Breast Augmentation Surgery

What is breast augmentation surgery?

Breast augmentation surgery is a procedure in which physicians use implants to increase breast size. This procedure can allow transfeminine people to live more easily in their affirmed gender.

The clinicians in the Center for Gender Surgery at Boston Children's Hospital offer breast augmentation surgery as a gender affirmation procedure to eligible patients who have documented and persistent gender dysphoria and who are over age 15. Our skilled team includes specialists in plastic surgery, urology, gender management and social work, who work together to provide a full suite of options for transgender teens and young adults.

Gender affirmation surgeries are a group of surgical procedures that some transgender and gender diverse people use to help affirm their gender identity. Breast augmentation surgery is a type of "top surgery" in which physicians use implants to increase breast size.

Who is eligible for breast augmentation surgery?

Surgery is never the first step in a gender transition. It is something that happens after you have already explored social and medical transition options. People who choose to undergo breast augmentation surgery usually do so after taking other steps in the gender affirmation process, such as taking supplemental hormones. We typically recommend that you take estrogen for at least a year before pursuing surgery. This allows time for as much breast growth as possible through hormone treatment. Many women are happy with the amount of breast growth they achieve through hormones alone and do not need additional surgery. To be eligible for breast augmentation surgery at Boston Children's Hospital, you must be at least 15 years old and meet certain criteria.

What happens during breast augmentation surgery?

During breast augmentation surgery, your physician will make an incision under each breast or around the areola. They will then insert implants (usually saline-filled implants) sub-muscularly, or behind your pectoral muscles.

What happens after breast augmentation surgery?

You should be able to return to school or work about a week after surgery. Because the healing process can take time, you shouldn't engage in strenuous physical activity or heavy lifting in the first 3 weeks after breast augmentation surgery. You'll need to follow up with your care team within 3 to 7 days of the procedure. Your clinician will explain in detail how to care for your incisions and how to look for signs of infection.