Contrary to popular belief, breast augmentation for purely cosmetic reasons is not readily available on the NHS in the UK.
In the past, women who suffered detrimental psychological effects as a result of a small bust size could receive breast augmentation on the NHS under the supervision of a psychiatrist. However, today the high costs and potential risks associated with breast augmentation, coupled with the exploitation of the system, means that it is very rare for the NHS to offer them to patients for purely cosmetic reasons.
In extreme cases of underdevelopment or asymmetry that cause severe psychological distress it may still be possible to receive the surgery on the NHS. The first step is to see your GP, who will assess your situation and may refer you to a plastic surgeon if they believe there is a clinical need. Ultimately, the availability in your area will depend on the policy of your local clinical commissioning group (CCG), who will make the final decision on a case by case basis.
Breast augmentation is, however, more readily available on the NHS for reconstructive surgery following mastectomy, after a cancer diagnosis for example. The vast majority of cosmetic breast augmentation surgeries are undertaken privately at cosmetic surgery clinics, costing the patient on average £3,500-5000, plus any follow-up consultations and care needed.
Breast reduction is a procedure more readily available on the NHS, but only in cases where there is a medical need for such a procedure, such as:
The availability in your area will always depend on your local CCG, which will ultimately make the final decision on a case by case basis. The first step in this process is to talk to your GP about any medical issues your large breasts are giving you, such as back pain or skin sores. Your GP should then then refer you to a plastic surgeon (and possibly a psychiatrist to ensure you are adequately and mentally prepared for the procedure). Once accepted, you will be scheduled for a breast reduction with a plastic surgery team who will discuss the procedure, the risks and the recovery involved.
There are thousands of private clinics nationwide performing more than 30,000 breast augmentation procedures in the UK each year. This surgery typically costs around £3,500-5000, with many clinics offering finance packages to make the procedure more affordable. Some examples of the finance deals on offer are listed below:
Transform offer breast augmentation ranging from £3,845 to over £5,000 depending on the procedure available through their 0% interest free credit finance offer (a minimum of £1,000 deposit is needed).
The Harley Medical group offer breast augmentation starting from £3,990 with finance deals available with a typical 9.9% APR (a minimum of £500 deposit is needed).
Spire Healthcare offer breast augmentation (prices available on request depending on the procedure) which is available through a 0% interest free credit finance offer from First Medical Loans.
The Surgicare Medical Group offer breast augmentation starting from £3,545 depending on the procedure for which a payment plan is available.