Text Us Text to Contact Us
Schedule a Consultation
Sieber Plastic Surgery San Francisco

Breast Augmentation vs implants: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to breast augmentation vs implants, the first thing to know is that you’ll see these two terms used interchangeably quite often. And while most of the time, this interchangeable use rings true, there are some unique differences between the two terms that it’s important to understand if you plan to go ahead with a breast reconstruction surgery.


Is breast augmentation the same as breast implants?

Yes and no. Essentially, the difference between these terms comes down to grammar use. That is, “breast augmentation” is a medical procedure — a surgery. “Breast implants”, on the other hand, are prosthetic devices.

Breast implants can be used in breast augmentation surgery. In fact, implants are only used in breast augmentation surgery. There is no other use for them. However, while most breast augmentation procedures do utilize breast implants, not all breast augmentation surgeries use them. In other words, there are other ways to perform breast augmentation.

Let’s take a closer look starting with a clearer definition of breast implants.

Breast augmentation vs implants


Breast implants are medical prosthetic devices that are used in breast augmentation procedures. There are several types of breast implants. All are made from a synthetic (silicone) shell and are filled with either silicone breast implants or a saline (salt water) solution.

Thus, breast implants can be divided into silicone implants or saline implants. There is also a third type of implant called a gummy bear implant.

Both saline and silicone implants have their merits and drawbacks. Patients tend to like the realistic appearance of silicone implants. Saline implants, on the other hand, are useful because if they leak, you’ll know right away (it’s often more difficult to detect a silicone breast implants leak. Get check because breast implant illness is something to be concerned about).

Ultimately, both types cup size of implants are frequently used, and gummy bear implants are also becoming more popular. Patients are able to choose the size, shape like teardrop or round, and projection of their implants, along with help from their plastic surgeon.


Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure that aims to increase the size of the breasts. Of course, this surgery can also alter the distribution of volume in the breasts to create a different shape or more symmetry as well.

Most breast augmentation surgeries use breast implants, but there is another type of augmentation called fat transfer breast augmentation that can also be used.


Fat transfer breast augmentation, also called autologous breast augmentation, is the process of enlarging the breasts via a transfer of the patient’s own fat into breast tissue.

Although most breast augmentations utilize implants to enhance volume, fat transfer breast augmentation’s use of fat is growing in popularity. The procedure harvests unwanted fat from other parts of the patient’s body (for example, from the flanks or abdomen). Then, that fat is processed outside the body and reinjected into the breasts.

The results can be extremely natural-looking. And no foreign objects (implants) need to be inserted.

Difference between breast augmentation and breast implants


Now that we’ve established the differences between breast augmentation vs implants, let’s examine breast lift surgery.

Another term that is commonly confused with breast augmentation and breast implants is “breast lift”. In fact, there is an even bigger difference between breast augmentation vs breast lift than there is between breast augmentation vs implants.

A breast lift is a surgery that literally lifts the breasts. Excess skin on the breasts is removed, and the nipples are often repositioned as well. Ultimately, lift surgery does not add volume to the breasts as breast augmentation does. Instead, the breast lifts procedure enhances perkiness and creates a more youthful appearance.



The breast augmentation vs breast implants cost difference depends on multiple factors. For the most part, both procedures will cost around the same amount of money. However, bills can ultimately vary widely as patients have different needs, implants vary in price, and other considerations such as location and surgeon play a role as well.


Not exactly. Breast augmentation is the surgery, and implants are the prosthetics used in the surgery. Of course, breast augmentation usually uses implants, but not always.

In some cases, a process called fat transfer breast augmentation will be used to enhance the size breast shape of a patient’s breasts. The patient will first have liposuction performed elsewhere on their body (on the abdomen, for instance), and then this fat will be relocated to the breasts to add more volume.


Most patients are extremely happy with their breast augmentation surgery. The procedure is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the country.

There are a multitude of options in regards to breast implants, and patients can even have their own fat transferred from another part of their body to the breasts. This can create a long-lasting and ultra-natural look and breast size.


As with any type of surgery, breast augmentation surgery does carry certain risks. Some of these include excessive bleeding, blood clots, infection, fat necrosis, scar tissue, capsular contracture, and breast implant leaks. There may be other risks unique to your procedure as well. Talk to your surgeon if you have questions about breast augmentation risks.

Can you get bigger breasts without implants?

Fat grafting presents an alternative method to enhance breast volume without relying on implants. In essence, it involves a two-step procedure that, although not entirely noninvasive, is relatively less invasive compared to traditional breast surgery. The initial stage of fat grafting entails liposuction.


Whether breast implants, breast augmentation via fat transfer, or a is in your future, we’re here to help you make the best choice for you and your goals.

Dr. Sieber Plastic Surgeon San Francisco has extensive expertise and experience combine to make him an excellent choice for your upcoming breast enhancement procedure.

To find out more about Breast Augmentation vs implants, give us a call today and schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. David Sieber. We look forward to hearing from you.


Breast Augmentation vs Implants: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/blog/breast-lift-vs-breast-augmentation-vs-breast-implants

Dr. Dave Sieber and his staff are so awesome! Dr. Sieber is personable yet professional, his work is impeccable. He listens to his patient and works with them to achieve what they want. He’s like my hair dresser, a magician, you just want to do a happy dance with the results, only these results are lasting. Ok, but seriously, the procedure was very smooth, the staff and the doctors (Dr Sieber and the anesthesiologist) had great communication and made sure I was comfortable with very clear and concise pre op and post op directions. The healing process was very easy and the results are FABULOUS. Side note, Dr. Sieber has really awesome skin, I feel like this is impressive and important because really, would you trust a dentist with bad teeth? I am so elated and satisfied with the results, the size is perfect and they look and feel very natural. They are exactly what I wanted.*

SF Scientist

Dr. Sieber is a doctor who is not only extremely knowledgeable about the latest in cosmetic procedures, but a doctor who truly cares about his patients. I highly recommend him!*


Dr. Sieber is a doctor who is not only extremely knowledgeable about the latest in cosmetic procedures, but a doctor who truly cares about his patients. I highly recommend him!*


Dr. Sieber is attentive, responsive, and well trained. I had seen him for Botox and filler and he had done both without any pain or bruising and more importantly the results were fabulous. He has met with me on time at each appointment. He communicates what to expect, made sure I was comfortable throughout the procedure, checked on my healing every day post procedure. He couldn’t be more delightful not more talented. I had seen other plastic surgeons for in office treatments over the past decade and Dr. Sieber is at the top of the list in terms of delivering the desired outcome and high quality care.*

Facing 50 Feeling Fabulous
Call Gallery Contact Location
Skip to content