What's it like: To get breast implants

by Jaclyn Cosgrove Modified: February 2, 2014 at 3:00 pm •  Published: February 2, 2014

Why get breast implants?

A woman might choose to get breast augmentation, or implants, for a variety of reasons.

For one, a younger woman might seek out breast augmentation because she had one breast that did not develop fully, and it's difficult for her to wear clothing without a visibly noticeable difference.

Other women might undergo breast augmentation because they want to increase their bust size. For example, a woman in her 20s might seek out the surgery once she has finished developing. Also, women in their 30s and older might want breast implants after having children and seeing their bodies change because of it.

The average cost of breast augmentation surgery is $3,543. That doesn't include the average fee for anesthesia, operating room facilities or other related expenses. It is generally not covered by insurance.

What happens during surgery?

You are usually placed under general anesthesia, meaning you'll be asleep.

Each surgeon will have a different technique for surgery. For example, one type of surgery involves cutting near a woman's armpit and placing the implant through a small cut. Another type of surgery involves cutting near the nipple. And some surgeons might cut in the crevice underneath the breast to place the implant.

Surgeons will also have different implant preferences. Some surgeons might use silicone gel implants while others might prefer saline. It's important to ask your surgeon any questions you have and play an active role in the decision-making process.

Does it hurt?

Some women say the pain after surgery is similar to the pain felt when their breasts were engorged while lactating.

Overall, the pain should not be terrible. You will likely have soreness where the surgeon made the incisions to insert your implants. It's generally an outpatient surgery, unless there's a complication with anesthesia.

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by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, medicine and fitness, among other things. She graduated from Oklahoma State University with a news-editorial and broadcast production degree. Outside of work, she enjoys riding her bike, taking pictures of...
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