Commonly known as a boob job, breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the UK. The operation is designed to increase the size of a woman’s bust and enhance the shape of the breasts. Some experts attribute the rise in popularity of breast enhancement surgery with the rise of the glamour girl; tabloid papers are now filled with big busted beauties, heaping pressure on women to look like the girls on page 3. In some cases, women have breast surgery following pregnancy or treatment for breast cancer, which may have affected the shape and structure of their breasts. In many cases, breast augmentation surgery can make a real difference to a lot of women who feel their breasts are simply too small; this can make them feel unattractive and boyish and can consequently affect their confidence and self-esteem.
What will happen before the operation?
During the consultations before the surgery takes place patients discuss the procedure with the surgeon and decide which implants they want and how big the implants are going to be; usually, surgeons recommend a slight increase in size rather than a huge increase, as this will help to keep the breasts looking natural and will prevent health conditions such as back pain.
What does the surgery involve?
Breast augmentation surgery involves inserting an implant into the breast to increase the overall size of the breast; the size of the implant depends on how big the patient wants their new breasts to be. The incision is usually made under the breast, but in some cases the incision may be made in the armpit. The implants are either placed between the pectoral muscle and the mammary gland (subglandular augmentation) or behind the pectoral muscle (submuscular augmentation). After the implant has been inserted the incision is closed using stitches; most surgeons use sutures that dissolve over the course of time.
Which type of procedure should I have?
Your surgeon will discuss whether to go for a submuscular or subglandular procedure with you during the initial consultations; each method has its advantages and disadvantages. Submuscular implants often look more natural but subglandular operations often heal faster and involve less pain after the procedure.
What are the implants made of?
Implants are made of a hard silicone shell which is filled with liquid; the liquid is usually either silicone gel or salt water.
How long does the operation take?
Breast augmentation surgery is fairly straight forward and takes just an hour and a half; most patients stay at the clinic overnight to allow them to recover fully from the anaesthetic.
How long does the healing process take?
The speed of healing varies according to the individual; after the operation has been completed, dressings will be applied to the breasts to protect the wound. These dressings should be left on for approximately 2 weeks; it is important to keep they dry during this period of time. Initially, the breasts will feel sore and tender but this should wear off fairly quickly and the patient should feel within a few days; some patients return to work just a couple of days after surgery.
How long will the scars last?
Scars fade at different speeds according to the individual; however, patients should be told that scars can take up to two years to completely fade.
How much does breast augmentation surgery cost?
The cost of this treatment varies considerably between different clinics and surgeons; as a general guide, patients should expect to pay in excess of £3000. It is best to get an exact price for your treatment before you go ahead with it; some prices include aftercare and some don’t so you should take this into account when you are comparing prices and services.