call anytime to arrange a consultation appointment.