Surgical Enlargement of Breast Tissue
Breast augmentation is the surgical enlargement of the breast, typically through the implantation of a synthetic implant underneath the breast. This surgery can reshape, enlarge or make the breasts more equal in size.
Breast augmentation surgery involves a cut being made next to or below the breast tissue, followed by the insertion of the implant between your pre-existing breast tissue and chest muscles, and completed by stitching up the incision. Alternatively, in slender patients with little pre-existing breast tissue, the implant may be inserted behind the chest muscle, providing a smoother contour to the augmented breast. This is all performed under general anaesthetic. Often the procedure is performed as a day case procedure, and you will be able to go home on the same day as the operation. If the surgery is performed later in the day, you may need to stay overnight for observation. You will need to take 2 weeks off work following the procedure, as it is a major operation.
Before your operation, you will discuss with your surgeon what bothers you about your breasts currently, and your surgeon will discuss your expectations of breast augmentation surgery. Following this, you will work with your surgeon to choose an appropriate implant shape, size and type. You will be given a few weeks “cooling-off” period prior to surgery, so that you can make sure surgery is the right thing for you.
Cosmetic breast augmentation is generally not available on the NHS so you will have to consult a plastic surgeon as a private patient. Breast augmentation does not last a lifetime – often patients will require further surgery after a number of years to replace or remove breast implants.
As with any operation, there are risks to the surgery. Specific risks to breast augmentation surgery are capsular contraction around the implant causing chronic pain, implant rupture requiring further surgery, implant movement and impaired ability to produce breast milk. General risks include bleeding, infection and formation of blood clots after surgery.
An alternative to breast augmentation is lipofilling, where fat is removed from other areas of the body, such as the hips or thighs, and injected into the breast tissue. Although some fat is absorbed following this initial therapy, the fat that remains contributes to permanent breast enlargement.
Mr Anton Fries, Consultant in reconstructive plastic surgery, would be delighted to discuss options for cosmetic breast augmentation with you during a private consultation.