What is Breast Augmentation?

For decades, breast augmentation, or augmentation mammoplasty, has offered a surgical alternative to women who are unhappy with their natural breasts, by utilizing breast implants to enhance the breast shape, size, and overall appearance, while providing those patients with a body shape that they desire. At our office in Chicago breast augmentation is offered as an ideal solution for achieving a larger and fuller breast size as well as restoring symmetry to breasts with a dissimilar appearance and providing a more appealing contour.

Women often experience an undesirable change in their breast size and shape after weight loss, pregnancy or breast feeding, and breast augmentation can bring back a more full-and-natural look while doing wonders for their confidence and self-esteem. Our patients typically claim that breast implants have brought a vital balance to their figure, which allows them to dress and take part in activities they didn't have the confidence for prior to surgery. For these reasons, breast augmentation with implants is often considered to have a positive impact on a woman's overall lifestyle and well-being.

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Our Chicago breast augmentation surgeon has been known to produce wonderful results, but it is important to know that this procedure is not intended to correct sagging or drooping breasts. For women who wish to correct this issue, a breast lift, or a mastopexy, may be required. If you are a candidate for both a breast lift and augmentation with a breast implant, Dr. Horn can perform both procedures at the same time, which is known as an augmentation mastopexy. You will be able to discuss your goals and how Dr. Horn can help you during a personal breast augmentation consultation.

To have a complete understanding of this procedure, we recommend conducting proper research and learning about breast enhancement procedures before making your decision. Women often consult friends or relatives who have had breast augmentations for advice and check for informational sources online to get a good idea of how it works and what to expect. As an aesthetic plastic surgeon in Chicago with 20 years of experience, Dr. Horn is here to provide you with the most valuable resources and information. His experience and professionalism will allow you to understand the important details of breast augmentation surgery, such as the benefits, risks and limitations.

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Is Breast Augmentation Using Implants Right for Me?

At our practice, we understand that breast enlargement surgery is a personal decision and that individual goals vary.


When choosing breast augmentation to enlarge, lift, or reshape your breasts, you should always take the time to consider if this procedure is truly right for you before moving forward. One of the most important questions you should answer is: what really makes you want to have breast implants? Are you doing it for yourself, or for someone else?

Because this decision can have a significant impact on your life, it's very important that you are choosing to have a breast augmentation for your own personal reasons — and not on behalf of anyone else. With this in mind, patients often experience extremely-high satisfaction rates with their results. Breast implants may be right for you if you are in good physical health and have fully-developed breasts but are unsatisfied with their shape, cup size, volume or general appearance.

For patients looking for breast augmentation Chicago plastic surgeon, Dr. Michael Horn, will personally discuss what can be achieved with breast enhancement surgery, so that realistic expectations are set. You will be informed of all the possibilities that may help you achieve the desired results, like various augmentation shapes, projections, fills, type of breast implant and incision locations. After a careful examination, Dr. Horn will offer his professional opinion and help you understand the possibilities of meeting your goals. You will also be informed of the risks associated with this particular surgery as well as surgery in general.

In order to produce safe-and-lasting results, our plastic surgeon's job is to identify and respect the limitations of your body. With every procedure, the goal is to create the best possible result in the safest way. Dr. Horn will never breach his professional judgment and will always inform you of the limitations of your body and what can and cannot be done. This ensures that you are able to make a fully-informed decision before surgery and achieve realistic, lasting and satisfying results.

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Which Breast Implant is Right for Me?


The right breast implant for you will depend on your personal goals, body type, and Dr. Horn's professional analysis and recommended course of treatment. Because this decision is based on a combination of physical factors and personal preference, you will be able to make an ideal choice with the help and expert guidance of Dr. Horn. There are various types of breast implants that offer different features of shape, cup size, projection, fill and texture. The implant that is best-suited for you will depend on a combination of your cosmetic goals, anatomy and skin tissue elasticity. Dr. Horn will be there to explain the possibilities of various implant options and how to best achieve your personal breast augmentation goals.

Saline vs. Silicone Breast Implants


If you've made the decision to alter your current breast cup size with a breast augmentation surgery, the next step is to decide between saline and silicone implants. When making this decision, it is important to understand the differences between the two implant types and the risk factors associated with each.

