Considering a breast augmentation procedure?

There are many reasons why people choose to undergo breast surgery. Some patients have been unhappy with their breast size since a young age and look to create the volume they have always wanted. Others find that their breast tissue has decreased either with age, or following the birth and breast feeding of their children. Some women look to correct growth deformities or balance out unevenness in sizing. Whatever the reason, our expert surgeons here at The Westbourne Centre can help you boost your confidence by achieving enhancing, and often life changing, results.

The starting point for any surgeon discussing breast enlargement surgery with you will be to determine the overall look you are aiming to achieve. Breast shape and size should be an important focus of discussion with your surgeon. Our surgeons will be able to assess your suitability and talk you through all of the relevant options to achieve your desired outcome.

Should I have breast implants or fat transfer?

Breast augmentation using breast implants is the most common method used by most cosmetic surgeons at present. However, fat transfer, also known as fat grafting or lipo-filling, can be used in some patients to enhance the shape and volume of the breasts. Fat transfer involves harvesting the patient’s own fat from another area of their body using liposuction, and after processing, the fat is grafted in the breasts. This is an excellent technique mainly for small to modest increases in volume, however the results are less predictable as some of the fat can reabsorb.

Fat transfer can also be used with implant augmentation to produce nicer results particularly in patients who lack natural cleavage. This is also known as ‘composite breast augmentation’. You can read more about this technique on our fat transfer page.

Our surgeons have a wealth of experience in accommodating all sorts of requirements, from noticeable enhancements to more natural breast augmentations. All of our treatments are uniquely tailored to suit your individual needs.

There are many factors to consider with breast enlargement surgery, some of these are considered below.

What type of breast implants do you use?

Here at The Westbourne Centre, we typically use silicone breast implants. Silicone is a material widely used in implantable medical devices. The implants have an outer shell constructed from several layers of elastic silicone material which increases the durability of the implant without compromising on the overall look of the breast once inserted.

Should I have round or anatomical implants?

There are two different shapes of breast implants; round and anatomical. Which shape to opt for will likely be determined by the look you are aiming for, but also your body shape and the volume of existing breast tissue. In some patients, the anatomical breast implants, also known as teardrop implants, are considered to provide more natural results due to the sloping effect of the implant. This is usually applicable to very small-framed patients with minimal natural breast tissue, however the round implants can also produce natural results on some patients.

For patients looking for a noticeable increase in volume, large breast implants are available, as well as implants with high projection. Your surgeon will be able to make recommendations on which to go for, based on your proportions and the look you are aiming to achieve.

What size implants should I have?

Deciding ‘how big to go’ is a tricky one for most patients. During your consultation, you will also be able to test out different breast implant sizes in one of our pre-op garments, where you can place customised dummy implants to give you an idea of the overall look. Your consultant will be able to talk you through all of the options available to you once they have an idea of the look you want to achieve. They will consider your body size, characteristics, proportions, chest width and natural symmetry. A wider implant may provide more cleavage, but less fullness of the breast. A high profile implant will provide more projection and fullness but have less width and cleavage.

Will the breast implant be placed under or over the muscle?

Implants may be placed in one of two positions; either beneath the breast tissue and on top of the pectoralis muscle (subglandular) or partially beneath the pectoralis major muscle (submuscular or dual plane).

There are advantages and disadvantages of each placement and your surgeon will discuss both and recommend the best choice for you. Generally, placement of an implant beneath the muscle gives an extra layer of muscle coverage and may be the choice for patients who are small framed with minimal breast tissue. This placement helps protect the implant and puts less strain on your skin and surrounding tissues. Our surgeons can perform both options under local anaesthetic with sedation.

Where will the incisions be made?

Breast implants can be inserted through an incision either in the infra-mammary fold (crease under the breast), around the areola (around the nipple), or under the axilla (armpit). Depending on the implant size this incision may vary from 5-6cm in length.

The incision in the infra-mammary fold is the most common technique as it is the least complex and the scars are often hidden by the natural droop of the breast. The scars are designed to be in the natural folds so there is less stress on the healing tissues.

The incision around the areola, if it heals well, is hidden to some extent by the colour change at the edge of the nipple but can be very visible and unsightly. Also, it can be difficult to place implants under the muscle plane using this approach.

The armpit (axillary) approach avoids any scarring on the breasts but can be a little more difficult to develop and control the dimensions of the surgical plane under the breast or muscle needed to insert the implant. Also for many patients scarring on the armpit may not be any more acceptable than scars on the breast.

Every patient is different, there are no right or wrong approaches to implant insertion. Your individual needs and circumstances will be considered by the surgeon, and you will be fully counselled on the advantages and disadvantages of the different techniques.

How long will it take to recover after a breast augmentation procedure?

All breast augmentation procedures are carried out under local anaesthetic with sedation meaning there is no overnight stay. During the procedure, patients are given a local anaesthetic with intra-venous sedation and pain-killers, but are not completely unconscious and breathe for themselves. 

Breast augmentation recovery time is much faster than compared with the same procedure using a general anaesthetic, which usually involves an overnight stay in hospital. The use of local anaesthesia with sedation is one of the benefits of all breast augmentation and cosmetic surgery procedures performed at The Westbourne Centre. Our patients can go home the same day and are able to recover in the comfort of their own home.

Time off work is an individual matter, and will vary from patient to patient. Things to consider would be how physically demanding your job is and the type of environment you work in.

Our surgeons will usually recommend two weeks off work, but you may be able to return sooner if you are in a sedentary role and able to take regular rest breaks. You will be fully informed about the implications of having breast augmentation and any possible short or long-term complications.

Our surgeons will advise that you should not drive or fly for approximately three weeks following surgery.

Will breast implants affect my ability to have children or breastfeed?

The presence of breast implants will have no effect on your ability to become pregnant, deliver a baby, or even breastfeed. Breast implants have not been shown to have any adverse effects on children. Breast implant surgery should not prevent you from following any desire you may have to breast feed. However, the surgical approach used for implant placement may influence breast feeding as the option of placing the scar around the nipple area could interfere with the breast ducts. While this is uncommon it is worth indicating any interest you may have in breast feeding in the future with the surgeon so you can discuss your options with the surgeon.

It is not advisable to undergo breast augmentation for six months after you have stopped breast-feeding. Also, if you have breast augmentation before pregnancy you have to consider that the shape and volume of your breasts may change after pregnancy and breast-feeding.

Do you have before and after photos?

As everyone is different, it is important to understand that outcomes can vary post-operatively for each individual patient. We do not publish before and after photos of augmented breasts on our website, nor do we distribute them prior to the consultations. Our surgeons will show you some images during the consultation which are relevant to your individual case. Sometimes it can be difficult to manage expectations if you’ve seen images where the end result is not compatible with your shape and proportions. It is also useful for the surgeon to talk you through the transformation and why they achieved the result they did.

Our surgeons aim is to ensure that you have realistic expectations of what is achievable. The final decision to have surgery is, as always, your own personal choice.

Has The Westbourne Centre ever used PIP implants?

We would like you to know that The Westbourne Centre has NEVER used PIP implants; we only use high quality medical grade breast implants from long established reputable manufacturers. If you have had a breast augmentation and you are not sure what implants you have, contact the clinic, hospital or surgeon who carried out your operation and ask about the type of implants you have.

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