What is Breast Augmentation?

Breast augmentation is a popular cosmetic procedure done to increase the size of the breasts, as well as enhance breast shape. This can be achieved through the placement of saline or silicone breast implants. Many women choose to undergo this procedure following pregnancy or weight loss or to improve breast size asymmetry.

Breast augmentation can achieve the following:

  • Increase the projection and fullness of the breasts
  • Improve the overall balance of breast and hip contours
  • Improve self-confidence
  • Help clothing items to fit better.


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Who is a Candidate?

You may be a good candidate for breast augmentation if you are physically healthy and near your goal weight, have fully developed breasts, are not pregnant or breastfeeding, but are bothered by the size or shape of your breasts. The best way to learn more about this procedure and whether this type of breast surgery is right for your aesthetic goals is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Willis.

Types of Breast Implants

There is a selection of different breast implants available today, each of which has its own benefits and ideal uses. The implant that is right for you will depend on your individual anatomy, your desired results, and your personal preference.


Saline breast implants are made of silicone shells filled with a sterile saltwater solution. They are FDA-approved for breast augmentation in women 18 years of age and older.


Silicone breast implants are created with a silicone shell filled with a silicone gel. This gel mimics the feel of natural breast tissue, which makes this choice a popular one for many of our patients. These implants are FDA-approved for breast augmentation in women ages 22 years and older.


Gummy bear implants, also known as form-stable implants, are similar to silicone implants. However, the consistency of the silicone gel inside of the implant is thicker, so these implants maintain their shape even if the implant shell is broken.

The Breast Augmentation Procedure

Breast augmentation can be performed using IV sedation or general anesthesia. Dr. Willis will begin by creating an incision through which to place the breast implant. There are different incision patterns used depending on the type of breast implant, your anatomy, and the amount of breast enlargement desired.


This incision is created around part of the areola, which is the skin surrounding the nipple.


This incision is created along the inframammary fold, which is the fold that lies below the breast.


This incision is created in the armpit area.

Once the pre-determined incision is created, the breast implant is inserted into a pocket either directly behind the breast tissue of the pectoral muscle or under the pectoral muscle. Incisions will then be closed with layered sutures, skin adhesives, and/or surgical tape.


Following your breast augmentation, you may experience swelling, bruising, and discomfort. A supportive surgical bra will need to be worn for a period of time to support your new breast contours and minimize swelling.

Typically, you can shower on the second day and can put on your surgical support garment after showering. We discourage submerging your incisions in water for at least 4 weeks or until the incisions are fully healed.

You will need to limit exercise and strenuous activity for 2-4 weeks. It is important that you follow Dr. Willis’ specific recovery instructions to ensure that your breasts heal properly so you can enjoy optimal results.

Contact Us Today

For more information regarding breast augmentation in Charlottesville, VA, contact Charlottesville Plastic Surgery today! We will be happy to book your initial consultation appointment with double board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Willis.

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Are breast implants under warranty?

Yes, all breast implant manufacturers have a warranty.

Can breast implants cause pain years later?

If your implants are causing pain years later, you should have your plastic surgeon evaluate. Although uncommon, it could be due to migration, rupture, or capsular contracture.

Can breast implants last 30 years?

Breast implants can last 30 years, but carry a 1 percent rupture rate a year. So at 30 years, they carry a 30 percent chance of rupture. Manufacturers recommend replacement every 10 to 12 years, but we often see implants for 30 years without issue.

Can fat be transferred to breasts?

Yes, fat grafting to the breast is very common. It is often used as an adjunct procedure to cosmetic and reconstructive implants.

Do you have to replace breast implants every 10 years?

The manufacturers recommend replacement every 10 years, although most patients do not have them replaced if they are not having any issues.

Does getting breast implants make you gain weight?

No. Implants have no influence on weight gain or loss.

Does insurance cover breast implants?

Insurance will not cover cosmetic breast augmentations.

How dangerous is breast augmentation surgery?

Breast augmentation surgery is very safe with a extremely low complication profile.

How long do breast implants last?

Manufacturers recommend replacement every 10 to 12 years.

how much does breast augmentation cost?

Breast augmentations typically start around 7500 dollars in Virginia

How painful is breast augmentation recovery?

You will experience some muscle spasm/discomfort for the first two days, and typically will wake up on the third morning feeling fine.

Is breast enlargement possible without surgery?


What are Natrelle breast implants?

Natrelle implants are a brand of implants.

What can go wrong with breast implants?

Implants can migrate from behind the breast tissue, typically below or towards the armpit and carry a 1 percent rupture rate a year.

What is the average cost of a breast augmentation?

Average cost is around 7000 to 8000 dollars.

What is the difference between a breast augmentation and breast implants?

Generally, there is no difference. To augment the breast, is to change the shape, and this is typically done with breast implants. A breast augmentation is used synonymously with breast implants.

Can I move my arms after breast augmentation?

You should limit your overhead reaching, pulling or pushing and repetitive movements of your arms after your breast augmentation surgery.

Can you breast feed after breast augmentation


Do breast implants cause autoimmune disease?

There is no literature or research directly linking breast implants to autoimmune diseases, but there is always ongoing research.

Do breasts sag after breast augmentation?

Your breast will continue to age even after a breast augmentation. Depending on the degree of sagging, you may need a breast lift in the future.

How do I know if my breast implant is leaking?

If you are experiencing any pain, discomfort, or hardening of your breast implant or capsule, it could be due to a leak. A MRI is the best way to detect an occult leak.

How do I prepare for breast implants?

There is no preparation. You may need a mammogram beforehand if you are of age or close. Consult with your plastic surgeon for any pre-operative test.

How do you know if you have capsular contracture?

If the implant feels firmer than normal, painful, or appears very hard and tight on your chest, then you may have capsular contracture.

How long are breast augmentation incisions sore?

Your breast incisions might feel sore for a couple of weeks.

Is getting a breast augmentation worth it?

Yes. RealSelf reports a 95% worth it or satisfaction score for breast augmentation

Is there an alternative to breast implants?

There may be alternative to breast implants, including using your own tissue as an auto augmentation and potentially fat grafting. You will need to have a consultation with your plastic surgeon to see if you are a candidate.

What are cohesive breast implants?

Cohesive breast implants are the newer generation implants. They often come in up to 3 different cohesivities that hold their shape against gravity.

What are gummy bear implant?

Gummy bear implants are the newer generation cohesive implants. If you were to cut a implant in half, it would maintain its solid form and not leak.

What is the most common breast implant size?

Most common sizes range from 330 to 400cc.

Whats the safest breast implant?

There is no implant that is safer than the other.

Will Cigna cover breast augmentation?

No, insurance typically will not cover cosmetic breast augmentations.

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