Breast augmentation (enlargement)
Breast augmentation involves inserting implants into “pockets” made behind the breasts to make them larger and a better shape.
Why do people choose breast augmentation or breast enlargement surgery?
People choose this operation for different reasons:
- To enhance the body contour
- To reconstruct the breast after previous breast surgery
- To improve breast size after having children
- To balance a difference in breast size.
What are the benefits of breast enlargement surgery?
Perhaps you have always wanted larger breasts. Or you may want to enhance the shape of your breasts following pregnancy or weight loss. Breast augmentation patients often report psychological benefits following the procedure including:
- Increased self esteem (self confidence)
- Enjoy wearing new/fitted clothing
- Feeling more feminine
- Body balance, feeling breast are more in proportion with your body.
What kind of breast implant should I choose?
- Based on your own needs our Nuffield Health consultant may also discuss and advise you on what implant might be best to use
- All implants are made of an outer layer (shell) of silicone
- They can be filled with silicone, salt water (saline) or both
- The silicone used to fill the implant can be in the form of a liquid or gel (cohesive silicone)
- Liquid silicone and saline implants give a softer and more natural feel
- Cohesive silicone implants give a firmer feel and can come in more shapes
- Liquid implants with a simple round shape often give as good results as shaped cohesive-gel implants
- The Medicines and Healthcare products regulatory Agency (MHRA) is responsible for ensuring the safety of implantable medical devices, including breast implants.
Is silicone safe?
Many studies have been carried out to find if silicone breast implants are safe. There is no evidence to suggest that women who have silicone breast implants are at a higher risk of getting diseases such as cancer and arthritis.
What happens during breast augmentation?
Your operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes about an hour and a half. There are several options for surgical incisions:
- Inframammary (the crease under the breast)
- Transaxillary (the armpit)
- Periareolar (the area around the nipple)
The type of incision (cut) used is based on the type of implant, the degree of augmentation (enlargement), your particular anatomy and patient/surgeon preference. Be sure and discuss incision options with your surgeon.
Your surgeon will usually place the implant in a pocket directly behind your breast as this gives the most natural result. However, if you do not have enough breast skin and tissue to cover the implant, your surgeon may recommend placing the implant behind the pectoral muscle. Be sure to discuss the implications of placement of your implant with your surgeon.
Going home after breast augmentation surgery
- You should be able to go home the same day or the day after your breast surgery
- You might be required to wear a special supportive bra for several weeks to help your breasts settle after the procedure
- Everyone recovers at their own pace. However most women return to normal activities within two to three weeks
- Depending on your type of job you should be able to return to work after the first week
- You should be able to do a limited amount of activity, such as lifting young children, after about two weeks
- It usually takes a few weeks for your breasts to look and feel more natural
- The results of a breast augmentation usually last for a long time. The length of time a breast implant lasts will vary depending on an individual's personal factors.
The below chart is only a guide as to the stages of recovery after breast augmentation
Day 1 - 4
5 – 14 days
Sleep upright in bed supported by pillows to help reduce swelling.
Wear your support bra as advised by your consultant.
Take things easy when you get home.
Gradually increase your activity but nothing too strenuous.
Any nondissolvable stitches will be removed during this time.
Driving may be commenced only when comfortable.
Bruising and swelling continue to go down.
You can think about returning to work a week or two after surgery
Gentle exercise can resume after four weeks but avoid strenuous exercise for a further two weeks.
Your implants will begin to descend into a more natural looking position.
Scars will begin to soften and fade.
Final result can be judged
What are the complications of breast augmentation?
Every surgical procedure has a risk of complications. Be sure to discuss any concerns you might have about these risks with your surgeon.
Specific complications of breast augmentation or breast enlargement surgery may include:
- Capsular contraction - the breast may feel harder than normal and painful
- Developing a collection of blood or fluid in the pocket where the implant is placed
- Infection of the implant
- Change of breast and nipple sensation
- Thickening and tightening of the capsule
- Kinking and rippling
- Stiff shoulder
- Numbness or persistent pain on the outer part of your breast
- Rupture or deflation of the implant
- Cosmetic problems.
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A step-by-step guide to breast augmentation (or enlargement): the most popular cosmetic surgery carried out in the UK.