Augmentation mammoplasty with saline (or silicone gel) filled


Saline-filled breast implant devices have been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for use in breast augmentation and reconstruction. Augmentation mammaplasty is a surgical operation performed to enlarge the breasts for a number of reasons:

  • To enhance the body contour of a woman, who for personal reasons feels that her breast size is too small.
  • To correct a loss in breast volume after pregnancy.
  • To balance breast size, when there exists a significant difference between the size of the breasts.
  • To restore breast shape after partial or total loss of the breasts for various conditions.
  • To correct or improve results of existing breast implants for cosmetic or reconstructive reasons.

Breast implant surgery is contraindicated in women with untreated breast cancer or pre-malignant breast disorders, active infection anywhere in the body, or individuals who are currently pregnant or nursing. Individuals with a weakened immune system (currently receiving chemotherapy or drugs to suppress the immune system), conditions that interfere with blood clotting or wound healing, or have reduced blood supply to the breast tissue from prior surgery or radiation therapy treatments may be at greater risk for complications and poor surgical outcome.

According to the USFDA, a woman must be at least 18 years of age for cosmetic breast augmentation with saline-filled breast implants. There is no age restriction on breast reconstruction procedures to restore breast shape after cancer, trauma, or severe breast abnormalities. Breast enlargement is accomplished by inserting a breast implant either behind the breast tissue or partially or completely under the chest muscles.
Incisions are made to keep scars as inconspicuous as possible, usually under the breast, around the lower part of the areola, or in the armpit. When breast implants are inserted during the breast reconstruction process, tissue expanders are used to stretch healthy skin in order to provide coverage for a breast implant.
Breast implants are manufactured in a variety of shapes, sizes, and with either smooth or textured surfaces. The method of implant selection and size, along with surgical approach for inserting and positioning breast implants will depend on your preferences, your anatomy and your surgeon’s recommendation.
The shape and size of the breasts prior to surgery will influence both the recommended treatment and the final results. If the breasts are not the same size or shape before surgery, it is unlikely that they will be completely symmetrical afterward. Conditions that involve sagging of the breast or diminished skin tone (stretch marks) may require additional surgical procedures (breast lift) to reposition the nipple and areola upward and to remove loose skin.

Patients undergoing augmentation mammaplasty surgery must consider thefollowing:

  • Breast augmentation or reconstruction with saline (or silicone gel)-filled implants may not be a one time surgery.
  • Breast implants of any type are not considered lifetime devices. They cannot be expected to last forever. You will likely require future surgery for implant replacement or removal.
  • Changes that occur to the breasts following augmentation or reconstruction with implants are not reversible. There may be an unacceptable appearance to the breast if you later choose to have breast implants removed.
  • Large volume primary augmentation or revision with larger sized implants (>350cc) may increase the risk of complications such as implant extrusion, hematoma, infection, palpable implant folds, and visible skin wrinkling requiring surgical intervention to correct these complications.