Added by Klaudia Grabowska on 27.04.2021

Breast enlargement - what is it?

Augmentation mammoplasty, commonly known as breast enlargement surgery or boob job, is a plastic surgery aiming at increasing the size of women breasts. It usually entails placing breast implants, but such an enlargement may also result from transferring their own fat to breasts. Breast implants plastic surgery is very personal and intimate surgery which helps women gain self-confidence, attractiveness, and comfort. The majority of patients decide for plastic surgery breast implants for purely cosmetic and aesthetic reasons, but there are also women who regain their femininity thanks to implants – it concerns women who have some breast conditions, e.g. they have breast asymmetry, have done breast mastectomy or have breast deformation. What are breast implants made of? They are made of either silicone gel or saline gel.

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Breast enlargement surgery, known as a boob job is a plastic surgery that increases the size of breast

 

 

 

What can be achieved thanks to breast implants?

  • Improving breast look
  • Increasing the breast size
  • Bringing the desired breast shape
  • Making the breasts firm and lifted 
  • Correcting any asymmetries or deformations 
  • Boosting women’s confidence and self-esteem.

Types of breast implants

Patients may hear about various types of breast enlargement surgery, but it usually boils down to different types of breast implants. Generally, a plastic surgeon always describes all the breast enlargement surgery options and chooses such a type which meets all the patient’s expectations and fits the anatomy.

The breast implants are classified by the following characteristics:

  1. Filling gel breast implants: silicone and saline breast implants
  2. Covering of implants: textured and smooth breast implants
  3. Shape: anatomical breast implants (called teardrop breast implants) and round breast implants
  4. Profile: low profile, moderate profile, high profile and ultra-high profile
  5. Size: from 125cc to 700cc (the most popular size is 500cc breast implants)
  6. Brand: the most popular and high quality brands are Allergan breast implants, Sientra implants and Mentor breast implants (known as Memory gel breast implants).
girls in black bra

Currently, there are many types of breast implants and different surgery options available

It is rather impossible to determine which are the best breast implants because every patient is different and the decision about the implant brand and its characteristics is always individual – the main factors are patients’ expectations and their body build. Thus, patients should always consult a surgeon before the surgery. The surgeon has enough expertise and experience to choose the best implants out of different shapes of breast implants, different sizes or covering. Finally, we should mention that there are also polypropylene breast implants. They allow for achieving exceptionally big breasts, yet these implants have not been certified in Europe or North America, so we advise patients to stick to the approved implants brands. 

Under muscle breast implants

It is a type of surgery where breasts implants are placed under the chest muscles. It is a great option for women who have little tissue in the breasts. Placing the implants under muscle means that implants get a big support and coverage from the muscle. Such implants look really natural. Before deciding on the implants location, a surgeon checks the position of breasts and muscles – the muscle is situated high on the chest between the sternum and the shoulder. When breasts are sagging (e.g. due to a weight loss or breast feeding) and have fallen down so that they are below the chest muscle, surgeons do not place implants this way. The reason for this is that implants may look unnatural and distorted. In general, the surgery of placing breast implants under the muscle is more demanding than placing implants over the muscle, it also requires a longer recovery. Patients should also know that there is a risk of animation deformity which may result from exercises or some daily activities. However, this risk is relatively low, it is still higher than in implants placed over the muscles.

Over the muscle breast implants

Placement of breast implants over the muscle is called subglandular placement. Here, implants are put between the chest muscle, specifically the pectoralis major muscle, and the breast tissue. In other words, implants are below the breasts tissue and over the muscle. The condition for such a placement is that women have enough breast tissue to ensure the implant coverage and support. When the amount of natural breast tissue is too small, implants may look artificially inflated and unnatural. Compared to implants placement under the muscle, this surgery is slightly less complicated and involves shorter recovery. The chest muscle is not affected here, so women do not feel big discomfort after the surgery. There is also no risk of implant distortion during exercises. However, patients need to know that there is an increased risk of folds, rippling and wrinkles in the implants. 

