Understanding Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure in the United States, with about 300,000 procedures performed each year. That popularity is due in part to the high satisfaction rates associated with the procedure, along with advances in materials and techniques that offer more natural results and greater safety than ever before.

As a top-ranked cosmetic surgery practice in Tysons, Virginia, Sanctuary Cosmetic Center offers breast augmentation procedures using the most advanced techniques and technology, for more beautiful results and predictable outcomes. Our team is committed to helping every woman achieve her goals and improve her self-confidence through custom treatment plans tailored to her unique and specific goals. If you’re thinking about breast augmentation, here’s what you should know. 

Breast augmentation 101

Although breast augmentation has been around for decades, the science and technology have changed a lot during the past decade or two. Understanding the basics of breast augmentation surgery can help you get the results you’re looking for.

Saline vs. silicone vs. fat

One of the first questions women have about breast augmentation is whether to choose saline or silicone. Saline implants are silicone shells filled with a saltwater solution. Silicone implants use a silicone shell filled with medical-grade silicone, providing a more natural “feel” to the breasts. Both types of implants have been deemed safe for breast augmentation. The real decision is up to you (with guidance from your doctor).

Fat grafts are another option for some women. With a fat graft, fat is removed from one area of your body and “transplanted” to the breast area. Fat has several advantages, including a natural feel and no risk of rejection that can occur anytime any type of “foreign” object is implanted into the body. Of course, you need to have enough excess fat in your thighs, buttocks, belly, or another area for sufficient fat to be transferred to your breasts.

Round vs. teardrop

Breast implants may be round or teardrop-shaped. While round implants can provide greater lift and cleavage, along with more fullness in the upper breast, teardrop implants are shaped more like natural breasts, providing greater projection in the lower part of the breasts.

You’ll also need to select the right size implant. You might think bigger is better, but most women feel most satisfied when the size they select balances out their overall body size and shape. During your consultation, you and your doctor will discuss your overall goals so you can feel confident you’ve selected the best size for your needs.

The augmentation procedure

Before your surgery, we’ll give you a list of instructions to follow, including when to stop eating before surgery and whether or not you should continue to take medications on the day of your procedure. 

Breast augmentation is performed under anesthesia, so you can “sleep” during the surgery and wake up to your results. Once the anesthesia has taken effect, the doctor makes an incision around your nipple or in the fold under your breast. The implant is inserted through the incision then carefully positioned before the incision is closed. 

With a fat transfer, you’ll undergo liposuction first to remove the fat used in your augmentation. The fat will be “processed” before it’s reinjected into your breast area. Liposuction is performed under anesthesia or sedation.

Most augmentation procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, which means you’ll go home after a short recovery period. You can expect some swelling and discomfort for about a week, and you’ll need to avoid strenuous activity and lifting during the early healing period. We’ll provide you with a list of care instructions before you’re discharged to go home, and we’ll also schedule your follow-up appointment so we can check on you the day after your procedure.

Feel great about your breasts

At Sanctuary Cosmetic Center, breast augmentation is a highly personal treatment that we can tailor to your goals, so you feel confident in your results right from your initial consultation. To learn more about breast augmentation at our practices in McLean and Dulles, Virginia, give us a call or use our online form and schedule a consultation today.


We look forward to seeing how we can help you achieve a new level of confidence. Contact our team to set up a private consultation and explore everything we have to offer at Washington, D.C.’s premier cosmetic provider.

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