Breast Augmentation FAQs

General FAQs
  • Q1 :

    Am I too old or too young?

  • Although there is no set age, it is best to wait until your breasts have finished developing. You can better determine this with your OBGYN if you are a longstanding patient of his or hers. This can vary and although you may think you have finished maturing by 18 or 19 - your breasts will continue to go through changes well into your early twenties.

    The youngest is usually 18 although in special cases of pronounced asymmetry and reconstruction - prostheses can be used on persons younger than 18. These younger cases are very specific.

    On the other side of the spectrum, women in their late 60's who have gotten breast implants. When we are older the only thing that may stop us from having breast augmentation surgery is general health so be sure to have a physical to see if you are in good health to properly heal and handle the anesthesia factor.

  • Q2 :

    Can a woman breastfeed after Breast Augmentation?

  •  The answer is yes.

    A lot of women ask if they can breast feed after Breast Augmentation Surgery.   For the vast majority of women who have BA breastfeeding is no more difficult with implants than without.

    Breastfeeding is a growing concern with patients who have had Breast Augmentation surgery. In previous years, women who received implants were married and had already finished with childbearing. However, more and more single women, and women who have not finished or even begun childbearing are having the surgery.

    In 1992, the first report of a Silicone Illness hit the media. At that time there was fear that breastfeeding with silicone implants would endanger the child. There has been studies performed to show this not to be the case. The main reason being that the silicone molecule is too large to pass into the milk ducts.

    Particularly with the belly button approach, the breast tissue and ducts are not disturbed, cut or affected. The procedure literally takes place under all of the breast tissue, not going through it. There is no evidence that silicone from the implant shell enters the milk.

    However, with other incision locations and techniques other than the TUBA and trans-axillary, it is quite possible to disrupt the mild ducts and lines resulting in blocked ducts during a pregnancy. This has been known to happen with a peri-areolar technique resulting in additional surgery to unblock the milk ducts.

  • Q3 :

    Can implants achieve lifting of sagging breasts?

  •  Although implants do not lift up a sagging breast, they do help mildly sagging breasts appear less saggy. They do this in two ways:

       1. Implants take up some of the slack in loosened skin thereby increasing the volume and decreasing the saggy look.
       2. Implants, to a mild extent, rotate the lower portion of the breast upward, making the breasts appear less saggy.

    For moderate or severe sag, a lifting procedure or a lifting procedure with implants is usually performed.

  • Q4 :

    Do birth control pills cause breast tissue growth?

  • An increase in estrogen/progesterone causes a subsequent increase in breast size.

    If you are planning on taking birth control pills be advised that there are other side effects than simple breast growth.

    If you smoke you shouldn't take the pill, if you have circulation problems or high blood pressure, you shouldn't take the pill. There are many contraindications and considerations involved with this.

    Please see your OBGYN for more information and a complete exam before you take any type of hormonal supplement.

  • Q5 :

    Do breasts with implants experience sagging over time?

  • All breasts relax as time goes by. This is because:

    • the weight stretches the skin
    • elasticity is lost with age
    • the amount of breast tissue often decreases as the person gets older.

    These three factors mean that breasts can be expected to relax and sag whether or not there are implants present.

    The implants add some weight to the breast, which may increase the rate of relaxation, and yet implants and surrounding scar tissue can provide some internal support for the breasts.

    The overall result is that usually the breasts sag less - more so if you wear a properly fitting bra regularly.

  • Q6 :

    How big should I go?

  • This is totally up to you!

    • if you are asking what is the average size - C and D's are pretty common.
    • if you are asking what size would help balance YOUR figure - try the hip-bust ratio. Say for instance if your hips are 36 inches, your breasts can be 34 to 36 inches and up (around) and you will look more like an hourglass as opposed to a pear.
  • Q7 :

    How can I tell my family?

  • How you tell (or if you choose to tell at all) is up to you. All families will react differently.