Saline vs. silicone breast implants

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The implants may be also classified by the filling substance- saline or silicone

Breast implants may be classified according to the filling substance – here we can differentiate between saline breast implants vs silicone breast implants. Saline breast implants consist of a silicone shell which is filled with saline solution (a sterile saltwater). Such implants may be filled before the surgery and some are filled after placement in the chest. They may have different shapes, sizes and structures. Are saline breast implants safe? Yes, they have been approved by FDA and are widely used for breast augmentation for women over 18 years old and for breast reconstruction for women at any age. Silicone breast implants consist of silicone shell and silicone gel which fills the implant inside. Here, implants also have various shapes, structures and sizes. They are recommended to women aged over 22 who just want to increase the breast size. Also, silicone implants are used for reconstructive and revision surgeries. Patients need to speak with a plastic surgeon about pros and cons of saline breast implants and silicone breast implants to determine which one to choose.

Breast Tissue Expanders

Breast tissue expander is a temporary solution used after or during mastectomy, which is a preparation for placing regular breast implants. Such an expander is an expandable, implantable balloon which stretches the skin and muscles. It is a temporary solution which remains in the chest over several months, after which it is replaced. It is made of a silicone shell and either external port or internal valve which enables the injections of saline fluid – they are injected over time to maximize the skin stretching before placing the implants. The breast tissue expander should always match the shape and structure of the breast implants that patients are going to have. 

Women having mastectomy usually agree to have the expanders placed during this surgery. The simultaneous procedures shorten the recovery time and make breast restoring surgery come sooner. The breast tissue expanders work in a way that after the recovery from mastectomy, women have saline injected gradually to the expanders which have already been placed in the chest. Usually within 3-6 months, there is enough space to place regular breast implants. Then, the expanders are removed and replaced with implants.

Breast implants sizes

Choosing breast implants sizes is usually the most important factor for women who are going to have breast augmentation. At first, women should think about what effect they would like to achieve, what their dream breast size and shape is and what results they expect. Then, they should visit a plastic surgeon to verify whether their idea of the results is possible at all. Sometimes, women want too large breast implants or too small breast implants, sometimes they ask for the biggest breast implants. It all must be verified by a surgeon.

The factors that play a key role in choosing the best implants are:

  • a woman’s weight, height, and body build
  • the body size
  • the natural breasts size and shape
  • characteristics of the chest wall
  • characteristics of breast tissues
  • a woman’s personality
  • expectations (a natural looking breast implants or clearly augmented breast look).
watermelon

Size is usually the most important factor for women deciding on breast implants

Regarding the implants sizes, they are different from bra sizes. So, the implants are not marked as B cup, C cup, D cup, etc. Instead, they are measured in cubic centimeters, commonly known as cc. This measurement is much more precise and allows for a more adequate breast size determining. Generally, the one cup size is the equivalent of 250 cc. The range of breast implants sizes is from 125 cc to 1200 cc. However, the most popular implants are 300cc breast implants, 350cc breast implants, 400cc breast implants, and 800cc breast implants. To give an example, going from cup A to DD breast implants, patients are recommended augmentation with 350 cc implants. The base of the implant may have various widths ranging from 7,4 centimetres to 17,2 centimetres – and this parameter also influences the implants size. More and more clinics offer very precise implants fitting before the surgery when women try various implants shapes and sizes and put them into their bra to get the idea of the breasts look and how they will be felt. 

Breast enlargement candidate

Generally, breast surgery is done for two reasons, thus there is cosmetic breast surgery and reconstructive breast surgery. However, even if women want to have the surgery for one of these reasons, they are not always qualified for it. So, to avoid disappointment with not being qualified, it is good to know what are the criteria for breast augmentation surgery.

The criteria are as follows:

  • girl

    To be qualified for the surgery the patient must meet a few conditions

    The overall health condition is satisfying, it is important that women do not have any lasting, uncured infections or illnesses. Patients having any chronic diseases or serious medical conditions should tell the surgeon about it.

  • Women should not smoke at all, if they do, they should quit smoking at least 3 weeks before the surgery; also alcohol is not recommended.
  • Women should be aware of and prepared for the long-term changes to their look.
  • The expectations towards the results should be realistic and women must listen to the surgeon’s recommendations.
  • Women are familiarized with the side effects and complications risks
  • The decision about the surgery is made solely by a woman and it is her who wants to do it, not anyone else.
  • Women are aware of the recovery and are prepared for some activities that should be avoided at the beginning (e.g. no weight lifting is allowed, a 1-2 week off-work is suggested).
  • Women meet age criteria – they are at least 18 for saline implants and at least 22 for silicone implants.