Saline and silicone are currently the two essential types of breast implant available, and you will have the opportunity of choosing from a diverse combination of volumes, textures and profiles when selecting your ideal implant. Your body type and cosmetic goals will play an important role in recommending the type of implant that is perfect for you.

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The Saline Breast Implant

  • Saline breast implants are encased by a silicone outer shell. The implant itself is inserted into the chest empty, then filled with sterile salt water. These implants are available for women who are older than 18.
  • Risk factors for a saline implant include capsular contracture (scar tissue that distorts the breast shape), infection, pain, implant leak or rupture, nipple sensation changes, and breast sensation changes.
  • If a saline breast implant ruptures, it will deflate and change the cup size and shape of the breast it was in. The saline is easily absorbed in your body and does not cause health risks. Surgery is required to remove the implant shell and insert a new implant.

The Silicone Breast Implant

  • Silicone breast implants are also encased by a silicone outer shell. They come pre-filled in specific CC amounts with a thick silicone-based fluid. These are available to women who are older than 22 for breast augmentation.
  • Risk factors for silicone implants are the same as saline implants and include capsular contracture, infection, pain, implant leaks, implant ruptures, nipple sensation changes, and breast sensation changes.
  • A ruptured silicone implant is not as noticeable as the silicone is trapped in the capsule of fibrous tissue around the implant. Silicone that leaks can cause breast pain and some breast shape changes. Surgical removal of the implant is required in the case of leakage.

Shape, Size and Profile of Breast Implants

When choosing the best implant for your breast augmentation, you and Dr. Horn will be able to determine the ideal shape, breast size and profile based on your specific goals and body type.


Our most popular Chicago breast implant options for breast augmentation are saline or silicone implants. Patients often wonder which implant type is best for them. To help make this choice easier it helps to know the difference between the types of implants and how they perform. You may also want to consult with a Chicago plastic surgeon such as Dr. Michael Horn.

Dr. Horn may choose to take 3D imaging to simulate how various shapes and sizes will look on your body. When choosing your breast shape, options will include round, which are spherical-shaped, or anatomical, which are tear-drop shaped which mimic a natural breast. Breast Augmentation Profile is a term used to refer to the outward projection of the implant from your chest. When choosing your augmentation profile, you will be able to determine if high, moderate or low profile is the ideal choice for you. Through his experience with each profile and a professional analysis, Dr. Horn will be able to offer a recommended profile that will best suit your body type and help you create a balanced, beautiful figure.

Look and Feel

Saline implants can be positioned in a way that provides a natural looking result. The shape of saline implants is typically round.


When positioned under the muscle of a woman that already has significant amount of breast tissue - a B to C cup (or larger) - saline can be almost undetectable. Women with much smaller breasts and a thin body frame benefit more from silicone implants as the edges of saline implants can be easily seen and felt on this type of body shape. Saline implants may wrinkle or fold, leading to a noticeable shape and feel. Silicone implants are less likely to ever fold, especially the newer 'gummy bear' implants which are made form a silicone that is highly cohesive.

Type of Incision

The three breast augmentation incision types include:

  • Periareolar, which would be located at the bottom of the areola (shaded skin surrounding the nipple)
  • Inframammary, which would be located in the fold under the breast
  • Transaxillary, which would be located within a crease near your armpit.

During your consultation, you will discuss various incision types that may best suit your augmentation goals. Because there are several types of incisions to choose from for this procedure, you and Dr. Horn will discuss them in detail and how they reflect your goals and body type in order to minimize scarring and preserve your breast tissue. Every incision type is designed to be as small as possible to prevent visible scars.

breast augmentation patient model in a white bra

Breast Implant Insertion

Both saline and silicone breast implants are inserted as an outpatient procedure. An incision is made in which the empty saline implant is slipped, then positioned. Saline is then pumped into the implant to the correct size. Many breast surgeons place saline implants under the muscle which allows patients to have a more natural look and feel.

The scar from saline implant insertion is usually small, about one inch long. Silicone implants are inserted in much the same way as saline, though silicone implants are pre-filled. This requires a larger incision which can lead to a larger scar than saline implants. Silicone implants are positioned under the breast tissue or partially under the muscle. Scars from the surgery are usually well hidden in natural skin creases. Women that need total reconstruction of the breast may prefer silicone due to the softer feel when less breast tissue is present. Whether you're getting saline or silicone implants, we strive to provide you with the best breast implants Chicago has to offer, so give us a call.

breast implants patient model in a light blue bikini at the beach
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Risks of Breast Implants


At our Chicago, Illinois center, Dr. Michael Horn understands that breast implant surgery is a personal decision and that individual goals vary.

