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What is Breast Augmentation?

Breast enlargement, or augmentation, is a popular choice at NuVista Plastic Surgery for women seeking to enhance their breast size and shape. This procedure not only improves breast contour but also adds volume. It can address concerns such as lost volume after pregnancy, uneven breast sizes, and reconstruction following previous surgeries.

Our breast enlargement surgeries are performed as outpatient procedures at our Draper Office, accredited by The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc. Typically done under general anesthesia, the surgery involves placing a breast implant (prosthesis) under the muscle and breast tissue. Incisions are made either under the breast (inframammary incision), around the nipple (periareolar incision), or under the arm through the armpit (transaxillary incision).

Determining the Right Breast Implant for You

A breast implant consists of an outer silicone shell filled with saline (salt water) or silicone gel. The outer surface can be smooth or textured, and implants are available in various sizes and projections to suit individual needs. The shape of your enhanced breasts is determined by the implant chosen. Some implant profiles result in a more natural slope, while others create more upper breast fullness and a rounded contour. Dr. Petersen, based in our Draper office, will collaborate with you to achieve your desired look.

Many women think of breast size in terms of bra cup sizes, such as going from an “A” to a “C”. However, several factors contribute to determining bra size, including breast volume, shape, chest/rib cage circumference, and overall body proportions. Implants are measured in cubic centimeters (cc’s) of volume rather than bra sizes. Realistic expectations regarding breast enlargement or augmentation are crucial, as we cannot guarantee a specific cup size. During your consultation at our Draper office, Dr. Petersen will use implant sizing techniques to help you visualize your desired future breast size.

Breast enlargement or augmentation is often combined with a breast lift, especially when addressing post-pregnancy or age-related breast changes. Pregnancy and aging can lead to breast sagging and downward-pointing nipples, resulting in a less youthful breast profile. A lift may involve removing excess breast skin or repositioning the nipples to a more natural placement on the breast.

The Secret Scar Approach

Dr. Petersen has performed dozens of transaxillary (AKA “secret scar”) breast enlargement surgeries in Draper. People even come from out of state for his surgical expertise and tried-and-true methods. Many women desire this approach to implant placement because there are no scars left on the breast after the enlargement surgery. Dr. Petersen’s method also decreases the amount of recovery time after a breast enlargement surgery, so patients can get back on their feet faster.

The scars that do result from breast enlargement surgery are hidden in the natural creases of the underarm and fade very nicely. It’s like having a “hidden” breast augmentation. Although many women who have this procedure opt for saline breast implants, Dr. Petersen does perform transaxillary breast augmentations for silicone breast implants in a smaller range of sizes.

When the implant is placed behind the muscle that is under the breast, there is a lower chance of contracture (contraction of the tissue capsule surrounding the implant), and mammography is more reliable. There is also less risk of visible or palpable breast implant edges. However, in some patients, the implant may have a more natural appearance when placed above the muscle but under the breast tissue. Dr. Petersen can help you decide which breast implant placement type and incision will work best for you during your consultation in our Draper office.


Local Anesthesia with or without sedation

Procedure Time

Approximately 1 hour.

Length of Stay

Home the same day once patient has adequately recovered from anesthesia.


Depending upon incision and placement of implant pain may be mild to moderate controlled with prescription pain medications.


Anywhere between three and four days. However, most of our patients take a week off of their main activities.

Post-Surgical Breast Augmentation Care

After your breast enlargement surgery, you’ll need a responsible adult to drive you home and stay with you for 24 hours. You may experience some pain initially, which can be managed with pain medication. Tightness in the breast area is normal as your body adjusts to the implants.

You can resume light activities right away and should walk several times a day. Wear a supportive bra at all times (except when showering) for the first 3 weeks and avoid heavy lifting for 6 weeks. You can start moderate exercise like walking after the first week, but wait 4-6 weeks before resuming vigorous activities like jogging or aerobics. Most people can return to work within a few days, but this varies for each individual.

During the recovery period, your breasts will be swollen, causing the implants to sit higher on your chest. Over the next few weeks, the implants will settle into their final position, revealing the true shape and size of your breasts. It’s normal for each breast to settle at different times. Dr. Petersen will use TouchMD to review your anatomy and discuss how your body’s natural shape, size, and any asymmetry may be impacted by the surgery.

Delayed wound healing

More likely in individuals with diabetes, history of radiation, autoimmune diseases, or smokers. Stop smoking before surgery to reduce this risk.

Capsular contracture

The formation of scar tissue around the implant, leading to firmness or distortion of the breast shape. Proper implant placement and following post-operative care instructions can help minimize this risk.


Excessive bleeding during or after surgery can occur. To reduce this risk, follow all pre-operative instructions, including avoiding certain medications that can increase bleeding.


Although rare, infections can occur. To lower this risk, ensure proper hygiene and follow post-operative care instructions meticulously.

Skin irregularities

Sometimes the skin may not heal evenly or may develop irregularities. This risk can be reduced by selecting a skilled and experienced surgeon and following all post-operative care instructions.

Implant rupture or leakage

While rare, this can happen. Choose implants with a good track record for durability and follow all guidelines for post-operative care and regular check-ups.

Is Breast Augmentation Worth It?

Breast enlargement is a safe procedure that has boosted the confidence of numerous women, enhancing their self-image. Realistic expectations are key to maximizing the benefits of breast augmentation, as with any cosmetic surgery. An initial consultation with Dr. Petersen can assist you in determining if breast augmentation is a suitable option for you. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation and discover the right breast lift or augmentation for your needs. NuVista Plastic Surgery has served numerous patients throughout Utah and the Salt Lake Valley, helping them see themselves in a new light.

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