On the other hand, there are also conditions which make women bad candidates for breast surgery and disqualify them from having the surgery. The most important disqualification factors are: pregnancy or breastfeeding (women may get a saggy breast surgery after finishing breastfeeding period), breast cancer or worrying mammogram results, uncured lasting infections, and having unrealistic expectations towards the surgery results. Finally, these criteria are only general guidelines and each woman is individually qualified for the surgery by a surgeon, it is just important to be totally honest during the consultation and then women can be sure that their surgery will be safe for their health and will bring the desired results. 

Breast implants after pregnancy

Breast implants and pregnancy is an important aspect for women considering breast augmentation. Well, pregnancy is a period when breasts usually get larger and fuller due to hormonal changes. They may increase in a few sizes and get swollen. However, after breastfeeding breasts usually become smaller, yet the skin that has stretched during pregnancy remains, which causes their sagging. What is the connection between breast implants and pregnancy effects? When women lose much breast volume after pregnancy, breast implants are the best option because they fill the breasts, lift them and improve their shape. Also, breast implants here often do not aim at making breasts bigger, their role is improving the breast look. When there is much sagging skin, breast augmentation may be combined with breast lift to give the best results. 

When women get pregnant after breast enlargement, they must realise that their breasts may still change. Breast implants do not prevent hormonal natural changes caused by pregnancy and breastfeeding. So afterwards, women may need another breast surgery. Thus, women are always asked by a plastic surgeon about their plans to have children in the future. If women have such plans, they are advised to wait with the surgery until they are finished with having babies. Of course, breast implants do not influence pregnancy or breastfeeding, so when women want them even if they have plans to have more babies, a plastic surgeon may of course do such a surgery. 

Breast implants after mastectomy

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Breast implants after mastectomy surgery are possible and what’s more they restore breasts and bring back the confidence

Can you have breast implants after mastectomy? There are several options for breasts reconstruction after mastectomy, but the truth is that about 80% of all reconstructive breast surgeries are mastectomy breast implants. For many women, post mastectomy breast implants are the best option for restoring breasts. The implants replace the tissue of the breasts which has been removed during mastectomy surgery. As a result, the breast shape, size, and volume are reconstructed. Breast implants after mastectomy surgery restore breasts, yet they do not look as before, also the breast sensation may be disturbed.

 

The surgery is recommended when:

  • women have had mastectomy
  • the skin and breast tissue is healthy and can support the implant
  • there is no need for radiation therapy
  • women do not want to have flap reconstruction. 

Once a woman makes a decision about breast implants after mastectomy, they should speak with the surgeon about the safety of the surgery and the results that they may expect. A plastic surgeon always advises on the types of breast implants after mastectomy so that a woman feels really satisfied and comfortable with the breast reconstruction. 

Male breast enlargement

Generally, breast enlargement is dedicated to women, however, it also happens that people look for male breast enlargement. Generally, it refers to transsexuals, men who are undergoing the surgery of gender re-assigning and cross-dressing men. The surgery of breast implants provides them with a more feminine look. The surgery itself as well as pre-op and post-op instructions are the same as for women. 

Breast enlargement during menopause

Women during or after menopause can have breast implants surgery. Menopause does not play a major role here. In fact, there are many women who have breast augmentation in their 40s, 50s or even 60s. On the other hand, menopause is a time when women may experience a natural breast enlargement, so when they wait with a decision about the surgery, they may not need it any more.  

Breast enlargement procedure

How long does breast enlargement surgery take? On average, the surgery takes 1-2 hours. When the surgery is combined with other procedures, e.g. liposuction or breast lift, the time is longer of course.

