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Breast Augmentation Q & A

Q: Over 350,000 women had a breast augmentation in 2008, according to the ASAPS; why has breast augmentation become so popular in the United States?

A: Without getting into a sociological discussion, the two main reasons for the popularity of breast augmentation are as follows:

  1. Many women in America are dissatisfied with the size and shape of their breasts.
  2. Breast augmentation is a very predictable and effective procedure for changing aesthetic characteristics of the breasts.

Q: Since silicone breast implants returned to the market in 2006, has there been a dramatic increase in their use among plastic surgeons?

A: Only 3 years have passed since restrictions were lifted on silicone implants, so that’s still difficult to measure. 2009 statistics haven’t been publicized yet, but so far saline implants are the most common choice for plastic surgeons in the United States.

Q: What type of surgeon is best qualified to perform breast augmentation?

A: This can be a controversial issue. There are a few different ways one can receive training for breast augmentation, so it’s best to evaluate each surgeon on an individual basis. Speak to a plastic surgeon in your area, review before and after photos, and talk to former patients.

Q: In what part of the country is breast augmentation the most expensive/inexpensive?

A: The national average cost of breast augmentation is around 4000 dollars. It may vary with each surgeon. Also, in certain areas where demand is higher or the cost of living is higher, you can expect to pay more. Check out this chart on RealSelf.com that outlines the cost of breast augmentation in each state.

Q: Is it true that breast implants do not last a lifetime?

A: According to Baltimore plastic surgeon Jeff Horowitz MD, “there is no implant “expiration date.” If you remain pleased with your appearance and no complications arise, it is possible that your implants may last a lifetime.”

Q: Is it true that natural fat can be used for breast augmentation?

A: It is possible, but this method is still being studied. Most surgeons agree that fat grafting for breast augmentation is not as predictable and not as effective as methods using silicone or saline breast implants. See this recent article in the New York Times for more information.

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