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Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation or enlargement is now one of the most widely performed and most successful cosmetic surgery procedures available in the U.K. There are currently two types of implant available in the UK; a silicone gel implant and a saline filled implant that is usually placed inside the breast before being filled with salt water. Implants also come in many different shapes and sizes allowing you more choice. Breast augmentation can be performed under a general anaesthetic, although some surgeons use a local anaesthetic, combined with a sedative to make you drowsy, so that you remain awake but feel very little discomfort during the operation.

A short incision can be made either in the crease under the breast, around the areola (nipple area) or in the armpit in order to insert the implant. Implants can be positioned either between the breast tissue and the pectoral muscle (sub-glandular) or behind the muscle (sub-muscular). Most people find that they can return to work after a few days recuperation.

Why do I want to have breast implants?

It is important to be clear about your reasons for having breast implants. Women may seek breast enlargement because they:
have a congenital (naturally occurring) absence or deformity of one or both breasts;
have had a mastectomy and may consider an implant as part of a breast reconstruction or rebuilding process;
wish to regain breast shape or size, for example, after having children;
wish to correct uneven breasts (i.e. the term “asymmetrical” breasts refers to breasts of different shapes and sizes);
are generally dissatisfied with the size and shape of their breasts.

Breast implants can bring psychological benefits for women who may feel that their breasts are unwomanly and inadequate.
They can help restore lost self-esteem and improve the quality of life. However, you should think carefully about your reasons for having implants and be sure that breast implants are the best solution to your particular anxiety or dissatisfaction.
Your surgeon will wish to explore with you the psychological aspects of having breast implants, as well as the physical details of the operation.

What are the different types of breast implant available?

There are two main parts to an implant: the outer shell and the inner filler.
All breast implants are surrounded by a firm, silicone elastic (or elastomer) shell. The surface of the implant may be smooth or textured.
What happens during a Breast Augmentation (Enlargement) operation?
It is important that during your first discussion with a surgeon, you should explain clearly what you expect from the treatment and how you would like to look afterwards.
Careful discussions regarding the reasons for wanting implants, and the suitability of implant surgery are very important at this stage. Make sure that you obtain as much information as you can to enable you to make a fully informed choice about the procedure. You need to think about the type and size of implant that may be suitable for you before your operation, as well as the point at which the implant will be inserted into your breast, how it will be placed inside your breast and the type of anaesthetic used.
A medical history should also be taken, to ensure that there are no reasons why you shouldn’t have this operation. At this point, you would normally be asked to sign a consent form stating that you have understood the potential benefits and risks associated with breast implantation.

Anaesthesia

Breast augmentation can be performed under a general anaesthetic, although some surgeons use a local anaesthesic, combined with a sedative to make you drowsy, so that you remain awake but feel very little discomfort during the operation.
Remember that a general anaesthetic will always carries a greater risk than a local anaesthetic, but you should discuss your thoughts about this with your surgeon before you undertake the treatment. He/she will offer you the best advice for your comfort.

The operation

Every patient’s needs are assessed individually and it depends entirely on your body as to which method of inserting the implant is used. A short incision can be made either in the crease under the breast, or around the areola (the dark skin around the nipple) in the armpit, or even via the navel (belly button). The latter is generally not recommended, however. It may reduce the level of scarring in a much less obvious area than the breast, but it is a more complicated procedure and can only be used for inflatable saline implants.

How long will it take to recover from a Breast Augmentation?

You should be able to return home soon after the surgery. Often patients go home in the afternoon following surgery in the morning, or they may require just a night’s stay in the clinic. Most patients find that they can return to work after a few days’ recuperation.


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