Getting A Free Boob Job In The UK
A small proportion of women are offered NHS-funded breast enlargement surgery. If you need reconstructive surgery or suffer from severe psychological distress as a direct result of your breasts, you may be eligible for the procedure.
You will not be accepted for a boob job on the NHS if you want to undergo the surgery purely for aesthetic reasons. This is because it is considered a waste of valuable NHS resources.
If you cannot have an NHS boob job, you will have to use a private clinic to have the surgery instead. The average cost of breast enlargement privately is approximately £4,300, but many clinics offer financial assistance to make the procedure more affordable.
Can You Get a Free Boob Job on the NHS?
In the past, it was possible for women to have a boob job on the NHS. Due to budget cuts, bad press and an exploitation of the service by some patients however, breast surgery is no longer available on the NHS to the vast majority of individuals.
There are rare exceptions to this rule however, in which a tiny percentage of women are accepted for free surgery if they meet the strict acceptance criteria in place. You might be eligible for a boob job on the NHS if you want surgery for any of the following reasons.
Reconstructive breast surgery
If you have lost all or part of your breast(s) (a mastectomy) due to cancer, you will qualify for reconstructive breast surgery with breast implants.
The same rule applies if you have lost a significant amount of breast tissue in an accident. This kind of breast reconstruction is not considered cosmetic and women in these circumstances do not usually have to go through an NHS ‘exceptional funding’ request for the surgery.
Typically one breast needs to be at least three cup sizes smaller than the other for you to qualify.
Sometimes, the larger breast will be reduced to the same size as the smaller breast, rather than an implant being inserted into the smaller breast.
Lack of breast tissue
To qualify, you must have a complete underdevelopment of breast tissue (amazia) or a complete absence of breast tissue, nipple and areola (amastia).
This can be from birth or as a consequence of surgery and can affect one breast or both breasts.
Severe psychological trauma
You may qualify if you have severe psychological trauma caused by small or slightly asymmetrical breasts.
However, getting a boob job on the NHS for psychological reasons is very difficult. A lack of confidence, feeling depressed or having low self-esteem does not meet the NHS guidelines for breast surgery.
The above conditions often require an exceptional funding request to be approved for breast surgery to be performed on the NHS. You may also need to be a non-smoker and have a BMI equal to (or below) 27 for at least 12 months in order to be eligible for the procedure.
Bear in mind that for women with large breasts, breast reduction surgery is more readily available on the NHS in circumstances where there is a medical need for the procedure.
If you have large breasts and suffer from a physical health problem such as back, shoulder or neck pain or continuous skin irritation under your breasts, you can qualify for a boob job on the NHS. In cases where large breasts cause you psychological distress due to an inability to exercise or carry out daily activities, free breast reduction surgery is also available.
How To Do: The Referral Process
If you think that you might be eligible for breast enlargement surgery on the NHS, you should first talk to your GP. If your GP believes that you are a suitable candidate for the surgery, they will refer you to a specialist cosmetic surgeon. If you’ve had breast cancer then your cancer specialist may also be able to refer you.
Your cosmetic surgeon will then carry out a thorough assessment to determine whether you’re suitable for a boob job and whether your reason for wanting surgery is strong enough for it to be carried out on the NHS.
If your reason for having breast enlargement is psychological, you will also be referred to a psychologist. They will carry out a separate assessment to measure the impact your problem with your breasts is having on your mental health.
Ultimately, the final decision will be made by a panel at your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). They will review your case on an individual basis by examining your medical records and assessments from your cosmetic surgeon (and psychologist) before deciding if you qualify for NHS-funded breast enlargement surgery.
Because there are a severely limited number of boob jobs available on the NHS, you may still be rejected for the surgery by your CCG even if you have undergone assessments by a cosmetic surgeon and psychologist.
However if you are deemed suitable, you will be added to a waiting list which can be several years long (but shortened if there are cancellations).
What If You Don’t Qualify For An NHS Boob Job?
Most women are not eligible for a free boob job on the NHS. Therefore, many women have breast enlargement surgery at a private clinic and fund the procedure themselves.
There are thousands of reputable clinics in the UK that perform over 30,000 breast augmentation procedures every year. The average cost of a boob job in the UK is around £4,300. If you are unable to pay for the surgery in one lump sum, most private clinics offer finance options to make the procedure more affordable by spreading its cost over many months.
The table below provides you with an approximate price range of the different types of breast enlargement surgery:
|Type Of Breast Surgery||Price Range|
|Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation||£3,950-£6,750|
How Can You Find a Private Clinic
When finding a private clinic for breast enlargement surgery there are several factors you should consider, including:
- Distance: look for clinics in your local area. The easier and quicker your journey home after your surgery, the more comfortable your recovery will be.
- Clinic reviews: read what former patients have said about their experience of having a boob job at a clinic, and look for before and after pictures. Getting a personal recommendation for a clinic from someone you trust is even better. Choose a clinic that has a good reputation and high customer satisfaction.
- Surgeon’s qualifications: you should be able to find this out on a clinic’s website or by asking the surgeon directly at your consultation. All cosmetic surgeons in the UK should be registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) and Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS), as well as have a membership with the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS). Always choose a surgeon with the appropriate accreditation and evidence of successful breast enlargement surgeries.
- CQC registration: the Care Quality Commission is the independent regulator that inspects all healthcare facilities in the UK, ensuring they meet the minimum standard of patient care and cleanliness. Ensure your clinic is registered with the CQC.
- Pressure: a clinic should never put you under pressure to have breast enlargement surgery with them. You should be able to make your decision in your own time without any hassle from your patient service co-ordinator. Choose a clinic that makes you feel comfortable and at ease.
Most clinics offer a free consultation so we recommend that you visit several private breast enlargement clinics before making your final decision. Gather as much information during your consultation as possible and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Respected clinics will be happy to discuss everything with you. Fill out the form at the top of this page and we can put you in touch with high quality breast surgery clinics in your local area.