While many people might believe finding the right surgeon to perform their breast augmentation is simple, it is important to understand there is a lot to consider when making the decision. Patients need to bear in mind which type of anaesthesia will suit them best (local or general), or whether they would prefer silicone gel or saline breast implants.
Also referred to as a “boob job”, breast implants or breast augmentation, a breast enlargement is a surgical procedure by which the size of a woman’s breasts is increased, usually by insertion of implants. Around 30,000 breast enlargement procedures are carried out privately each year in the UK alone, making it the most common cosmetic procedure.
There are two main purposes for undergoing a breast enlargement procedure; reconstruction following a mastectomy (usually following breast cancer) or a cosmetic procedure to enhance the shape and size of a patient’s breasts. The latter is by far the most common and is in fact the most common cosmetic procedure performed in the UK.
The decision to have a breast enlargement should not be taken lightly, as it is a highly invasive procedure with significant risks and recovery time. Furthermore a great deal of aftercare is needed, and implants do need to be replaced. A patient wishing to undergo a breast enlargement should therefore be fully aware of all the potential risks and complications and should speak thoroughly to their GP or private cosmetic surgeon beforehand.
Things to consider before opting for a breast enlargement include:
Artificial implants are inserted into your breasts to enlarge your bust. There are two types of implants:
Breast augmentation fat transfer is a procedure during which unwanted fat is removed from one area of the body (such as the thighs or stomach) and inserted into the breasts to increase their size.
Breast enlargement surgery is normally performed under general anaesthetic and lasts 60-90 minutes. During the procedure an initial incision is made next to your breasts, the exact positioning of this incision depend on the procedure being done and should be discussed with you by your surgeon prior to your procedure.
The implant will then be inserted through the incision and positioned between your breast tissue and your chest muscle, or even behind your chest muscle. The incision will then be closed and dressed. You are usually able to return home the same day or next day following your procedure where you should rest before resuming your normal activities within 4-6 weeks.
During a breast augmentation fat transfer, the area used for collection (usually your stomach or thighs) will be injected with a “tumescence” solution which reduces pain and bleeding. The area then undergoes liposuction and the collected fat is purified before being injected through a cannula into the natural small hollows within the upper portion of your breasts, resulting in their enlargement. As this procedure is performed under local anaesthetic you should be able to return home straight away, and will need minimum recovery, resuming normal activities within 1-2 weeks.
Recovery depends on the procedure undertaken and any complications that arise during the procedure. Following a straightforward implant insertion you should be able to return home the same or next day, and should minimise the use of your arms and chest, as this may cause irritation or bleeding. You will be able to resume your normal activities within 4-6 weeks. In the longer term, most breast implants have a natural life expectancy of 10-15 years, after which they will need to be replaced in another implant procedure.
Following a breast augmentation fat transfer you should be able to return home immediately and will be able to resume normal activities within 1-2 weeks.
Breast enlargement prices vary depending on the exact procedure and clinic used. Breast implant procedures typically cost around £3,500-£5000, whereas breast augmentation fat transfer costs from £3000-8000. Most clinics offer finance packages to make the procedure more affordable, with most even offering interest free credit.
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As with any invasive surgical procedure, breast enlargement surgery comes with some general risks, such as:
There are also a number of risks specific to breast enlargement, such as:
In the longer term, implants are at risk of rupture. If silicone implants rupture they may spread outside of the scar tissue within your breast and lead to small, painful lumps called siliconomas. If a saline implant ruptures, the fluid will just be reabsorbed by your body and the breast will return to its natural size. Saline implants also have a higher risk of wrinkling or folding leading to breast distortion.
Breast augmentation fat transfer is generally less invasive and thus avoids the complications and risks of general anaesthetic. However, it does incur the standard risks of liposuction including scarring, bruising and saggy skin.