Key Questions To Ask Before Breast Augmentation Surgery


Every year, hundreds of thousands of women have breast augmentation surgery. Some are looking to increase bust size. Others want to restore volume after weight loss or pregnancy. Many simply want to offset the effects of aging. 

No matter the reason, every woman wants a safe procedure with natural-looking results. With these goals in mind, we recently sought the expert advice of Dr. Brian Vassar Heil—a Castle Connolly top doctor with a thriving Pennsylvania plastic surgery practice.

“Breast augmentation accounts for nearly one-fifth of all cosmetic procedures performed in the United States each year, but they don’t all end with high-quality, natural-looking results,” Dr. Heil explains. “I firmly believe that patients who do their research and work with a highly skilled surgeon drastically improve their chances of achieving successful breast augmentation surgery.”

The first question he advises women to ask is, “Am I a good candidate for breast augmentation surgery?”

No brainer, right? Not always. “You would be surprised at how many women don’t ask this basic question,” he says. “Yes, any woman looking to enhance the volume and projection of her breasts can be a potential candidate, but they need to be physically healthy and their breast tissue must be fully developed.”

Dr. Heil says women who smoke will always be asked to stop before their surgery to improve the overall results and recovery period. Patients may also be asked to stop taking certain medications before, during, and after the procedure. 

Patients must also have realistic expectations. “Breast augmentation can do wonders for bust size, breast volume, and symmetry, but it cannot address the issue of extreme ptosis or drooping of the breasts,” Dr. Heil says. Sagging breasts typically require a breast lift.


“Breast augmentation can do wonders for bust size, breast volume, and symmetry, but it cannot address the issue of extreme ptosis or drooping of the breasts,” Dr. Heil says.


Women who qualify for breast augmentation surgery are also faced with the question of which implant material—either silicone or saline—best suits their goals:

  • Saline implants are comprised of a thin implant shell, which is filled with sterile salt water. Saline offers a uniform shape and overall firmness.

  • Silicone implants are filled with a gel substance that more accurately reflects the firmness of a natural breast.

Maybe the most important question of all is which doctor performs the surgery. “If you remember only one thing, remember this—not all plastic surgeons are created equal,” Dr. Heil asserts.

He offers these three keys to helping find a skilled surgeon:

  1. Is the doctor board certified? Board certification is only achieved after rigorous testing. It is evidence that the doctor has the proper education, training, and experience. Dr. Heil is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

  2. Can the doctor show you many before-and-after photos of their work? If a doctor can’t or won’t show more than just a few photos of their successful surgeries, you may want to look for another doctor.

  3. What do past patients say about the surgeon? A skilled surgeon should be able to provide easy access to authentic patient reviews and testimonials.

“Breast augmentation surgery is a difficult procedure that should only be performed by an accomplished surgeon,” Dr. Heil asserts. “Far too many women have received substandard results because they didn’t do their research.” 

So, before saying “Yes” to breast augmentation surgery, find out if you’re a qualified candidate, set realistic expectations, select the appropriate implants, and work with a skilled surgeon who has the education, training, and experience to deliver superior results. 



Brian V. Heil, MD

Plastic Surgery
Face, Breast & Body Surgery
wexford, pa