What is Breast Augmentation?

Performed by our skilled female plastic surgeons, breast augmentation surgery enhances the shape and size of a woman’s breasts, using breast implants. Women choose to have breast augmentation surgery to enhance the contours of their body, to correct loss of breast volume following pregnancy, to make their breasts symmetrical, and for other reasons. With breast augmentation surgery, a woman’s bust line can be increased by one or more cup sizes.

Real Patient Results

Don’t know where to start? Check out our First Steps Guide to breast implants.

Breast Augmentation Surgery

Breast augmentation is performed with general anesthesia. The surgeon will make the surgical incision along the crease on the underside of the breast or around the areola. The surgeon works through the incision, creating a pocket behind the breast tissue or under the chest muscle to accommodate the breast implant.

Breast augmentation surgery will require an hour to complete and 4-5 hrs spent at the surgery center for recovery. The incisions will be closed using stitches, though bandages, tape, and gauze may be applied for support and to assist with healing.

After Breast Augmentation Surgery

At The Plastic Surgery Center of Nashville in Tennessee, the breast augmentation surgeon and our staff will monitor your progress after surgery. In order to remove excess fluid, drainage tubes may be inserted for several days. You may feel tired and sore for a few days after breast augmentation surgery, but you should be mobile in one to two days. Gauze and surgical dressing will be removed within a few days, at which time you may change to a sports bra. Any sutures that do not dissolve on their own will be removed in seven to 10 days. During the first two weeks, your nipples may experience a burning sensation. This will subside as post-surgical bruising begins to fade. Swelling after breast augmentation surgery may persist for three to five weeks with implants placed under the breast gland. In breast augmentation where the implants are placed under the muscle, swelling may occur.


Most patients return to work a few days after breast augmentation surgery, depending on the amount of activity their job requires. During the first two to three weeks, your breasts will be very sensitive to direct stimulation. If your breasts are no longer sore after three to four weeks, breast contact should be fine. No heavy lifting, pushing, or pulling with the upper body is recommended for at least two weeks after breast augmentation surgery. We discourage any activity that causes an increase in your heart rate or blood pressure for the first two weeks.

After breast augmentation surgery, the surgical scars will appear pink and firm for six weeks. The surgical scars may appear to widen or remain the same size for several months. They will eventually fade, though they will not disappear completely. If you should experience any serious complications during your recovery period, contact our Nashville, Tennessee office to speak with a breast augmentation surgeon.

Potential Risks

We perform breast augmentation surgery often, and usually achieve excellent results. Yet, as with other types of surgery, there are a number of potential risks.

One of the more common complications following breast augmentation surgery is called capsular contracture, which occurs when the capsule or scar around a breast implant tightens, causing a woman’s breast to feel abnormally hard. The condition is treatable. Other complications after breast augmentation surgery that may require a second operation include excessive bleeding or infection. Oversensitive, undersensitive, or numb nipples are other infrequent but possible complications.

There is a chance that a breast implant will break. If a saline breast implant leaks or breaks, the implant will drain completely within a few hours and your body will absorb the salt water harmlessly. If a silicone gel-filled implant breaks, you may not detect the leak if the scar tissue around the breast implant remains intact. If the scar tissue does break or tear, however, the silicone gel may migrate into the surrounding tissue. If a saline or silicone implant breaks, you will require a second operation to replace the leaking implant. If your implant breaks, contact our office in Nashville, Tennessee to speak with a breast augmentation surgeon.

Some breast augmentation patients have experienced symptoms of arthritis-like conditions and immune system diseases. As of now, researchers have found no clear link between symptoms of connective-tissue disorders and silicone breast implants. The FDA is currently conducting further studies on the matter.

Though current evidence does not show a link between breast augmentation surgery and breast cancer, breast implants can alter the way a mammography is performed in order to detect breast cancer. Trained radiologists will need to perform special displacement techniques as breast implants may obscure breast tissue on some views.

What type of implant is right for you?

Click here to read more about the difference between silicone and saline implants.

  • Silicone Gel Implants

    Over the last 14 years, many studies have been conducted on silicone gel breast implants and the FDA has determined that silicone gel breast implants are safe and effective for use in breast augmentation and breast reconstruction. Now, women over the age of 22 can choose what type of implant they prefer.

  • Cohesive Gel Implants

    We also offer the highly cohesive gel implants (also known as gummy bear implants). While they do have many advantages, there are a few potential drawbacks to this popular implant choice. While being more expensive than saline implants, it is also more difficult to tell when a silicone implant bursts. Scars are typically larger and they have the added risk of non-adhereance which can cause shifting and distortion.

Learn More

To learn more about our cosmetic surgery office in Nashville, Tennessee or to speak with a breast augmentation surgeon, contact The Plastic Surgery Center of Nashville today.

Saline vs. Silicone Implants: Dr. Gingrass

Watch this video on Breast Augmentation from Dr. Gingrass and Dr. Haws