Some women prefer to use saline implants as they prefer having what they consider a more natural substance in their body. If a saline implant is broken then the saline is absorbed by the body. The only material left behind is the implant itself which can be removed. There is no guessing if a saline implant breaks, as the saline is absorbed and the change in shape is noticeable as soon as the implant has lost saline.

At our office in Chicago silicone breast implants that break can removed and a new implant put in place. Silicone is not absorbed by the body. Fibrous tissue forms around the implants, known as encapsulation. The silicone may be held in place by this tissue and the break may not be detected. If changes in the shape of the breast are noticed and any inflammation present, a surgeon will remove the implant and silicone. A new implant can be placed.

How Much is Breast Augmentation?

The cost of breast augmentations in Chicago may vary depending on the type of the bresat implant, the level of cohesiveness of the gel as well as on the type of procedure performed by the surgeon. General costs of breast augmentations range from $5,000 to $8,000, which typically includes implant fees, surgeon's fees, facility fees and anesthesia fees. Prescription medication and any additional care after your operation may not be covered by this initial expense.

Scheduling a Breast Augmentation Consultation

A consultation with Dr. Horn is a great way to learn more about breast augmentation and find out if you are an ideal candidate for the procedure.


Even so, please know that you should never feel pressured to commit yourself to a breast augmentation. After your consultation with Dr. Horn, you may take as much time as you need to consider if this decision is right for you. It's perfectly natural to feel anxious about the prospect of surgery and cosmetic changes made to your body. Many patients find that discussing these feelings with Dr. Horn helps them during the decision-making process.

You may schedule a consultation with Dr. Horn during Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. When scheduling your consultation, it's a good idea to make a checklist of questions you would like to ask Dr. Horn during your visit so you can get as much information as you like.

You may also bring along anything that may help Dr. Horn get a clear understanding of your expectations, such as images of performed surgeries that resemble your desired outcome. In the case that this is not your first breast augmentation surgery, any information you may have on your previous procedures may be helpful to Dr. Horn. If you would like to schedule your surgery as soon as 2 weeks after your consultation visit, please avoid taking aspirin and blood-thinning medication when preparing for your surgery during this time.

Additional Reading

Please follow any instructions provided by Dr. Horn's office, whose staff will collect all the information necessary to ensure that your procedure goes smoothly and the results meet your highest expectations. During your consultation visit, Dr. Horn will provide a 3D-rendered image of your future results to give you a clear picture of what breast augmentation can do for you.

With 3D imaging technology, you will be able to customize your breast augmentation by making adjustments to volume, profile, type of filling and all the possible outcomes. This high-tech 3D experience will help you visualize your goals, and equipped with this information, Dr. Horn will be able to create a recommended course of treatment based on the safety limitations of your skin tissue.

breast augmentation patient model at the beach in a black bikini

Coordinating Your Procedure

After a surgical plan has been created, Dr. Horn will refer you to a patient coordinator at his office with whom you will plan your surgery and learn more about the details of aesthetic procedures. Your patient coordinator will be provided with a treatment plan that reflects your requirements and surgical plan. Based on this information, your patient coordinator will be able to provide a surgery quote, which will include the surgeon's fee, the anesthesia fee, and the hospital fees.


Patient coordinators at The Michael Horn Center for Plastic Surgery are experts in the field of plastic surgery and are here to help you understand, prepare for and recover from your surgery safely and effectively. Dr. Horn and his staff are fully-trained and experienced in taking utmost care and consideration of every detail before, during and after your procedure. Through their guidance and professionalism, you are ensured to enjoy all the benefits of experiencing world-class breast augmentation at The Michael Horn Center for Plastic Surgery.

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Breast Augmentation Postoperative Appointments

After surgery, you will have several postoperative appointments to ensure that you are recovering normally and that your breast augmentation has achieved the desired results.


Your first appointment will be the next day after surgery, during which the incisions will be examined and you will be provided with all the information you need for the recovery process. You will have another postoperative appointment after 6 weeks, during which your progress will be reviewed, any concerns you have can be discussed, and creams and ointments recommended for your breast tissue and incision areas. During this appointment, you will also take photographs of your new breasts to compare the results with preoperative photos.

