Breast augmentation (enlargement)
Breast augmentation (breast enlargement) is a surgical procedure that permanently increases the size and enhances the shape of the breasts using silicone implants.
There are a wide variety of breast implants available, and your surgeon will give you advice on the size, shape, and type of implants appropriate for you.
The silicone gel breast implants we use at Sulis are manufactured to the highest standards. These implants have a lifelong warranty against rupture or leak.
What does surgery involve?
Breast augmentation is carried out under a general anaesthetic and usually requires a one night stay in hospital.
Implants can be positioned either under the breast tissue or deeper behind the chest muscle on which the breast lies. Your surgeon will advise which is the most appropriate for you. The implants are inserted through an incision made in the crease under the breast (the most common approach). Once surgery is complete, the incision is closed with dissolving sutures.
Following the procedure, you will be taken from the operating theatre into the Recovery Suite where you will be looked after until you are fully awake. After this, you will return to your room, where the nursing staff will check your dressings and monitor your pulse and blood pressure at regular intervals.
The anaesthetist will prescribe painkillers and you should take these regularly for the first week or so. Pain can slow down your recovery, so it is important to discuss any discomfort with the nursing staff.
There may be a drip in one of your arms – this is to keep you well hydrated. This will be removed when you are able to drink a satisfactory amount.
You will have wound dressings and a supportive sports-style bra (non-underwired) in place.
When will I recover?
After Breast Augmentation you are likely to have some pain/discomfort, swelling and bruising in your breasts. These are temporary and should subside after the first few weeks. It may take several months for the shape of your breasts to settle.
Your surgeon will advise you as to how long you are required to wear your supportive bra and whether it is to be worn day and night. You must avoid wearing an under-wired bra until you are informed otherwise.
You will receive a post-operative telephone call from the Specialist Nurse one to two days after your discharge home to ascertain your progress and well-being. You will also receive a follow-up appointment at which your surgeon will assess your progress and give advice on when you can resume your normal activities.
You must avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting for six weeks after surgery. You should only resume driving when you are confident that you can safely perform an emergency stop without experiencing discomfort.
The length of time you will need to take off work will depend on your type of employment, but is usually one to two weeks.
What risks should I know about?
Breast augmentation is a commonly performed and generally safe procedure. However, all surgery carries an element of risk.
The possible complications of any surgery can include an unexpected reaction to a general anaesthetic, excessive bleeding, infection and developing a blood clot (usually in a vein in the lower leg, known as a deep vein thrombosis).
You will be left with scars following your surgery. Initially, they will be red and slightly raised, but they should gradually soften and fade over the following months. Some patients experience changes in sensation in different parts of the breast including the nipple – these areas may become more or less sensitive than before. These changes are temporary but can last up to six months. Occasionally, numbness can be permanent.
Capsular Contracture is a potential complication – this is when a layer of scar tissue forms around the implant causing the breast to feel hard. The implant may need to be removed and replaced.
Combining a calming hospital environment with outstanding patient care so you can recover as quickly as possible.
Type of anaesthetic General
Can I pay privately? Yes
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Talk to the experts
Mr Anthony MacQuillan
Consultant Plastic SurgeonView profile
Mr Jamie McIntosh
Consultant Cosmetic Breast SurgeonView profile
Mr Richard Sutton
Consultant General and Breast SurgeonView profile
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