Breast Enlargement Frequently Asked Questions

Breast augmentation surgery is not for everyone, but if you've made up your mind that it's the best option for you, you'll need to be fully aware of what's involved. The following FAQs could provide you with some of the answers you need before committing yourself to any decision.

What Area Of Breast Augmentation Do You Have Questions About?

Price and Financing

How Much Is A Breast Enlargement?

Breast enlargement surgery costs generally start at around £3,000. However, as no procedure is the same and each varies according to the patient in hand, it is difficult to provide an overall, inclusive price as costs will vary from one person to the next. Many surgeries now offer flexible payments plans, discounts and loans to give potential breast augmentation patients another option to help cover the cost of their breast enlargement.

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Can I Get Breast Implants For Free?

There are some websites in operation were women wishing to have breast augmentation surgery can raise the money they need. The candidates post pictures of themselves on the site, together with their background story as to why they wish to have the surgery. Their fans can then make cash donations to the site which will help pay for the surgery. However, this is not something that's suitable for everyone, and raising the finance yourself may be the simplest option.

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How Can I Get A Breast Enlargement On The NHS?

The NHS will not generally perform breast enlargement surgery purely for cosmetic reasons. However, breast augmentation as a means of reconstructing the breasts following illness, or corrective surgery following a trauma, may be considered on an individual basis. But before looking into this or any other type of cosmetic surgery, you should seek advice from your doctor on how best to proceed.

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Can You Pay For Breast Implants Monthly?

There are several very attractive financing schemes available to those considering breast augmentation surgery. From taking out a loan, to buy now pay later options, and in some cases, tailor made plans, there should be one suitable for every budget. Many people would find the cost of breast augmentation surgery too expensive to fund in one lump sum payment so finance schemes are often the best way forward.

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Alternatives To Surgery

Do Breast Enlargement Pills Work?

Your natural breast size is dependent on the female hormone, oestrogen. Breast enlargement pills contain a substance called phytoestrogen which can have an oestrogen like effect on the body. However, expectations as to how much your breasts could grow with this type of product should be kept to a minimum as they tend to be high in price and deliver little in terms of results. There are many differing opinions as to how well they work, but the result will always be temporary. Furthermore, because these pills can be very expensive for just one monthly course, you may find that you are continuously spending money to keep up with any change that has occurred.

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Does Breast Enlargement Cream Work?

There are numerous claims on the internet and in magazines that boast positive results with breast enlargement creams. However, the claims these creams make are not based on any recognised scientific trial, and although they may make the user feel better or more confident in themselves, the only thing that breast enlargement creams will do is cost a lot of money in the long term.

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What About Breast Enlargement Injections (Macrolane)?

This procedure uses hyaluronic acid injected into the breast at the crease, resulting in fuller breasts with instant volume and lift, and with a much quicker recovery than breast enlargement surgery. However, it's more common to use the woman's own body fat and inject it into the breast area using liposuction methods as there have recently been quite a few medical concerns surrounding the use of Macrolane which led to it's ban for use in the enhancement and shaping of breasts in 2012.

Can I Enlarge My Breasts Naturally?

There are many claims in existence about how to enlarge and/or enhance breasts naturally, and some do work, albeit temporarily. Some people claim that simply doing regular chest exercises that concentrate on the pectoral muscles can make the breasts appear larger, but this is only because the muscle has become bigger, and not the breasts themselves. However, you would need to do an awful lot of bench presses to achieve the same result as breast enlargement surgery. Other natural remedies come in the form of pills, lotions and a suction machine that is worn overnight, but the results (if any) will only ever be temporary and may end up costing you more than surgery in the long run.

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What is Fat Transfer Breast Enlargement?

This method of breast enlargement uses liposuction to transfer the fat from another part of the patient's body to the breasts. This method is effective as a somewhat temporary measure, and can last anywhere from 6 months to about 8 years. However, as the results are limited, i.e. the breasts will be just one cup size larger, it's not an option for everyone.

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Finding A Surgeon & Clinic

How Can I Find the Best Breast Augmentation Surgeons?

The best breast augmentation surgeons will most likely be attached to a particular clinic. Checking a surgeon's credentials should be part of the process when you are undertaking your research. The current British accreditation body is BAAPS - the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons - and you should look for their name and logo during your research. Interacting on forums for those who have undergone breast augmentation surgery is a great way of gaining some insight into how to choose your surgeon or clinic, as well as picking up some useful tips on how to cope after the surgery.

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How Can I Find The Best Breast Augmentation Clinics In The UK?

There are many excellent breast augmentation clinics in the UK, and an internet search will throw up a number of worthwhile choices as will getting in touch with our advisers. However, choosing the one that's best for you will involve more than just seeking out the best price or the most attractive finance option. Accreditation is very important, and you must ensure that any clinic you decide to go with is fully backed by the necessary accrediting body or association.

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Can I Get Breast Enlargement Abroad?

Yes, many women have opted for surgery in other countries, but you must be certain that this is the right option for you. It's easy to be tempted by a much lower quote for your operation, but it's important to bear in mind what could go wrong, and whether or not you will receive after care in the event of any complications. It's advisable to leave nothing to chance by being financially prepared for any emergencies. Seek a personal recommendation where possible, and do all of the necessary checks to assure yourself that you are in the safest hands.

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The Breast Implants Themselves

What's the Best Type of Breast Implant?

There are two commonly used breast implants available today, namely saline and silicone. The best type of breast implant for you will most likely be the one that complements your natural size and shape. Silicone is considered best for those with a smaller cup size, whereas saline is better suited to those with an already reasonable cup size. As silicone is the more expensive of the two, this may be a deciding factor in which implant you choose. However, talking it over with your surgeon will help you determine which might be best for you.