Please consider that your breasts will still be healing and adapting to the implants 6 weeks after surgery. Improvements in shape, comfort and appearance should be expected during and after this period of time. You will see us again 6 months and 1 year post-surgery to monitor your progress and make comparisons of your results. To ensure that everything has gone well after your surgery, please feel free to stay in touch with Dr. Horn and his staff anytime during and after the recovery process.

A Happier, More Beautiful You

We couldn't be more excited to take part in your journey towards a happier, more beautiful you.

At the Michael Horn Center for Plastic Surgery, each and every patient that comes through our doors is a unique person with their own special desires for seeking improvement. And to us, each person is a unique opportunity to achieve an amazing cosmetic goal and change a life for the better. We're here to support you in your choice and provide all the knowledge you need to make a well-informed decision and fulfill your wishes. At the end of the day, all we're about is quality treatment and happy smiles. Please feel free to contact our practice any time before or after a procedure with any questions and to receive the support you need in your journey towards a happier you.

breast augmentation patient model in black bikini top and sunhat smiling

Chicago Breast Augmentation FAQs

If you've decided that breast augmentation is right for you, you may begin preparing for your surgery by following the preparation guidelines provided by Dr. Horn and his staff, who will be there to assist you through each and every step to ensure that you are prepared for a safe and rewarding surgery.

If you are over the age of 50 or have a pre-existing medical condition, you will need to receive medical clearance for breast augmentation from your primary care provider. To ensure your safety, your patient coordinator will guide you through the process of receiving any necessary laboratory tests required for medical evaluation. You may be advised to adjust any current medication you are taking to accommodate breast augmentation recovery, which you will discuss with Dr. Horn and your patient coordinator in detail.

It will be necessary to avoid aspirin, blood-thinning medications, herbal teas and supplements for 2 weeks prior to surgery. It will be necessary to completely avoid cigarettes and all other nicotine-containing agents for a minimum of 2 weeks before surgery, and for 1 month after surgery to ensure a healthy recovery of the breast tissue.

If you have any questions that you forgot to ask Dr. Horn during consultation, please address them as soon as possible before surgery. During your scheduling process and preparation, you will receive an email recap of all of your information, which will include the details of your consultation with Dr. Horn, and the dates and times of your surgery.

We will be looking forward to your surgery and can't wait to help you achieve the amazing cosmetic changes you've been dreaming of. To be fully-prepared, please avoid eating or drinking anything after midnight on the morning of your surgery.

You will have received medication to take the morning of your surgery, which you may do so with a little bit of water. Please wear loose and comfortable clothing to your surgery. If you wear contacts, please exchange them for glasses on the morning of your surgery. Please leave your valuables at home (jewelry, etc.). You may store your other belongings in a locker at our facility. Please make sure that you are prepared to arrive at the surgery center early or on-time (you cannot be late).

You will be required to be accompanied by an adult upon discharge from our facilities, and will not be allowed to drive yourself or take public transportation home for safety purposes (your anesthesia will be wearing off during this time, and you will feel extremely groggy). It is not advised to drive or operate machinery, sign documents or make any other important decisions within 24 hours of your surgery due to the side-effects of anesthesia and prescription medication.

After your surgery, your breasts will be covered in gauze dressings and elastic bandages to minimize swelling and assist you during the recovery process. Once your surgery has been completed, you will be monitored in the recovery area for about an hour or so to ensure that everything has gone smoothly. You will receive postoperative instructions before leaving, prescribed with medications for pain and to prevent infection, and schedule a postoperative appointment to see Dr. Horn.

As recommended after your surgery, you must wear your support band or bra at all times during your recovery (until advised otherwise by Dr. Horn or his staff). You may be advised to carefully clean the incision area and apply an ointment sometime after the surgery, or you may be asked to leave the bandages in place until you visit Dr. Horn or his staff. All of the instructions for postoperative healing will be provided to you after surgery. It is normal to feel some pain after surgery, which should begin to subside after just a few days. You will receive medication to help you cope with the sensation during this period. Please await Dr. Horn's instructions before resuming regular physical activity or exercise after surgery.

You will be able to notice the benefits of breast augmentation immediately after surgery, however, it usually takes about 2 months before your breasts become fully-adapted to the implants and have the ideal shape that you're looking for. The time it takes for your final results to be achieved will also depend on the size of the implants, your muscles, and your body type. While some patients achieve their final results faster than others, giving your breasts the proper time to take form and adapt to the implants always produces the expected results.

