Looking at breast augmentation before and after photos is a great way to envision how plastic surgery can enhance your breasts. Reading up on implant types and surgical techniques before your consultation can be invaluable, but nothing brings the research to life quite like real patient results.
In this guide, you’ll see our own McNemar Cosmetic Surgery patients before and after breast augmentation and learn more about what you can expect from breast enlargement surgery.
Who Gets Breast Augmentation?
Fuller breasts and more pronounced cleavage are the most common reasons women want breast implants—but they’re not the only ones.
Women Who Want Symmetrical Breasts
Some women, such as in the case of the patient below, seek to correct asymmetry in their breasts. This young woman had a 50 cubic centimeter (cc) difference in breast volume between her left and right breasts. With implants, she gained the larger, more even breasts she desired.
Moms Who Want Their Pre-Baby Breasts Back
Motherhood can be another motivator for breast enhancement surgery. The changes caused by pregnancy and nursing (such as volume loss and sagging) may prompt some women to restore upper breast fullness with implants.
Our patient below wanted her “breasts back” after having children. Her breast augmentation involved saline implants placed under the chest muscle to add volume and create a curvier appearance.
Women Who Want Fuller, Higher Breasts
Although breast augmentation helps correct the “deflated” look that can follow breastfeeding, it can’t address sagging on its own. There is a common misconception that implants can “fill in” loose skin, but in reality, the added weight of the implants can pull the breasts down even further!
Women with significant sagging and skin laxity often benefit instead from a combined breast lift (mastopexy) and breast augmentation procedure. As you can see in the following photos, our patient’s breasts now sit higher on the chest and have been reshaped to be rounder, fuller, and closer together.
Women Who Want To Refine an Earlier Augmentation
A breast lift with breast re-augmentation is also possible! Our next patient was dissatisfied with the size and positioning of her breasts. After removing the excess tissue and skin and reducing the size of the areolas, I added implants to bring her breasts back to her desired size (in this case, going from a DD cup to a D).
Fit Women Who Want To Fill Out Their Clothes
Lastly, an athletic build or wanting to fit into clothes better are other popular reasons to seek breast augmentation. Our patient below chose to enhance her breasts with silicone implants. Her breasts are now more proportionate to her body while allowing her to maintain her active lifestyle.
Most patients are already familiar with saline versus silicone implants and know that implants are measured by volume rather than cup size. As we cover in our related blog post, some of the key considerations for choosing your implants include:
Do you want round breasts with upper fullness or anatomically shaped implants that maintain your breasts’ natural teardrop-like slope?
Our patient below frequently wore padded bras to simulate the fuller breasts she wanted. Shown in her after photos with 400cc silicone implants, she now has round, voluminous breasts and enhanced upper pole fullness (cleavage).
Should you choose saline, silicone, or highly cohesive (“gummy bear”) silicone implants? Silicone and gummy bear implants mimic the natural feel of breasts most closely, but saline implants offer the advantage of less visible incisions and a minimally invasive endoscopic procedure.
Our next patient chose silicone gel implants to give her breasts their desired volume. After getting 470cc implants, she went up a cup size to a full C cup.
Below is another patient who became a C cup post-surgery. Rather than choosing silicone gel implants, she went with 400cc saline implants to give her the fullness she wanted.
How large do you want to go? While having references for how you want to look is helpful, what may look good on one woman may not work so well on another.
The decision will come down to personal preference but also careful consideration of your unique anatomy and lifestyle—if you are a runner, for example, going too large can interfere with your ability to exercise comfortably.
Your board-certified plastic surgeon will help you determine what size breasts look most flattering and proportionate to the rest of your body.
Some women, as in our mother of 3 below, are looking for a more modest increase in size. After getting silicone implants, our patient’s breasts are more appropriately sized for her frame.
Other women seek a much more dramatic transformation. Our next patient combined her breast augmentation with a breast lift and received 500cc saline implants. She has gone from a C cup preoperatively to a full DD.
In a profile (side) view, how far do you want your breasts to project from the chest? Wider, flatter implants are considered low profile, while rounder, narrower implants are more high profile.
In our example below, our patient chose high-profile saline implants. The narrower projection of the implants gives her breasts a fuller appearance that enhances their overall shape.
Low- or moderate-profile implants add subtle volume to the entire breast, making wider breasts look fuller at the top. The more natural projection these implants provide can also make it more comfortable if the patient wishes to go braless.
Incision placement and healing
During your consultation, your plastic surgeon will discuss which surgical technique is most appropriate for your procedure. Typically, breast augmentation is done using one of the following incisions:
- Transaxillary – A small 3-centimeter incision is placed in the armpit for ultimate discretion. This endoscopic procedure uses saline implants as these are filled after being put into position.
- Inframammary – The most common choice for breast augmentation, this short incision runs horizontally on the inframammary fold (the strip of skin under your breasts).
- Periareolar – This horseshoe-shaped incision runs along the bottom border of the areola, where it blends naturally into the skin coloration. Please note that this incision may not be suitable for women who wish to breastfeed in the future.
Breast augmentation is an outpatient procedure that uses general anesthesia. The surgery takes around 90 minutes, and most patients return to work or school within 1 to 2 weeks.
While the transformation is immediate, your final results will continue to develop as the post-surgical swelling dissipates and the scar tissue forms a protective “capsule” around your implants to secure them in place.
Most patients’ implants will “drop and fluff” after a month post-op. During this stage, the implants will “drop” to a more natural position, causing the lower pole of the breast to “fluff” and become softer and fuller.
Our patient below is shown one month after surgery. As the swelling subsides, the muscles relax, allowing the “drop and fluff” process to happen.
Our final patient being showcased is pictured 6 months after her breast augmentation. She is much closer to her final results as the last residual swelling fades, and her 425cc saline implants are comfortably settled into place.
Breast augmentation is a highly customizable procedure that offers women exceptional flexibility in achieving the look they want.
Studying before and after photos is invaluable for two reasons. It not only helps you understand the results you can realistically expect but also what your plastic surgeon can accomplish. Narrowing your search by looking at real patient results can help you find the surgeon whose technical skill and aesthetic eye resonate most with you.