Breast augmentation, also known as a breast enlargement, is a surgical procedure to increase the size of the breasts, increase fullness of breasts, enhance the shape of the breasts or improve the symmetry of breasts with implants.
Your surgeon will seek to understand your ideal breast size and shape, will discuss the types of implants available and explain that implants can be inserted either under the breast tissue or behind the chest muscle. They will share before and after photographs so you can fully understand the options available and help make the right choices for you. We understand that these decisions can be difficult and will spend time discussing the options with you and answering any questions you may have.
Breast augmentation can be performed as a day case under sedation, however some procedures require general anaesthetic and an overnight stay in hospital. Your surgeon will advise at the time of your consultation.
Surgery usually takes approximately one hour, however each case varies.
Implants can be inserted in a number of ways. The most common technique is to insert the implant through an incision made in the crease under the breast, however incisions may be made around the lower edge of the nipple or in the armpit. The incision is closed with dissolving sutures. Dressings and a supportive bra will be fitted.
Tubes may be fitted to drain away any excess fluid. These will be removed prior to discharge.
It is normal to experience some discomfort, swelling and bruising in your breasts and these effects should subside after a few weeks. The shape of the breasts can take several months to settle.
Your anaesthetist will prescribe painkillers and you should take these regularly for the first week or so. It is important to discuss any discomfort with our nursing team.
Your surgeon will advise when to wear your support bra and for how long. It’s important that you do not wear an under-wired bra until advised to do so.
You must avoid strenuous exercise, heavy lifting, swimming and vacuuming for four to six weeks after surgery.
The length of time you will need to be off work will depend on the type of work you do. Your surgeon will advise, however one to two weeks is usual.
Breast augmentation is a commonly performed and generally safe procedure. Nonetheless, all surgery and anaesthetic have some risk associated. Risks to all surgeries include infection, excessive bleeding, adverse reaction to anaesthetic or blood clotting.
Your surgery will result in scarring, however it should gradually soften and fade over several months.
Changes in sensation – increased or decreased sensitivity – may occur in different parts of the breast, including the nipple. These changes are usually temporary, lasting up to six months, however in some cases numbness is permanent.
In rare cases a layer of scar tissue forms around the implant causing the breast to feel hard. This is called Capsular Contracture and may result in the implant being removed and replaced.
It is important to advise medical staff that you have an implant when having a mammogram.
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