If you feel that your breasts have not fully developed or are looking to restore shape and volume, then you may benefit from breast augmentation.
A Breast Augmentation or “boob job” is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery procedures. It is not something that should be undertaken lightly due to the potential life long maintenance that may be required. Modern breast implants mean that good long term results are possible.
Most women considering breast enhancement desire a natural breast size and feel to their breasts. Silicone gel breast implants are used throughout the world and there is no scientific evidence to suggest that silicone can cause harm.
The discussion surrounding breast implants can be complex as there are many factors to consider.
Breast Implant Consultation
At your initial consultation, will we discuss what your concerns are and what you are aiming to achieve. We will help guide you to choose the most suitable size of breast implant that matches your wishes, but more importantly, matches your pre-existing chest and breast tissue. We use a sizing kit and also have access to 3D imaging to help choose the best size implant for you.
The type of implants (round/ anatomical or tear drop) and where we place them (above/ below the chest muscle/ dual plane) will be explained to you in full.
What if my breasts are also droopy?
If your breasts have become droopy (loose breast skin) then you may be more suited to a breast enlargement combined with breast uplift (Augmentation Mastopexy).
Will my implants have to be changed after a certain time?
Breast implants do not need to be replaced after a set period, however they can cause problems over time and may need to be removed or swapped for technical (implant rupture/ tight scar tissue) or cosmetic (change in breast shape over time/ after pregnancy/ weight loss) reasons. For this reason, you should be fully aware that you may require further breast surgery in the future.
Are there any alternatives to breast enlargement surgery with implants?
If you are looking for a very modest increase of one cup size or so, then fat transfer to your breasts may be an option. Fat transfer is a well established plastic surgery procedure that has been used in breast cancer patients for many years. Fat is removed from your tummy or thighs using liposuction. The fat is then prepared to remove blood and oil and is then injected into the breasts. About half the injected fat will be lost over the first few months. The advantage of fat transfer is that you are not putting anything “foreign” or unnatural into your body. The main disadvantage, is that only a modest enlargement can be achieved and the increase in volume is not as reliable as using implants.
What are the risks?
What are the possible complications of surgery?
Bleeding can occur, usually within the first 24 hours after surgery (sometime later). This will cause swelling and tenderness of the affected breast. If this occurs then a return to theatre is required to remove the blood and stop any ongoing bleeding. It does not affect the cosmetic outcome but you may end up more bruised and require an extra night in hospital. This risk of bleeding is around 1-2%.
Implant Infection is uncommon (less than 1% chance) but can be serious when it occurs as it usually requires removal of the implant. A new implant cannot be put back in place until at least 3 months after the infection has settled.
Under or overcorrection – You will always be involved in the decision making process to ensure that you are happy with the size of your breasts after the operation. Occasionally some patients will feel that they would have liked to be bigger (very rarely smaller). We cannot guarantee the final size and we will never place implants that are too large for your breast tissue to handle as this increases the risk of problems further down the line.
Some asymmetry is common before surgery and this will be pointed out to you. After surgery, the asymmetry may remain and sometimes can be more noticeable.
Capsular contracture is the commonest complication of breast implants and happens when the capsule or scar that forms around the implant becomes thicker and starts to tighten around the implant. This can result in your breasts feeling more firm and can also change the shape of your breasts. Your may also experience tenderness. As many as 1 in 10 women with breast implants will develop capsular contracture.
Some altered sensation to the breasts after breast implant surgery is common. This usually relates to some numbness near the scar, and oversensitivity of the nipples. This gradually settles down, but may take several months to do so. A few patients may get numbness of the nipples.
Feeling or seeing the implants under the skin – In thin patients it is common to be able to feel the edges of the implants. This is less likely in patients who start off with a reasonable amount of their own tissue covering the implant. Over time some women may be able to see or feel ripples or folds in their implants particularly when leaning forwards. This risk of this happening can be reduced by placing the implants under the muscle where appropriate and ensuring that the implants are not too large.
Implant rupture/ failure – Modern breast implants are designed to last for life. They do not need to be replaced unless there is a specific problem such as severe capsular contracture. A small number of implants may rupture. This poses no health risks. In most cases the leak is contained within the capsule and many women will not be aware that their implant has ruptured. Some women will notice a change in the size, shape or consistency of their breast. A lump might appear and the breast can look swollen. A scan will usually be carried out and if this suggests the implant has ruptured, removal and exchange of the implant will be recommended.
Is there a link between breast implants and breast cancer? There is no evidence to suggest a link between breast implants a breast cancer. Over recent years, a rare type of breast lymphoma has been shown to be caused by breast implants. The risk with the type of implants we use is currently taught to be around 1 in 60,000. The cancer is known as Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL). The latest official guidance can be found here.
Standard breast augmentation (round implants) £4700
Standard breast augmentation (tear shaped implants) £4900
Breast augmentation with Exchange of implants £4700
Breast implants combined with Breast lift (small lift) £6500 (full lift) £7000
Removal of breast implants only £3500
All inclusive costs for 1 year following surgery
Finance is available (subject to application and vetting) by Zebra Health Finance (formerly First Medical Loans). They offer interest free loans up to a certain value. They can usually provide a decision online within 15 minutes.
Further reading on breast implants/ breast augmentation