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All About Breast Augmentation

woman with breast implants

Breast augmentation is literally an operation that aims to increase the size of the breasts by using implants. It is the most common cosmetic procedure in both the UK and the US and can be performed for either cosmetic reasons or reconstructive reasons, such as after having a mastectomy for example.

Why Opt for a Breast Augmentation Operation?
There are numerous reasons as to why you may be interested in breast enlargement surgery. It could be because your breasts are uneven in size, because you unhappy with their size or shape, because they have changed in size or shape after having children for example or for reconstructive reasons, such as if you had to have a breast removed due to breast cancer. Some people will also opt to have a breast enlargement operation due to developmental issues which can cause people a significant amount of psychological pain.

Before a Breast Augmentation Operation
Not everyone will be a suitable candidate for breast enlargement surgery, and a responsible surgeon should take the time to speak to you prior to surgery to truly determine why you want to go ahead with it. Your health history will be taken into account beforehand and you will not be able to have a breast augmentation operation if you have any medical conditions that could lead to problems – this includes cancer that has not been fully treated. Teenagers under the age of 18 and pregnant women are also not eligible for the procedure.

If you are given the go ahead for a breast augmentation operation your surgeon should discuss with you the types of implants that are available. The size of the implants should also be discussed and your surgeon should advise you as to what will look realistic. The site of the scarring and the risks will also be talked about and you will be asked to sign a consent form which states that you agree to the procedure.

Breast Augmentation Cost
In the UK it may be possible to receive breast enlargement surgery on the NHS. This is only usually performed on women who have had a mastectomy or women who can prove they have severe psychological issues that are caused by their breasts. If neither of these applies then the only option is to go private which will cost somewhere in the region of £4,000. The breast augmentation cost in the United States starts at around $5,000. Prices will vary depending on the procedure itself, the experience of the surgeon and the clinic that you choose.

During the Breast Augmentation Procedure
The breast augmentation operation will be usually be performed under general anaesthetic although in some rare cases it can be performed under a local anaesthetic along with a sedative. The incision will either be made around the nipple, at the armpit, under the breast or in some rare cases at the belly button. The implants will then be put into place and the incision will be resealed with stitches.

If reconstructive surgery is performed rather than cosmetic, the procedure will differ slightly as natural tissue implants may also be used as well as the implant itself. There are two different types of reconstructive breast surgery, and your surgeon will discuss these with you beforehand.

Breast Augmentation Recovery
After the breast augmentation operation you may be allowed to go home on the same day otherwise it will be the day after. You will experience some bruising, swelling and pain and you may feel like your breathing is restricted. These are usual recovery symptoms and will take a few weeks to disappear. Over the counter pain relief can be taken to alleviate the pain. You will also receive some aftercare advice which includes:
• Avoiding physical exercise for four weeks
• Avoiding heavy lifting for four weeks
• Avoiding getting your breasts wet for one week
• Avoiding driving for one week
• Sleeping face up for one month

You will also be advised to take at least two weeks off work for breast augmentation recovery but know that you will not be fully mobile until around six weeks after the operation. Your doctor will give you further advice although should you feel any abnormal pain or severe discomfort you should contact him immediately.

Breast Augmentation Risks
The breast augmentation risks should be fully discussed with you before surgery even goes ahead and you should be aware that all forms of surgery come with a risk of complications. Around 30% of people who have a breast augmentation operation performed on them do require further surgery within ten years and this is usually due to scar tissue forming during the healing process or a rupture in the implant itself. Some women may also lose sensitivity in their nipples, receive significant scarring or receive an infection. There are also a number of less common breast augmentation risks which will be described to you by your surgeon before the operation goes ahead.

The good news is that most people have very successful breast augmentation operations and most say that the benefits far outweigh the cost and the recovery period.

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