Breast Augmentation vs. Implants

What's the Difference?

Breast augmentation and breast implants are two terms often used interchangeably, but they refer to different aspects of the same procedure. Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure aimed at enhancing the size and shape of the breasts, while breast implants are the actual devices used to achieve this enhancement. Breast augmentation involves making incisions and inserting implants, which can be filled with either saline or silicone gel, to increase the volume and improve the overall appearance of the breasts. Implants, on the other hand, are the synthetic materials that are placed inside the breast tissue to create the desired augmentation effect. Therefore, breast augmentation is the procedure, while breast implants are the tools used to achieve the desired outcome.


Breast Augmentation
Photo by philippe spitalier on Unsplash
AttributeBreast AugmentationImplants
ProcedureEnhancement of breast size and shapeInsertion of implants to enhance breast size and shape
TypesAugmentation with implants or fat transferImplants made of saline or silicone
IncisionVarious options including inframammary, periareolar, or transaxillaryTypically inframammary or periareolar
PlacementImplants placed either above or below the chest muscleImplants placed either above or below the chest muscle
Recovery TimeVaries, but typically a few weeksVaries, but typically a few weeks
RisksInfection, bleeding, scarring, implant rupture, changes in nipple sensationInfection, bleeding, scarring, implant rupture, changes in nipple sensation
LongevityResults can last for many yearsImplants may need to be replaced after 10-15 years
CostVaries depending on location and surgeonVaries depending on location and type of implant
Photo by Bogdan condr on Unsplash

Further Detail


Breast augmentation and implants are popular cosmetic procedures that aim to enhance the size and shape of a woman's breasts. While both procedures have the same goal, they differ in terms of the techniques used and the materials involved. In this article, we will explore the attributes of breast augmentation and implants, discussing their benefits, risks, and considerations to help individuals make an informed decision.

Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation, also known as augmentation mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure that involves using fat grafting or transferring breast implants to increase the size and improve the shape of the breasts. This procedure is suitable for women who desire a fuller bust or want to restore volume lost due to pregnancy, weight loss, or aging.

One of the key advantages of breast augmentation is the ability to customize the results according to the patient's preferences. Surgeons can tailor the procedure to achieve the desired size, shape, and symmetry. Additionally, breast augmentation can enhance self-confidence and body image, leading to improved overall well-being.

However, breast augmentation is a surgical procedure that carries certain risks. These include infection, bleeding, scarring, changes in nipple sensation, and the potential need for future surgeries due to complications or implant replacement. It is crucial for individuals considering breast augmentation to consult with a qualified plastic surgeon and thoroughly discuss the potential risks and benefits.

Breast Implants

Breast implants are silicone shells filled with either saline solution or silicone gel that are surgically inserted into the breasts to enhance their size and shape. Implants offer a more direct and predictable method of achieving breast augmentation compared to fat grafting.

One of the advantages of breast implants is the ability to choose between saline and silicone gel-filled implants. Saline implants are filled with a sterile saltwater solution and provide a firmer feel. In case of rupture, the body safely absorbs the saline. On the other hand, silicone gel-filled implants offer a more natural look and feel, closely resembling the texture of natural breast tissue.

Another benefit of breast implants is the long-lasting results they provide. While implants may require replacement over time, they generally maintain their shape and size for many years. This durability ensures that individuals can enjoy the benefits of breast augmentation for an extended period.

However, breast implants also come with potential risks and considerations. These include the risk of rupture or leakage, capsular contracture (scar tissue formation around the implant), changes in breast sensation, and the need for regular monitoring and potential future surgeries. It is essential for individuals to discuss these risks with their surgeon and choose the most suitable type of implant for their needs.

Considerations for Breast Augmentation and Implants

When considering breast augmentation or implants, there are several important factors to keep in mind:

  • Cost: Breast augmentation and implants can be costly procedures, and individuals should consider their budget and potential financing options.
  • Recovery: Both procedures require a recovery period, during which individuals may experience discomfort, swelling, and limited physical activity. It is crucial to plan for this downtime and follow the surgeon's post-operative instructions.
  • Long-term maintenance: Breast implants may require monitoring and potential replacement over time. Individuals should be prepared for the long-term commitment and associated costs.
  • Desired outcome: It is essential to have realistic expectations and communicate openly with the surgeon about the desired outcome. This ensures that the procedure aligns with the individual's goals and expectations.
  • Surgeon selection: Choosing a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon is crucial for a successful breast augmentation or implant procedure. Researching and consulting with multiple surgeons can help individuals make an informed decision.


Breast augmentation and implants offer individuals the opportunity to enhance their breast size and shape, ultimately boosting self-confidence and body image. While breast augmentation involves fat grafting or transferring implants, breast implants directly insert silicone shells filled with saline or silicone gel. Both procedures have their advantages and considerations, and it is crucial for individuals to thoroughly discuss their options with a qualified plastic surgeon. By considering factors such as cost, recovery, long-term maintenance, desired outcome, and surgeon selection, individuals can make an informed decision that aligns with their goals and expectations.

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