Breast Enlargement

Women seeking breast enlargement fall into two categories. The first involves congenital underdevelopment, or an imbalance in the amount of naturally existing breast tissue relative to the other body measurements, such as hip circumference and height. In this instance, there may be problems with breast asymmetry or shape deformities.

The second situation is caused by a natural loss of breast volume, which follows a large weight loss or following childbirth. The breast often takes a collapsed or deflated appearance and clothing no longer fits properly. The only way to increase the size of the breast permanently is by a breast augmentation. Breast augmentation can fill out the breast and correct milder degrees of droop; severe drooping will require nipple repositioning (Mastopexy) with a breast augmentation.

Aims of surgery

The operation aims to give the woman fuller, symmetrical breasts, which are in proportion to her body. The breast tissue is not altered by the enlarging procedure but an implant is placed behind the patient’s own breast tissue, or behind the chest muscle on which the breast lies, simply pushing it forward and enlarging the appearance of the breast.

Commonly asked questions

What scarring is produced?

The scars are 4 - 6 cm in length and are situated on the under-surface of the breast, at or just above the breast fold. They normally fade into a faint white line and are inconspicuous. In women who have a tendency to scar badly, although rare, it can become thickened and raised (Hypertrophy scar).

What size will I be?

Your preference in this regard is discussed at the initial consultation, but do not hesitate to arrange another visit if you have any doubts. It is important that the breast size matches your general build, and care is taken to ensure that breasts look natural. The increase in size will also be limited by the tightness of your skin.

What are the Complications?

Complications are infrequent after a breast augmentation procedure. Sometimes blood accumulation or an infection adjacent to the implant can necessitate a second operation or temporary removal of the implant. Some patients develop a firm layer of scar tissue around their implants, which can make the breast hard to the touch or painful. This is called "capsular contracture". It can cause the breast contour to be asymmetrical and may require secondary procedures for improvement.

Is nipple sensation altered?

In most patients there is no alteration in nipple sensation. However in some it can be increased or decreased by the procedure. Although this is almost always temporary, it can very rarely be permanent.

Can the operation cause breast cancer?

There is no evidence that breast surgery alters the possibility of developing breast cancer. Breast implants do cause some interference with the ability of mammography to detect early breast cancers. All augmented patients need to inform their radiologists of their implants so the screening technique can be favourably modified.

Is the result permanent?

Implants are mechanical devices and can fail any time after implantation. Life span of the implant can be shortened by trauma and may rupture. Ruptured silicone gel implants do not deflate and it may not always be apparent. It could lead to formation of lumps within your breast around silicone nodules (and require biopsies), or rarely to gel migration. Scans are required to diagnose the rupture.

What type of anaesthetic is used?

Most patients prefer a general anaesthetic for maximum comfort during the operation.

How long does the operation take?

The normal operating time is about 1 hour.

Does it cause autoimmune and connective tissue disease?

In recent years some concerns have been raised, about the potential of silicone to cause connective tissue diseases such as scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus etc. To date, however, these claims have not been substantiated by carefully performed scientific studies that have examined the health of thousands of previously augmented patients. Studies are ongoing to investigate any possible links.

When can I return to work?

Most patient arrange 1-2 weeks off work, however some are able to return to work sooner especially if their occupation is sedentary and does not involve lifting and too much of arm movement.

When can I drive?

Usually after 7 to 10 days. Caution must be used when driving with a seat belt. DO NOT drive after taking a pain pill or other sedative.

Meet Your Surgeon

Mr Juma is a Plastic Surgeon with 25 years of medical experience who has a long established reputation within his field. He is a Senior NHS Plastic Surgeon, a Medical Examiner and Honorary Lecturer who is renowned for being a perfectionist.

For your peace of mind, Mr Juma is GMC registered and a member of the Plastic Surgery UK membership bodies BAAPS and BAPRAS.

Call us free on 0800 977 6841