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Breast Augmentation

Causes of small breasts - the size of breasts is genetically determined. Once developed, the breasts may fluctuate in size in response to changes in weight, pregnancy or breast feeding.

The ageing process causes the shape of the breast to change so that they gradually droop (called ptosis). This effect is greater following pregnancy, breast feeding and in particular after a large weight loss. Most women have breasts of slightly different sizes, but occasionally a very marked difference may develop.

  • The Operation
    Breasts can be made larger by placing an implant either under the breast tissue or behind the muscle on which the breast lies. Implants are usually inserted through incisions in the inframammary fold. Alternatively, the incisions may be made around the areola or in the armpit. A breast implant is made of an outer layer of silicone, but may be filled with silicone gel, salt water or soya bean oil. Some implants are round and others are shaped more like a natural breast. Either can give excellent results. The manufacturer's life expectancy of breast implants is 10 or more years, although implants can stay in without problems for a much longer time.

  • What are the risks?
    Leakage of silicone can occur either as a slow seepage or as a result of rupture of the implant. The silicone is almost always contained within the fibrous capsule which the body forms around the implant. Silicone leakage has never conclusively been linked to serious health problems.

    The capsule which the body normally forms around the implant can become thickened and contracted. The newer designs of implants have features to reduce the likelihood of this happening. This occurs to some extent in around 10% of patients and usually starts six or more months after surgery. This can lead to pain, and/or an abnormally hard feel to the implant in the breast. Treatment may be needed and occasionally the implant will have to be removed.

    Breast augmentation does not usually interfere in breast feeding and there is no evidence that any silicone is found in breast milk. The presence of breast implants does interfere in mammography, which is an X-ray screening method for breast cancer. Special X-ray views can be taken to minimise this interference. Soya filled implant do not interfere to such an extent, but this type of implant is not suitable for all patients.

    Cosmetic surgery is carried out by members of several different organisations and therefore your general practitioner is the best person to advise you on whom you should see.

  • ARNICA tablets will reduce swelling. They may be bought from BOOTS or HOLLAND & BARRETT. These should be started a few days before surgery and continued for several days afterwards.

    The stitches you have may not all be dissolving and may need removing.  This will be at your two week appointment

    You must keep your dressing as dry as possible until your follow up appointment.

    Swelling and bruising may be severe.

    You should have been measured for bra size preoperatively. Although it is difficult to be precise about your size after surgery, you should have an indication of the size of the sports bra you will need. As a general rule expect to keep your chest measurement (36, 38 etc) but you should increase your cup size. Immediately after surgery there will occasionally be dramatic swelling, which means you may be alarmed that your breasts appear too large.  Swelling will decrease over the next 6 - 12 months.

    Please bear in mind that we will endeavor to give you the breast enlargement you desire, but it may be that your skin would not stretch to accept a larger implant. This will have been discussed with you at your initial consultation and in your preoperative discussion on the day of surgery. The operation we have performed is to ensure a SAFE and NATURAL result.

    Scarring is always an issue and hopefully your scarring will be reasonable. If scarring is an issue we will endeavor to correct this. A facility fee may be charged for this. Any corrective surgery will only be undertaken when post operative swelling settles which may be after 9 - 12 months.

    At your follow up appointment you will be given further advice regarding scar massage.

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