    You can begin to tell them how you feel regarding your appearance, about your lack in breast size making you feel less feminine, etc.

    Make a list of the reasons you want breast augmentation, go over these reasons in your head.

    Let your family know how you feel, they may not be completely supportive at first - but they usually come around.

  • Q8 :

    How much is breast augmentation going to cost me? What about if I need a revision?

  • This definitely depends upon your region, surgeon can range from $2,500. to $10,000. and up.  Prices may vary due to region, surgery bids, the newness of practice, marketing ploys, the occasional "special", demand of surgeon, etc.  These prices may or may not include, operating room coasts, anesthesia, lab work medications, and more so be sure to ask beforehand and get it in writing.

    If you are in need of a revision there is little else you can do if nothing was determined beforehand, but pay the fees and move on. So please determine revision stipulations beforehand and get this in writing as well.  Such things as CC, infection and others are usually not covered (although some surgeons do cover this).  Surgeon error should be covered at the surgeon's expense so please review the practice's revision protocol before booking your surgery.  It is better to prepare for the worst and hope for the best than be hit by an avalanche of additional postoperative fees in your time of misfortune.

  • Q9 :

    I have fibromyalgia(or multiple sclerosis, etc), is it safe for me to get implants?

  • This is up to you and your primary care physician, although I have friends who have both disorders and breast implants, nothing has gotten worse (or better) since the implantation of their prostheses many years ago.  The FDA released information stating that the IOM concluded that implants do not cause nor contribute to disorders such as these.

    It must be said that those predisposed to have disorders may experience the onslaught of such after having been exposed to high levels of stress, trauma, surgery, foreign bodies, infections, high blood pressure, accidents, etc.

  • Q10 :

    I have Poland's Syndrome (pectus excavatum, pectus carinatum, etc) and have been told breast implants will help me look "normal" - is this true?

  • Many patients with Pectus Excavatum and Carinatum have gotten breast implants to give the illusion of a normal chest conformation. Patients with Poland's syndrome have also gotten one implant or two different sizes when there is considerable asymmetry involved with their disorder. In any case, please seek out a surgeon who is well-experienced in cases such as these.
  • Q11 :

    I went on several consultations and every doctor had a different opinion of what would be best for me. What should I do?

  • All surgeons are different, hence different opinions. Don't expect every surgeon to agree, but do expect to have to do your own research as well to better understand what techniques and options can get you what you want.

    Do remember that you are not the doctor and to listen, to take notes at your consultations and reflect upon each surgeon's recommendations.

  • Q12 :

    Is there a warranty should an implant fail?

  • Should a breast implant fail, the Bumrungrad Plastic Surgery Department can claim the case through the Mentor® distributor in Thailand.  Mentor® covers the cost of the replacement implant; however, they do not cover the cost of the additional surgery.
  • Q13 :

    Is there much pain associated with breast augmentation?

  • Many patients report that their discomfort is described as pressure or muscle soreness. If you should experience any discomfort that seems out of the ordinary, contact your surgeon.

    Although pain thresholds vary - breast augmentation pain is dependent upon the implant placement, incision placement and medication.

    You can also cause yourself more pain by not abiding by your surgeon's instructions and over exerting yourself.

  • Q14 :

    Should I pre-medicate before I have dental work, once I've had my Breast Augmentation?

  • Some may consider this a controversial subject and scoff at the idea of a bacteria-induced infection or case of Capsular Contracture (CC).

    When an individual has dental work, even a routine cleaning, plaque and bacteria are released from their holds and introduced into the blood stream via your gum tissue. The gums are often lacerated, even slightly, during dental work creating a 'doorway' in which bacteria may enter.

    When a significant amount of bacteria is present in the body, they will seek out weakness in the body to stronghold themselves and replicate. Any foreign presence within our bodies (i.e. breast implants, lip implants, hernia repair mesh, etc.) is a prime target for these infectious intruders.

    Although it is not technically proven that dental work and Capsular Contracture (CC) are related there are increased instances of CC thereafter.