If you are unhappy with the way that your breasts look, opting for a Chicago breast augmentation could be one of the best decisions you make, giving you the beautifully shaped breasts you want. Contact the Michael Horn Center for Plastic Surgery if you're interested in learning more.

Breast augmentations by Dr. Michael Horn are designed to enhance natural breast cup size and shape to fulfill the patient's personal wishes of improvement. With saline or silicone gel implants, you now have an opportunity to make the cosmetic changes you've always dreamed of.

With 20 years experience and thousands of satisfied breast augmentation patients using these advanced breast implants, Dr. Horn provides an exceptional level of talent and confidence to help you achieve the beauty, refinement and self-assurance you desire.

If you are in the Chicago area and are interested in receiving a personal breast augmentation and breast implant consultation with our breast expert please call to schedule your appointment at our plastic surgery office in downtown Chicago.

The cost of breast augmentations in Chicago may vary depending on the type of the bresat implant, the level of cohesiveness of the gel as well as on the type of procedure performed by the surgeon. General costs of breast augmentations range from $5,000 to $8,000, which typically includes implant fees, surgeon's fees, facility fees and anesthesia fees. Prescription medication and any additional care after your operation may not be covered by this initial expense.

At our Chicago, Illinois center, we understand that breast enlargement surgery is a personal decision and that individual goals vary. Breast augmentation is considered a cosmetic procedure and is generally not covered by health insurance providers. This policy may also prevent coverage for any possible medical complications resulting from the surgery or any additional surgeries you may request in order to make further changes to your breasts. To be fully-informed about health insurance coverage for breast augmentation, please contact your insurance provider.

When reviewing the costs of breast augmentation, you should always consider the surgeon whom you are choosing as an important factor in your decision-making process. It's a good idea to get to know your board-certified plastic surgeon and have an understanding of their experience and the confidence they are able to offer when moving forward. Dr. Michael Horn has performed thousands of successful breast augmentation surgeries and is a leading plastic surgeon in Chicago renowned for his skills and quality medical care.

If you have saggy breasts, Dr. Horn can perform a procedure to correct them, called a mastopexy (or a breast lift). A breast implant alone may not correct saggy breasts, and if this is your goal, Dr. Horn will most likely recommend a mastopexy for your needs. If you would like to receive a breast augmentation and correct saggy breasts, a combination of both procedures, called an augmentation mastopexy, can be performed at the same time.

As a highly-valued medical device, breast implants have undergone rigorous studies and modifications for decades to ensure their safety and reliability. Natrelle® Inspira silicone-filled implants used at The Michael Horn Center for Plastic Surgery have been the subject of extensive clinical studies for structural integrity and material safety in the US as well as within European research groups. Years of research by independent science groups that include the Institute of Medicine have found no connection between breast implants and autoimmune disease or other systemic diseases.

Because undergoing breast augmentation is a big life decision, there are many important factors you should consider before moving forward. Although they are designed to last for years, your breast augmentation is not guaranteed to last a lifetime. You may eventually require surgery to replace your implants in the future. The appearance of your breast implants may change over a period of time and can be influenced by factors such as weight loss, pregnancy and menopause. To ensure the health of your breasts and implant quality, it is recommended to receive regular examinations after surgery.

Breast augmentation also comes with the responsibility of being aware of your breast implants and doing your best to ensure their safety. Although implants are generally considered safe and durable, they may leak or rupture due to trauma, an error during surgery, or as a result of a mammogram. If you choose to receive a mammogram anytime after your breast implant surgery, it's very important to advise your doctor and mammogram technician that you have breast implants so they can conduct the procedure without causing damage to your implants.

In the case of a rupture, your implants will need to be removed through surgery. A rupture can usually be noticed by visual observation or detected with an MRI. In most cases of breast augmentation, a condition known as Capsular contracture occurs slowly after the procedure. This is your body's natural response to a foreign object, and happens when internal scar tissue begins to tighten around the implant. When this occurs, it may begin to sit higher on the chest or appear tighter than before. It may also feel harder or look different than when it was first placed into your breast. If the issue reaches the point of distorted appearance or is causing sensitivity or pain, they may require removal or a breast implant revision surgery.