Breast Augmentation at a glance.
Procedure Time
1-2 hours
Recovery Time
Back to work in 4-7 days

Breast augmentation comes with many considerations. What type/size of implants are best? How much recovery time should you plan for? How much does breast augmentation cost? In Charleston, South Carolina, patients trust the board-certified plastic surgeons at Crantford Costa Plastic Surgery for answers to these questions and many more.  

Benefits of Breast Augmentation 

You may be interested in breast augmentation for a variety of reasons. Some women have always been dissatisfied with the size of their breasts, while others feel self-conscious about the ways their breasts have changed over time.  

Some common reasons women choose breast augmentation include: 

  • Filling out naturally small breasts 
  • Restoring volume lost after pregnancy or weight loss 
  • Correcting asymmetrical breasts 
  • Balancing upper and lower body proportions 
  • A desire to feel more feminine and confident 

Breast augmentation may be combined with other procedures, such as a breast lift, to further enhance your results.


Your Breast Implant Options 

Choosing the right breast implants and techniques for their placement are very personal decisions. Your surgeon will walk you through the following choices and help you find the best combination suited to your body, aesthetic goals, and lifestyle. 

Silicone or Saline? 

Implants are filled with either saline (saltwater) or a specialized silicone gel. Saline implants are more affordable, use a natural filling, and can have the volume adjusted after placement. Silicone implants are slightly more expensive and look and feel more like natural breasts. While each type has its own set of pros and cons, most patients today choose silicone gel. 


Choosing the size of your implants is one of the most exciting parts of undergoing breast augmentation. It’s important to understand that implant size is measured in volume (cc) and not traditional cup sizes. Implant sizers can help you test the look and volume you feel most comfortable with. Your surgeon will also consider your height, build, and lifestyle when recommending the best implant size for you. 


Implants are typically either round or teardrop-shaped (also known as “anatomical”). Round implants provide more fullness in the upper breast and cleavage, while teardrop implants add fullness to the lower breast and mimic the slope of natural breasts.  


The profile of your implant (also known as “projection”) describes how far it protrudes from your chest. Profiles range from extra high-profile to low profile. High-profile implants are narrower at the base, whereas low-profile implants are wider. The best choice for you depends on the width of your chest, the amount of natural breast tissue you have, and your aesthetic goals. 


Breast implants are placed in a “pocket” either directly behind the breast tissue (subglandular) or underneath the chest muscle (submuscular). Subglandular placement provides a quicker recovery period, while submuscular placement offers better coverage of the implant and more natural-looking results. 


We proudly offer breast implants from Natrelle® by Allergan Aesthetics and Sientra, Inc.

How Much Does Breast Augmentation in Charleston, SC, Cost? 

The price of breast augmentation in the Charleston area depends on several factors. The type of breast implants used, the training and experience of your surgeon, and the anesthesia used all influence the final cost. We provide patients with a customized quote after their first consultation. 

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All About Your Breast Augmentation Procedure 

Breast augmentation is an outpatient procedure performed using a general anesthetic. Surgery begins with an incision technique agreed upon during your consultation. Incision locations include: 

  • Periareolar incision (around the nipple) 
  • Inframammary incision (underneath the breast in the fold) 
  • Transaxillary incision (via the underarm) 

There are advantages and disadvantages to each incision pattern. 

Once your surgeon makes the incision, he creates a pocket and places the implant into the pocket. Depending on the style of implant you choose, your implant may come prefilled, or it may be filled once it is in the pocket. Your surgeon closes the incisions with sutures and skin adhesives when the implants are in place. 

A breast augmentation procedure lasts 1 to 2 hours and is typically performed with general anesthesia. As this is an outpatient procedure, most patients can return home the same day under the supervision of a trusted caregiver.

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Your Breast Augmentation Recovery Timeline 

The recovery period after breast augmentation ranges from a few days to a week, with most patients feeling noticeably better around 4 to 5 days after surgery. Implant placement, implant size, and incision location can all affect the healing process. Bruising and swelling are common during the first few days and can be managed with medication provided by your surgeon. Overall, most women can return to work or school within a week of surgery. More intensive activities, such as high-impact exercise, should be postponed for 4 to 6 weeks post-op.  

By 3 months, most of the healing is complete. Tissues will continue to soften, allowing the implants to settle (“drop and fluff”) for up to a few months. Scars continue to fade for up to 2 years after surgery. 

Picture Your Results in 3D

At Crantford Costa Plastic Surgery, we offer the state-of-the-art VECTRA® XT 3D imaging system to capture face, breast, and body images to help simulate your surgical outcomes during your consultation.

What Happens During A Consultation

Because we want to create your ideal surgical results, the consultation is a critical part of the process. Your surgeon will walk you through your options and help you make choices that align with your anatomy and goals. This time will also be used to conduct a thorough medical history and address all your concerns and questions.

You will have another preoperative appointment closer to the date of your surgery. At this time, you will sign the consent forms, have photos and measurements taken, and receive detailed instructions for before and after surgery. Please adhere to these instructions closely as they are instrumental in ensuring your safety and comfort.

Model posing for breast augmentation

Breast Augmentation FAQs 

How long do breast implants last?

Breast implants typically last anywhere from 10 to 20 years. At that point, patients typically replace their implants with new ones.

Who is a good candidate for breast augmentation?

Good candidates for breast augmentation are in generally good health, nonsmokers, have realistic expectations, and are looking to enhance the size and shape of their breasts.

Is there any scarring with breast augmentation?

As with any surgical procedure, there will be some scarring, but your surgeon will place the incisions in an inconspicuous area to ensure any scars are almost invisible.

What is recovery like with breast augmentation?

Breast augmentation can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to fully heal, but most patients are feeling much better after 4-5 days. You will have some bruising, swelling, and discomfort initially, but by following your surgeon’s aftercare instructions, those side effects will diminish relatively quickly.

When can I start working out after breast augmentation?

You can start doing most light to moderate exercises about a month after surgery. After about six weeks, you can fully return to more strenuous activities.

Who should not have breast augmentation? 

We do not recommend having breast augmentation until your breasts have completely finished growing. Patients must be at least 18 years old for saline implants or 22 years old for silicone implants. Mothers should wait until they have finished breastfeeding before scheduling surgery. rnrnBreast augmentation does not lift the breasts. Women who are concerned about sagging tissue and downward-pointing or drooping nipples may want to consider a breast lift together with a breast augmentation instead of augmentation alone.

Can my breast implants be exchanged or removed? 

Yes, breast implants can be exchanged or removed using breast implant exchange or breast implant removal surgery. Some women may want to return to their natural breast shape (explant surgery), while others may wish to upgrade their implants to a newer model or different style (revision surgery). Breast implants don’t have an “expiration date,” but most last 10 to 15 years without replacement. If you have silicone gel implants, schedule routine MRI exams to detect any potential leaks or ruptures. 

Is breast augmentation safe? 

Breast augmentation is one of the most commonly performed elective cosmetic surgeries in the world and has an excellent safety record. The FDA has approved both saline and silicone implants for breast enhancement procedures. While all surgery carries some risk, our surgeons are committed to providing the highest standard of care to minimize the risk of complications like capsular contracture or implant rupture. If you have any questions about the longevity of breast implants, the likelihood or treatment of complications, breast implant illness, or other safety concerns, our board-certified plastic surgeons are happy to consult with you. 

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Ready To Learn More?

If you are excited to learn more about how breast augmentation in Charleston, SC, can improve your confidence, request a consultation using our online form or call (843) 722-5904 for an appointment. We are looking forward to meeting you.



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