    NOTE: It is even cautioned to those with pacemakers and aorta catheters to take antibiotics when going to the dentist so mammary implant recipients should be no different.

  • Q15 :

    Should I try BRAVA or Breast Enlargement Pills before choosing to undergo BA with breast implants?

  • As far as breast enlargement supplements, all supplements are not regulated by the FDA - only their preservatives and food dyes are regulated, these herbal supplements are not the exception. Please be careful when purchasing these items. Some of them contain herbs that are contraindicated with other medications or herbal supplements and can even cause heart palpitations or nervousness. Just use your best judgment when taking something like this and go over the ingredients list. Remember that 'if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is'.
  • Q16 :

    Should I wait to get my implants if I am considering weight loss?

  • Although you may wish to get your implants at any time, if you are considering losing any significant amount of weight (15 lbs. and up) be prepared to notice sag if you lose breast tissue.

    If you have very small breasts and get implants then lose weight, there shouldn't be a significant problem with sage since your breast envelopes were not large to begin with. You could safely lose the weight and suffer no ill effects to your breasts if this is the case.

  • Q17 :

    Should I wait to get my implants until after having children?

  • Although you may wish to get your implants at any time, if you are considering having children within the next year or two, it is advisable to wait since the effects of weight and breast tissue gain and loss will affect the appearance of your breasts.

    However, if you plan on waiting on having children you should know that a postpartum lift is possible.

  • Q18 :

    What are the risks of Breast Augmentation?

  • Although extremely rare, it is possible to bleed post-operatively resulting in another surgery to control and drain the collected blood. You could develop a post-operative infection and need to have the implant removed, the infection dealt with and still have to wait for several months before an additional surgery can be performed to re-implant. Loss of sensitivity is common, although temporary. Permanent sensation loss in the areola (nipple) area or breasts, in general, can and may happen. There is also the possibility of developing a Seroma which is a mass caused by the accumulation of serum fluid within a tissue or organ. Or a Hematoma which is a localized mass of blood that is typically confined within an organ, tissue, space, or potential space and may be a result from a broken blood vessel.

    There is a risk of Capsular Contracture (the evil scar tissue encapsulating the implant, hardening around and squeezing the implant). This rarely ever goes away on its own. Nor does it tend to lay dormant after a revision surgery is performed. It may happen due to bacteria on the implant, surgical implements or airborne and the body attempting to place the foreign body as far away from itself as possible. Or it may develop after injury. If this happens, you can develop pains, hardening, deformity and deflation of the implant. It sometimes even happens again after the surgery to remove the scar tissue has be performed.

    There is a chance of rippling (wrinkling or indentations from the implant) being apparent, especially when one has no breast tissue and chooses to go over the muscle. It is possible that the implant can shift and push through layers of tissue, showing through the skin. The implant can deflate or rupture from an injury or from wear and tear from an improperly under filled implant (even your breathing motions can cause creasing in the implant causing it to weaken at these creases). Even an overzealous doctor performing a mammogram can rupture your implant. You can have a complete deflation within several hours if it is an un-encapsulated saline-filled implant. If it is a silicone gel-filled implant, you may not know for months or years. Of course either way, they will have to be replaced. Then there is always a risk of hematoma and scarring. Also, difficulty in early breast tumor detection is possible when you have either silicone gel (more pronounced) or saline-filled silicone shelled implants.

    There is also the risk of disappointment in size. A lot of women wish they would have gone bigger. Realize that when you are doing the rice test that they will have to add a little more to make up for the tissues and/or muscle flattening the implant a little if you choose the submuscular placements. When you pre-operatively try on the larger bras and fill them out a bit, they are on top of your body, probably lifted, as well, by an under wire. Take this into account and communicate with your doctor, the results you really want.

    There is also the disappointment in the implants not lifting the breasts as you would like. This is not a breast lift this is an augmentation. If it is lift you want as well as augmentation, get them both. After your augmentation surgery, the breasts will be heavier than what you are accustomed to. The heavier weight will speed up the sagging process especially if you go around braless all of the time.