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What’s The Difference Between Silicone Gel And Saline Implants?

The main difference is the interior as both saline and silicone gel implants have silicone outer shells and saline are post-operatively filled while silicone implants are pre-filled. Saline solution has a weaker consistency than silicone gel. Saline implants feel more artificial and are more susceptible to ruptures and leaking. It is generally accepted that silicone gel implants are more expensive than saline implants.

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How Do I Choose The Size Of My Breast Implants?

Before your consultation you will have a rough idea as to the size you like to be after the surgery. However, to help you be secure in your choice you will have the chance to discuss this with your surgeon as well as be able to play around with a few differently sized and shaped implants to give you a better idea of what size would suit you best.

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How Long Will My Breast Implants Last?

This is dependant on what type of implant you choose to use in your breast enlargement surgery. It was once estimated that implants had a shelf life of 10 years however it is now believed that implants can last for up to three times longer than this. Some brands include lifetime guarantees.

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Find A Breast Surgery Clinic Near You

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The Surgery

How Long Does The Breast Enlargement Procedure Last?

Although the procedure time may vary due to the amount of work to be done, it is roughly estimated that breast augmentation surgery will last from between 90 minutes and 3 hours.

What’s The Difference Between The Different Incision Types?

There are five different incision types available in total to patients including inframammary, periareolar, transaxillary, transumbilical and transabdominoplasty. The type of incision required is dependant on what type on implant you select and whether you would like to be left with scars on your breast or not.

It is recommended that you talk to your GP to find out which technique would best suit your needs.

How Can I Prepare for Surgery?

Mr David Floyd, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital, explains how best to prepare for your surgery:


Video Transcript

"Preparation for surgery doesn’t require a lot, but there are some common sense things you can do to be as fit as possible for surgery. I usually say to patients not to unduly diet before surgery because it’s important your body has enough energy reserves to carry you through the operation and through the healing period, so no aggressive dieting pre-surgery.

I want patients to be well fed and well rested in the week before surgery, so no late nights, not too much alcohol, definitely don’t want people turning up with a hangover for surgery.

Also we don’t want any obvious open wounds or infections, so if someone’s got a bad toothache, or a bad earache, or a bad cut that’s gotten infected on the leg, we might choose to postpone surgery, particularly for certain types of operations where the infection risk might be higher."

Mr David Floyd, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital


After Breast Enlargement Surgery

What’s The Recovery Time For Breast Enlargement Surgery?

If your job includes strenuous exercise or heavy lifting then up to 3 or 4 weeks off work will be required. However for other, less strenuous jobs no more than a week off is needed as most swelling and bruising from the procedure will have calmed down after a weeks rest. If more than a week is needed then your surgeon should be able to supply you with a certificate to hand in to your office.

When Will I Be Able To Go Back To The Gym?

Strenuous exercise should be avoided for at least 4 to 6 weeks. Therefore one should be able to return to the gym within 4 weeks. However caution is advised, so on returning to the gym, don't overexert yourself, take is easy for the first couple of sessions!

What About Breastfeeding After Breast Surgery?

It depends on what kind of surgery you are planning to have done. For instance, it is still possible to breastfeed after having both breast enlargement and breast lift surgery as the milk ducts are often left untouched by these operations. However, after breast reduction, nipple realignment and breast asymmetry surgeries it is possible that you may not be able to continue with breastfeeding due to the disturbances with the milk ducts. There is no evidence to suggest that implants have any negative affects on breastfeeding.

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Will Having Breast Implants Increase The Risk Of Developing Breast Cancer?

Although silicone based implant were banned in America by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), during the nineties, no evidence exists to suggest a connection between breast implants and cancer.

Does Breast Enlargement Surgery Leave Scars?

Patients will always be left with a few visible scars from the incisions. Depending on the incision type patients can avoid being left with scars on the breast themselves. You surgeon will discuss the various incision types with you during your consultation however three of the most popular options considered by surgeons are:

Breast surgery incision points
  • Transaxillary: Incisions are made under each armpit.
  • Periareolar: An incision is made under the nipple.
  • Inframammary: Where incisions are made along the creases underneath the breast.

Video Transcript

Yes, scars is an important thing to understand with breast augmentation. Using breast implants there has to be an incision through the skin to place the implant, which means there will be a permanent scar.

It is always there if you know where to look, it will never go away. Everybody scars differently, some people make fantastic scars that almost fade to nothing, but like I say if you know where to look they’re always there. Other people have a tendency to make slightly less good scars and they can be quite visible.

Certain skin types will make quite thick lumpy scars, and obviously that’s disappointing but it is very much a genetic predisposition of the patient and their skin. Obviously we stitch everybody up as carefully as we can to get the best possible scar, at the end of the day the scar that results just depends on the patient.


Will Breast Surgery Affect My Nipple Sensation?

Although it cannot be 100% guaranteed, in the majority of cases there is no loss of sensation suffered in the nipple area as the nerve endings are generally left untouched during breast augmentation surgery.

After Breast Surgery When Does the Swelling Go Down?

It's absolutely normal to have swollen breasts following surgery. The swelling will vary from person to person, and some women experience swelling that lasts up to 12 weeks. However, this is not always the case, and you will most likely notice a gradual reduction in the swelling over the course of about 6 weeks post surgery. Remember to be patient and allow your body to heal.

Can I Drink After Breast Enlargement?

After your surgery you will most likely be taking medication to help with pain. This will mean that alcohol will be off limits for at least as long as you are taking strong painkillers. It isn't a good idea to drink alcohol during the recuperation period, but if you have any particular questions or concerns about this you should check with your doctor and/or surgeon.

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