Breast Implants, Enlargement and

Augmentation Surgery

Cosmetic surgery to increase the size of the breasts by using implants is currently one of the most requested plastic surgery procedures. Many women have breasts that are smaller than they would like, or they have become smaller after having children.

What could breast implant surgery do for me?

Having the size of your breasts augmented can improve both the size and the shape of your breasts. You can also combine the surgery with a breast lift if necessary, for the best result. In addition, a correctly performed breast augmentation could increase your self confidence and enable you to buy the clothes you have always dreamed of wearing. Surgery can also correct natural asymmetries.

What type of implants are currently available?

Breast implants are currently either filled with silicone or saline. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of implant. Silicone implants are usually the preferred choice as they provide the most natural shape and touch. However, an advantage of the saline filled implants is that the salt solution is absorbed harmlessly by the body should the implant rupture. Unfortunately, in small breasted women or women needing breast reconstruction, water "ripples" in the saline filled implant may show through the skin. Studies concerned with the safety of silicone implants have made no link between the use of silicone implants and connective tissue disorders or malfunctions of the autoimmune system, and the FDA has approved them as safe for the augmentation of breasts.

You will need to discuss the options available with your doctor before reaching a decision.

Where will the implant be placed?

The implant can either be placed:

  • sub-glandular. This option places the implant under the breast tissure but above the muscles in the chest.
  • partially sub-muscular. This option places the implant under the breast tissue and partly under some of the muscles of the chest.
  • completely sub-muscular. This option places the implant completely under the muscles of the chest.

Your doctor will advise the most appropriate placement in your case.

Who is a good candidate for breast augmentation?

Anybody considering cosmetic surgery should be emotionally balanced and have realistic expectations of the results that can be achieved. You should be in good health, be a non smoker and eat a healthy diet.

What are the risks?

As with all surgical procedures, there are some risks which will be explained to you before you decide to go ahead. The risks include:

  • Infection
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Capsular contracture - the human body naturally forms a fibrous capsule around a breast implant, which it sees as being a foreign body. This is a natural bodily response and is to be expected. Problems can arise when this capsule contracts excessively, causing it to squeeze the implant and give it a ball like appearance. The breast feels very hard to the touch. Click here for more information about the risks and remedies of capsular contracture.
  • An asymmetrical result
  • Scarring
  • Loss of nipple sensitivity
  • Haematoma
  • The risks of a general anaesthetic, including Deep Vein Thrombosis and chest problems, especially if you are a smoker or you take the contraceptive pill.

Where I can get more information?

The department of health have produced a leaflet which you can download in pdf format here. Also take a look at the FDA breast implant risk site, which details information on risks of breast implant surgery and gives guidance on the lifetime of implants.