University of Virginia Plastic Surgery
1300 Jefferson Park Avenue 4th Floor
Charlottesville, VA 22908
Phone: (434) 924-1234
Location Hours: Monday–Friday | 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Breast Augmentation

The breasts provide a sense of confidence and femininity for women of all ages. When the course of life, including motherhood or weight changes, takes a toll on the breasts or they develop smaller than desired, breast augmentation may be the answer. The world-class plastic surgeons at UVA Plastic Surgery perform breast augmentation in Charlottesville and Fishersville, VA, using the latest evidence-based practices and FDA-approved breast implants to provide patients from Richmond, Roanoke, and surrounding areas rewarding outcomes while minimizing complications.

Breast Augmentation
 Before & After Photos


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Who is a candidate for breast augmentation?

At UVA Plastic Surgery, ideal candidates for breast augmentation are women, often from Harrisonburg and Richmond, VA, Washington, D.C., and nearby communities, who are at least 18 years old, in good health, and have realistic expectations about how the surgery will affect their lives. This procedure provides one or more of the following improvements:

  • Increasing the size of naturally small breasts
  • Replacing breast volume after weight loss, pregnancy, or breastfeeding
  • Lifting breasts that sag slightly
  • Balancing the size and shape of uneven breasts

Do I need breast augmentation or breast lift surgery?

Women who have moderate to significant sagging may require a combination breast lift and augmentation to enhance breast shape while increasing size.

A Guide ToBreast Augmentation

Ready to discover how breast augmentation can reshape your body? Get the facts about the procedure when you download our free eBook, A Guide to Breast Augmentation. The guide offers extensive information about breast augmentation, including what to expect before, during, and after the surgery. You’ll also find answers to your most pressing breast augmentation questions and a helpful surgery prep list.

Submit the form at right to receive a link to our free eBook.
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What are the options for breast implants?

Our surgeons offer all FDA-approved breast implants available in the U.S. made by MENTOR® and Allergan®. Patients have a variety of options, which include:

Implant Fill Material

  • Saline implants require a tiny incision because they are filled after they are placed inside the breast. The volume of sterile saltwater solution can be adjusted after placement. Saline is the most affordable implant fill material. These implants can ripple and feel firmer than silicone implants.
  • Silicone gel implants are available for primary breast enhancement to women who are at least 22. These implants provide the most natural look and feel, which most patients find worth the extra expense and slightly longer scar.

Implant Shape

  • Round implants increase allover fullness, including the top and sides of the breast where patients typically want it most.
  • Teardrop (anatomical) implants are designed to follow a natural breast shape that gradually projects from the chest and has more volume at the bottom.

Implant Texture

  • Smooth implants are the most popular shape because they allow the breasts to shift naturally with the patient’s movements.
  • Textured implants have a teardrop shape. The textured surface keeps them oriented properly with the fullness at the bottom of the breast.

Because each breast augmentation patient has her own unique anatomy and aesthetic goals, no single type of breast implant is best for every woman.  Together, the patient and surgeon determine the combination of implant options, including size, that will best achieve the patient’s desired breast size and shape. The surgeon will account for the patient’s anatomy, measurements, existing breast tissue, elasticity of breast skin, and other factors.

Can you transfer fat to the breasts instead of using implants?

Women who want a modest increase in size may consider fat grafting breast augmentation, which transplants fat from another area of the body to the breasts. This procedure involves very small incisions and the resulting scars are usually not visible after healing is complete. Transferred fat can be absorbed or break down over time, so results may not last as long as with implants.

Can I combine breast enhancement surgery with other procedures?

Women who want to enhance body contours as well as their breasts with a single surgery and recovery period may be candidates for a personalized mommy makeover. Popular options include:

How do you provide the most natural-looking breast augmentation results?

Our surgeons follow an evidence-based approach to breast augmentation to provide the most beautiful, natural-looking results and minimize the occurrence of complications. In general, they perform breast augmentation using:

  • Silicone gel breast implants
  • Incision placed along the breast fold (inframammary approach)
  • Implants placed under the muscle (submuscular placement)

These practices are not absolute; our surgeons take care to personalize each procedure to each patient’s individual preferences, lifestyle, and aesthetic goals.

How is breast augmentation performed?

Our surgeons perform most breast augmentation procedures as outpatient surgery with the choice of either local anesthetic with IV sedation or general anesthetic. After making the incisions, the surgeon creates a “pocket” behind each breast to hold the implants. Depending on the implant chosen and other factors, the surgeon may use the Keller Funnel™ to insert the implants. This simple device is shaped much like a pastry bag and allows the surgeon to insert silicone implants, without touching them, through the smallest possible incision. Once the surgeon is satisfied with the size, shape, and symmetry of the breasts, he closes the incisions with sutures and surgical tape. Patients are usually cleared to return home the same day in the care of an adult friend or family member.

What can I expect after my breast enhancement procedure?

It is normal to experience swelling, bruising, and numbness in parts of the breasts for the first few weeks. Prescription pain medication may be helpful for discomfort during the first few days. While the difference in your breast size will be noticeable right away, they may look and feel tight initially. As muscle and skin relax, your breasts will settle into a beautiful, natural shape.

Your surgeon will provide you with specific recovery instructions, which will include the following:

  • Avoid lifting anything over your head for 3 to 4 weeks.
  • Stay out of bathtubs, swimming pools, and hot tubs for about 3 weeks (or as directed by your doctor) to give the incisions and skin time to heal.
  • Expect scars to gradually fade from pink to white over the following months to 1 year.

How long is breast augmentation recovery?

Patients are typically ready to return to sedentary work, school, driving, and other non-strenuous activities within a week—after they are no longer taking pain medication. Soreness is mainly due to implant placement behind the chest muscle, but it usually subsides quickly over the first few days. Strenuous exercise and activity should be postponed for 3 to 4 weeks after surgery.

Breast Augmentation FAQ

What are gummy bear implants?

These highly cohesive silicone gel implants feel like natural breast tissue and do not leak when cut apart—much like the colorful candy they are named after.

Are breast implants safe?

The saline and silicone implants our surgeons use are fully FDA approved and have been found to be highly safe medical devices. Patients must be at least 18 for saline implants and at least 22 for silicone implants.

Is breast augmentation surgery painful?

This procedure involves slight discomfort, but it is not especially painful. It is common to feel tightness in the chest and increased (or decreased) sensitivity in the nipples initially. Our surgeons prescribe pain medication that most patients take for the first few days, if at all.

How long will my implants last?

Breast implants typically last 10 to 15 years; however, patients do not need to have them replaced if they are happy with how they look and feel and are not having any complications.

Are you ready to find out more?

To meet with one of the world-class plastic surgeons at UVA Plastic Surgery in Charlottesville or UVA Plastic Surgery, Augusta in Fishersville and learn more about breast augmentation, request a consultation using our online form or call (434) 924-1234 for an appointment.