Important Decisions in Breast Augmentation Surgery

Breast augmentation surgery is the most widely performed plastic surgery in Australia.  Over the last few years, there have been many changes and advancements in this dynamic area of medicine.  If you are thinking about getting breast augmentation surgery done, there are a number of important considerations and decisions that must be made, including technical, medical and future considerations.  These decisions are made by both you and your surgeon after careful consideration and discussion.

At Cairns Plastic Surgery, our Plastic Surgeon, Dr Hertess considers each decision to be very important and will offer you guidance and advice through your decision making process.  She uses Crisalix 3D imaging to help patients make the most informed decisions regarding their breast augmentation surgery.  Crisalix allows you to simulate and see the result of your breast augmentation surgery.  Below is an overview of a few decisions that you should consider before embarking on breast augmentation surgery.

Initial Considerations

Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure, so one of the first decisions that will be made is whether you meet the criteria to safely undergo the surgery. Your health has a dramatic effect on your surgery recovery and outcome. Patients have an easier recovery and receive better results from breast augmentation surgery if they are healthy and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. For best results, we recommend:

  • Regular exercise
  • Healthy diet
  • Healthy weight
  • Non smoker

Dr Hertess will decide whether you are a suitable candidate for breast augmentation surgery.  Some factors such as patients carrying excess weight and being a smoker can be detrimental to the end result of surgery.  These factors may lead to revisions in breast surgery, extra costs and unsatisfactory results.

Technical issues


Breast implant size is an important and highly individualised decision to make.  It is important to make a decision based on what you want, not what your partner wants or what your friend has had. A common question that we get from previous patients is: ‘Is there a size limit??’  The answer is YES!  The size is determined by your chest/breast width and skin elasticity.  The ideal breast implant size will be in a proportionate balance with the rest of your body.  It is important to listen to your surgeon’s advice when it comes to selecting breast implant size.


There are two breast implant shapes to choose from; round or teardrop.  Round implants are the most popular option and will give a general push up effect which looks better. Teardrop breast implants are shaped more like a breast.  They are a good option for women with a tall, lean body shape that has small, saggy, tubular breasts.  Teardrop breast implants are less popular because they may rotate, giving a less natural appearance.

Profile/ projection

This refers to how far the breast implants stick out, away from your body.   Dr Hertess will be able to show you different options to suit your body shape.  Standard profile implants are designed to fit beneath your breast and look in proportion with their body and breast size. High profile implants are used if a woman wants a breast implant size that has a larger volume than what would be in proportion to her body shape and size.

Breast implant insertion site/ Scar placement

The most common incision site is the crease under your breast.  An incision under your breast has the advantage of having the scar hidden beneath the breast and it also tends to heal well.   The areolar around the nipple or the armpit are other incision sites that may be an option.

The position of breast implant (under or over the muscle)

The position of the breast implant refers to whether the implant should be placed above or below the pectoralis muscle. You will need to discuss this decision with your doctor as it depends on a number of factors such as skin elasticity, strength, thickness and implant size.  Other factors that will affect the decision will be your lifestyle, expertise, family history and genetics.

Future Considerations

Long term complications

The most common complication that women can experience from breast augmentation surgery is capsular contracture.  Capsular contracture is the hardening of the breast area around the implant creating an undesirable appearance.  This usually occurs from a build up of scar tissue around the implant.  There are other complications that can occur that your doctor will discuss with you.  You should be prepared for the possibility of revisal breast surgery to remove or replace the breast implants at some stage.

Future procedures

Having breast implants may affect other procedures that you may need in the future. Mammograms can be carried out, but the technician should be informed that you have breast implants. Dr Hertess recommends that you have a routine ultrasound every 2 years following your initial breast surgery. Any lumps, folds or pain should be reported to your doctor straight away as early detection may prevent long term complications.

Our Advice

We offer the same advice to all women considering breast surgery; be informed about breast augmentation surgery.  Do your own research into the procedure, talk to other women that have been through the procedure and get a second opinion from another Surgeon if you don’t feel 100% comfortable.  It is important to have realistic expectations about how your breast augmentation surgery will improve the appearance of your breasts and your body image.  Take some responsibility for your decision to go ahead with breast augmentation surgery.  If your surgeon gives you a choice; take into consideration your frame, your hips, your expectations and your surgeon’s experience and listen to her advice.  Some patients feel they should have gone bigger once their swelling has resolved. Keep in mind the long term result, your lifestyle and implant placement.

Contact us at Cairns Plastic Surgery to find out more or to make an appointment on ph 4031 5755