Breast plastic surgery is a popular form of cosmetic enhancement for many reasons. Some women choose to increase the size of their breasts for a more desirable figure, while others want to correct problems with their breast shape such as sagging or deformities due to pregnancy or weight fluctuations. Whatever the reason, it’s important to know what options are available and which will best suit your needs.
When it comes to choosing a plastic surgeon to perform your breast augmentation, make sure they are a full member of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) and is on the GMC’s specialist register. You should also check whether they have a licence to practise. Beware of clinics that pay to appear on search listings – they could be advertising for cosmetic surgery without being properly qualified.
The most common type of breast augmentation involves implant-based techniques. Breast implants are made of silicone shells filled with either saline or silicone gel, and can be shaped to your desired profile with the help of a cosmetic surgeon. Women with smaller frames or those who have had children may prefer to have a dual plane technique, which places the implant half under and half above the muscle.
Your cosmetic surgeon will advise you on the right breast implant for your needs, including the size, shape and texture of the implant. Saline and silicone implants come in round and shaped varieties, with patients now showing a preference for anatomical (teardrop) shapes which look more natural with movement.
Fat transfer to the breasts is a less invasive way of increasing your bust size, and is more suitable for those with good skin tone who have excess fat elsewhere on their body. Your surgeon will use liposuction to remove the excess fat, which is then injected into your breasts to fill and contour them. This is a great option for women who don’t want to have the obvious scar of an implant, but there is a limit to how large your breasts can be enlarged with this method.
The traditional surgical method of breast reconstruction involves moving muscles, tissue and fat from other areas of the body to create a new breast, but this is often painful and requires a long recovery period. Fortunately, a new procedure called the perforator flap reduces this pain and provides you with a more natural-looking result, using your own existing tissue instead of artificial implants or tissue expanders.
The new procedure can be done at the same time as a mastectomy, or it can be delayed until after your mastectomy incisions have healed and your cancer treatment is completed (called delayed breast reconstruction). It’s important to discuss all of your options with your doctor before you decide how you want to rebuild your chest. A combination of methods is often used to achieve your ideal results.