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Is breast augmentation right for you?

Women come in all sizes and so do their breasts. Sometimes the breast size does not “fit” the woman’s body. Sometimes the breast volume changes with pregnancy and weight loss. Breast augmentation is a way to increase the volume of the breast so that it better matches what YOU feel is the right size breast for your body.

At Dignity Health Medical Foundation, we know the decision to get breast implants is a very personal one. Undergoing breast augmentation can result in great physical and mental changes. Not only does the surgery improve outward attractiveness, but breast enhancements can increase a woman’s self-assurance, inner confidence and poise.

The reasons for getting breast augmentation surgery vary greatly from patient to patient. At Dignity Health Medical Foundation, breast augmentation is often elected to:

  • Improve breast size
  • Develop symmetry in breasts
  • Fix misshapenness in breasts
  • Increase self-confidence

At Dignity Health Medical Foundation, breast implant surgery is taken very seriously. Prior to undergoing surgery, you will meet with your plastic surgeon to discuss your appearance goals, review the available procedure types and determine the best breast implant "fit" for your body type. The decisions for both incision and implant placement location will be made jointly between your plastic surgeon and you. You’ll also have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have and review the risks of breast augmentation surgery.

After your surgery, you will be comforted in our recovery area until you're comfortable transitioning home. Prior to leaving, your surgeon will discuss post-operative instructions designed to help you recover safely and smoothly.

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Breast augmentation risks

There are a lot of facts and figures available regarding breast augmentation surgery and breast implants, enough to overwhelm patients and physicians alike. This is information we feel is most relevant to your personal decision regarding breast implant surgery.

Implant rupture

Although breast implants are designed to last many years, like any medical device there is a chance of failure, which for implants means rupture. For saline filled implants, the rupture rate is quoted to be about 1 percent per year for primary breast augmentation and just under 1 percent for silicone implants. Rupture rates are higher in breast reconstruction patients, and in any patient undergoing revision (repeat) surgery.

Capsular contracture

Your body forms a layer of normal tissue around your implant, called a capsule. However, in certain patients, the capsule behaves abnormally and tightens around the implant. This can cause mild firmness, firmness that distorts the shape of the breast, and can even occasionally be painful. Approximately 15 percent of patients may experience “problematic” capsular contracture and elect surgery to correct it. This rate is higher in cases of revision (repeat) breast surgery and is affected by implant type (saline vs. silicone) and location.


Although the results of your operation are designed to last a long time, breast implant surgery should not be viewed as a one-time deal. Between one in three and one in five patients will have additional surgery on their breasts at some point in time because of their implants. This includes all reasons, whether personal choice (change in size, breast lift, implant removal etc.) or medically indicated. Implants 400cc or larger are associated with a higher rate of additional surgery. A reasonable approach is to mentally commit to a second operation at some point in your life.

Cancer detection

Placing an implant under the breast does have implications for cancer detection, specifically in how mammograms are performed to adequately evaluate breast tissue. The good news is that numerous large studies comparing cancer detection, tumor size, and stage at detection have shown no significant increased risk in those patients with breast implants.

Useful resources

The data presented here represent what is felt to be the most useful by your surgeons, and is based on large, scientifically sound studies. Other rates, both higher and lower, can certainly be found depending on the study reviewed, the patient population studied, the length of follow-up and many other factors. We are not affiliated in any way with the websites listed above. The information presented here is meant only as a guide to help you decide whether a breast implant is right for you.

Breast augmentation - recovery bra guide

Surgical Bra (first 2 weeks)

At the time of surgery, you will be placed in a special post-augmentation bra designed to support your new breasts. This bra also has a strap that presses down from above in order to help your implants reach their final position more quickly. This bra should be worn at all times, night and day, for two weeks. You may remove it to shower or to launder the garment.

Transition Bra (2 weeks to 3 months)

After two weeks, you may stop wearing the surgical bra and wear a non-underwire, supportive one. This should still be worn both night and day for an additional two weeks. After four weeks from your surgery date, you may stop wearing a bra at night. Continue to wear a supportive, non-underwire bra for two more months before returning to underwire bras.

Post-breast surgery bra recommendations:

  • Spanx by Sarah Blakely: Highly recommended by our patients as uplifting and supportive without hooks
  • Glamorise® Leisure / Sleep Bra: Front hook closure
  • Body by Victoria® Ipex Wireless Bra: Full coverage bra
  • Very Sexy Infinity Edge Wireless Pushup
  • Angel's Infinity Edge Wireless
  • Le Mystere No.9: Specially designed to complement augmented breasts.

Long Term Bra (3+ months)

Usually by three months after your surgery you can return to wearing an underwire bra. However, underwire bras may rub on the incision site, potentially causing mild discomfort. Also, since the incision itself has less feeling than normal tissue, you may not notice site irritation. If you choose to wear underwire bras, pay attention to your incision site to ensure it is tolerating your bra.


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With clinics throughout California, a Dignity Health Medical Foundation plastic surgeon is nearby, waiting to assist you with your wellness journey.