Are you considering breast augmentation surgery?
If so, here is what you should know…
What is breast augmentation surgery?
Some women feel self-conscious about their breasts, and cosmetic surgery can sometimes be an option to help them achieve the breasts they want and can help to boost body confidence. Some women may also want to undergo reconstructive breast surgery following previous surgery, or loss of breast volume from weight loss or breastfeeding. Breast-related cosmetic procedures are some of the most popular types of plastic surgery, and there are a variety of procedures available to help you achieve your goals.
Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure that aims to increase the size of the breasts through the insertion of medical breast implants. A consultant plastic surgeon can perform this procedure by making an incision along the crease underneath the breast to minimise the appearance of scars following surgery. This approach also allows for good access to insert the implants that are then put in using the natural contour of the breast to give realistic and subtle results. The incision is then stitched up to allow the skin to heal.
Generally, breast augmentation surgery is not available on the NHS for cosmetic improvements and is usually done as a private procedure through either self-funding or private medical insurance. In cases of breast reconstruction surgery following trauma or mastectomy, the NHS may offer treatment.
What are the implants made of?
There are two main kinds of breast implants that are approved as safe to use by the FDA; saline-filled and silicone-filled. Both implant types are made of a silicone shell that is then filled with either a sterile saline solution or silicone gel, respectively. The implants may be pre-filled or may be filled after being put in, as part of the surgical procedure. Your consultant surgeon will advise you and help to decide which implant is most suitable to use for you, based on the size of the implant needed and your desired result. There are other factors to consider too, such as your age and your consultant’s surgical preference. It is important to note that breast implants do not last a lifetime and at some point, they will need to be removed or replaced.
What kind of results can be expected following breast augmentation surgery?
Breast augmentation surgery is a procedure aimed at increasing the general size of the breasts with implants. The size of the implant can depend on the current size of your breasts as well as your cosmetic goals. Many plastic surgery clinics have special bras with inserts that you can try on, allowing you to visualise the change you would like to see in your breasts following the surgery.
Increasing the size of the breasts can also alter their overall shape. However, if your end goals specifically include an uplift of the breast line or significant change in the shape of the breast, additional treatment can be included. A ‘breast uplift’, medically known as ‘mastoplexy’, can be done alongside the augmentation surgery, during the same procedure to give the overall appearance that you desire.
Prior to your surgery, you should discuss your aesthetic wishes in detail with your surgical consultant who will be able to plan your procedure accordingly to give you the results you wish to see!
What is the recovery like following breast augmentation surgery?
This is a surgical procedure done under a general anaesthetic, so requires a recovery period. The surgery is often followed by a 1-2 night stay in hospital with medical monitoring. After returning home, most people require 1-2 weeks off of work for good healing of the wound and general rehabilitation. Pain following a breast augmentation procedure is to be expected for a little while afterwards, but this can be managed well with simple painkillers until it settles.
You should be able to get a good idea of the final results of the surgery after 4-6 weeks when most of the bruising and swelling from the surgery should begin to settle. During this time, your consultant surgeon will be able to follow you up at outpatient appointments to monitor your progress and help answer any questions you might have.
What are the risks of breast augmentation surgery?
As this is a surgical procedure, there are a number of risks that, although rare, need to be advised of prior to surgery.
There are general risks that are associated with any surgical procedure. These include:
- Nerve damage during incision
- Reaction to anaesthesia
The risks specifically associated with cosmetic breast surgery and insertion of breast implants include:
- Altered nipple sensation
- Poor scarring
- Incorrect positioning of the implant or breast asymmetry
- Rupture of the implant
- Formation of scar tissue around the implant
- Wrinkling of the skin over the implant
- Ongoing pain
- The possible need for revision surgery
- Eventual removal or replacement of the implants
Breast augmentation surgery is a real option for those wishing to see cosmetic changes in their breasts. However, it is important to consider both the potential benefits of the results as well as the immediate and long-term surgical risks that breast enlarging surgery can incur.
Here at Highgate Private Hospital, we are confident that your plastic surgery consultant can present you with all the relevant information, as well as answer any further questions you may have. Your consultant surgeon will also have a wealth of clinical knowledge and surgical experience, so will be the best person to advise you on which procedures would be most suited to your desired cosmetic outcomes as well as your general health.