    There is the possibility of extrusion of the implant, breast tissue atrophy from the force exerted by the implant. This is according to the F.D.A. and you can read the info on their site by visiting: Breast Implants: An Informational Update.

  • Q19 :

    What type of anesthesia should I choose?

  • The type of anesthesia is usually not your choice. Depending on your particular case, your surgeon will make the decision.
  • Q20 :

    What types/brands of breast implants are used for breast augmentation?

  • The Plastic Surgery Department at Bumrungrad International uses Mentor® saline and silicone-based breast implants. The decision whether to use saline or silicone-based implants is up to each individual patient and can be discussed in detail with your plastic surgeon.

    In December, 2006, the FDA approved the return of silicone breast implants to US markets, after finding no evidence that silicone implants were responsible for any serious diseases. Saline breast implants have up to 4% risk of leaking within the first four years after surgery. For more information about breast implants please visit

  • Q21 :

    Will I have stretch marks after my Breast Augmentation? How can I keep this from happening?

  • The stretch marks are caused by an abrupt expansion of the tissues. When the expansion is very gradual stretch marks are practically non existent.

    An individual's elasticity varies.

    Some patients develop stretch marks from growth spurts during puberty, muscle tissue gain from weight lifting and pregnancy. Some individuals never develop stretch marks and still others are very prone to them.

    Mature stretch marks are very difficult to remove. You can tell a stretch mark is mature by the age of course and by the color - which is usually white.  Deep fissures which are purple in color can scarcely be removed with treatments short of excision.  This means that those microdermabrasion treatments that you have been getting are probably going to do nothing but empty your pocket book.  The white marks CAN be darkened using a flesh-colored pigment implanted using micropigmentation.

    There is still no successful treatment for the removal of stretch marks. Some swear by Shea nut butter, others, olive oil. Some swear by Retin A as a solution to the red lines that may develop in the early stages of stretch mark formation. Ask your surgeon before doing anything other than what he or she instructs. There is no guarantee that stretch marks will not develop but medical science has faith that a proven method of removal will be discovered, eventually.

  • Q22 :

    Will my areolae stretch after augmentation?

  • Stretching of the areolae  is very common and sometimes unavoidable. This can create more sag in breasts that are already saggy although the usually stretching is from the pressure of a tight breast envelope. If you have less tightness, you will usually experience less stretching.

    In persons with peri-areolar lifts and areolar reductions - some surgeons use permanent sutures which are usually made from prolene, mersilene or even Gore-Tex around the areolae to keep them from stretching again.

  • Q23 :

    Will my implants feel like natural breasts?

  • This issue depends much upon a few factors:

    Pre-existing tissue: The more natural tissue you have pre-operatively, the more of a chance you have of feeling "natural" post-operatively.  However, if you have Cohesives or overfilled saline implants, regardless, your breasts will feel firmer than natural breasts.

    Overfill amount: Too little volume will give you ripples, too MUCH volume will cause firmness and rippling. Discuss overfill amounts (percentages) with your surgeon pre-operatively.

    Implant filler: Saline reportedly feels less natural than silicone gel or Hydrogel-filled implants. 

    Implant surface: Smooth-surfaced implants are thinner than textured-surfaced implants.  Although very slight, patients having had both often report that they can feel a difference.

    Implant placement: You may hear that unders look more natural than overs - when in fact, all cases are different.  Overs actually move more naturally than unders but may have a pronounced upper pole fullness (especially in overfilled implants). Unders tend to "jump" and twitch when you use the pectorals during every day movements and working out.  This may be a matter of opinion and preference rather than an effect which produces a blanket statement.

    Thickness/thinness of skin: The thicker and springier your skin the less the implant edges will be felt. Thinner skin allows more a more palpable result.  hence thin-skinned individuals often opt for under placement.