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Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation, involves using breast implants or fat transfer to increase the size of your breasts. This procedure can also restore breast volume lost after weight reduction or pregnancy, achieve a more rounded breast shape, or improve natural breast size asymmetry. It’s a highly individualised procedure and should not be done to fit someone else’s ideal image or to fulfil an expectation. It’s a personal choice and one that should be considered carefully, with realistic expectations.

Who Can Suitable Breast Augmentation?

Breast augmentation is a viable option for individuals who:

  • Are physically healthy and not pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Have realistic expectations
  • Feel that their breasts are too small
  • Are dissatisfied with their breasts losing shape and volume after pregnancy, weight loss, or with ageing
  • Have breasts that vary in size or shape
  • Have one or both breasts underdeveloped

The Treatment Process

Consultation and Planning

The first step in the breast augmentation process is a consultation with a plastic surgeon. During this meeting, you’ll discuss your goals and expectations. The surgeon will evaluate your existing breast tissue to determine the best type of implant and the optimal size, shape, and texture for your body type. You’ll also discuss the implant placement (above or below the pectoral muscle) and the location of the incisions.

Types of Implants

Breast implants come in saline and silicone gel varieties. Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water. They’re inserted empty, and then filled once they’re in place. Silicone gel implants are pre-filled with silicone gel, a thick, sticky fluid that closely mimics the feel of human fat. Some women believe that silicone implants feel more like natural breast tissue.

The Surgery

Breast augmentation is performed under general anaesthesia or intravenous sedation. The surgeon will make incisions in inconspicuous areas to minimise visible scarring. These incisions could be made in the armpit, in the crease under the breast, or around the areola. The choice of incision depends on several factors, including your particular anatomy, the type of implant, and the degree of enlargement desired.

After the incision is made, the breast implant is inserted into a pocket either:

  • Under the pectoral muscle (a submuscular placement), or
  • Directly behind the breast tissue, over the pectoral muscle (a submammary/subglandular placement)

The method for inserting and positioning implants depends on the type of implant, degree of enlargement desired, your body type, and your surgeon’s recommendations.


Post-surgery, you’ll be taken into a recovery area for monitoring. You might feel sore and tired for a few days after the breast augmentation, but you should be mobile. Your surgeon will prescribe medication to ease the pain. Stitches are removed in a week or two after surgery. It’s crucial to follow all your surgeon’s instructions carefully during the recovery period to ensure the best possible outcome. This includes wearing a support bra as directed and attending follow-up appointments regularly.

Risks and Considerations

As with any surgery, there are risks involved with breast augmentation. These include pain, infection, changes in nipple or breast sensation, implant leakage or rupture, and the need for additional surgery. Discussing these potential risks and complications with your surgeon beforehand is essential to make an informed decision.


Breast augmentation can significantly affect self-esteem and body image, offering satisfaction to those who have long been discontent with their breast size or shape. However, it’s vital to have realistic expectations and understand that while breast augmentation can enhance your appearance, it won’t necessarily change your looks to match your ideal, or cause other people to treat you differently. Careful consideration and discussions with a qualified plastic surgeon are crucial steps in the journey towards deciding if breast augmentation is the right choice for you.


Recovery times can vary, but most patients can return to work and light activities within a week. Full recovery, including the ability to engage in strenuous activities and exercise, may take up to six weeks. It’s important to follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions closely to ensure a smooth and safe recovery.

Many women are able to breastfeed after breast augmentation, but there are exceptions. The ability to breastfeed post-surgery depends on the type of surgery, the placement of the implants, and the way the surgery was performed. If breastfeeding is a concern, discuss this with your surgeon before the surgery.

Choosing the right size and type of implant is a decision made in consultation with your surgeon, based on your body size, shape, and your aesthetic goals. Surgeons use various methods to help you visualise potential outcomes, including trying on implant sizers during your consultation or using computer imaging.

Breast implants are not designed to last a lifetime, and it is possible that they may need to be replaced at some point. On average, implants can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years. Regular follow-ups with your surgeon and monitoring the condition of your implants are essential parts of maintaining your breast augmentation results.

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