The steps of breast enlargement surgery procedure are as follows:

  1. Anaesthesia – breast enlargement is always performed under general; anaesthesia is applied in the operating room and patients remain monitored by an anaesthesiologist throughout the surgery.
  2. Incisions – a surgeon has a few options for incision making – there may be transaxillary incision (in the armpits), inframammary incision (under the breasts, on the crease), or periareolar incision (around the nipple). The factors that influence the incision place include a patient’s anatomy, enlargement scope, implant type, and surgeon’s preferences. Regardless of the incision site, a surgeon always tries his best to make it in such a way that over time it is naturally hidden in a crease or folds.
  3. Placing breast implants – once the incisions are made, a surgeon inserts breast implants into a pocket submuscularly (under the muscle) or subglandularly (over the muscle and behind the breast tissue). The method is always discussed with a patient before the surgery. 
  4. Incisions closing – after placing the implants, a surgeon closes the incisions in the breast tissue with layered sutures. The incisions on the skin are closed with sutures, surgical tape, or skin adhesive. 

When the incisions are closed, a surgery is finished and a patient is moved to the post-op room. Patients wake up shortly after the surgery, yet they need to spend a night in the hospital under observation. In the meantime, they are given all the guidelines for recovery and post-op care by a surgeon. Most patients are ready to leave the clinic the next day, however, if need be, they may be asked to stay longer.

Are breast implants safe?

Breast augmentation has been regarded as a plastic surgery which may cause serious complications. In the last decades, the media alerted about so-called breast implants illness (BII) or silicone breast implants leaking and many women were said to notice symptoms of leaking silicone breast implants after the surgery. However, nowadays women should never treat breast implants as the “ticking bombs” that may cause harm at any time. The implants brands have been greatly developed and improved, also the surgical methods currently used minimize the risk of complications, so answering the question “Is breast enlargement surgery safe?” we can certainly say that yes, it is a very safe surgery. It is the most common plastic surgery among women in the whole world, and the implants themself, the surgical devices, surgery course, and incisions pose no danger at all nowadays. To feel even more comfortable and safe, women should find a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon who specialises in breast augmentation – when a surgery is performed with great attention and precision, the risk of any complications is considerably reduced

Breast enlargement surgery recovery time

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Breast enlargement is a complicated surgery, average recovery time may last 8 weeks

The average recovery time after breast implants is 8 weeks. Of course, some women may feel great sooner while others need much more time to fully recover from the surgery. Below, we present the general timeline of the recovery after breast implants. 

1-2 days after the surgery

When patients wake up after general anaesthesia, they may feel tired, achy and numb, they rest for a night in a post-op room where their condition is monitored. Sometimes, the pain and tightness in the breast muscles may be felt, especially when the implants are put under the muscle. Patients should have someone to take them home as driving is not recommended for 2-3 days. The breasts are wrapped with an elastic band or bra. Of course, patients are given all the instructions for the recovery time and schedule a control visit with a surgeon before they are discharged from the hospital.

3-5 days after the surgery

Patients feel the greatest discomfort at that time, also the pain may be acute. A surgeon should prescribe medications which alleviate the pain when used as recommended. Sometimes, when the pain is really extreme, patients may get a pain injection which is much stronger than meds. The incision sites may bleed slightly, which is normal unless it intensifies over time. However, if patients are worried about bleeding at that time, they should contact their surgeon to check whether the wounds heal properly. In this period, women have a control visit in the clinic, so they should honestly inform a surgeon about any inconveniences or worries. Lastly, women having breast implants under the muscle recovery may feel worse and more in pain than women having implants over the muscle.

1 week after the surgery

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After around 1 week patients usually start to feel better, they can go back to light daily activities

The pain may endure, yet it greatly eases and prescribed meds are not necessary any more. Patients can take over-the-counter medications for pain alleviation. Many women are able to return to work at this time, of course only when it is a desk-job. All tiring, exhaustive activities should be avoided, yet women may gradually return to their light daily activities. 

2-8 weeks after the surgery

It is the time when women go back to their normal life. To some degree, there is still swelling and soreness in the breast area, but day by day it gets better. Women performing a physical job can return to work about 3-4 weeks after the surgery – only when they feel ready for it. Gentle exercises, mild cardio training can be done – patients should start with light, short activities and gradually increase the length and intensity of activities. Yet, at this stage, heavy lifting and very intense activities like jogging should be avoided because they may cause some complications and disturb breast healing. 

2 months after the surgery

Generally, 2 months is the average recovery time for breast implants. However, sometimes more time is needed. It is important to observe yourself and the body reaction to restored activities. Women should not speed up the recovery and when the body reacts negatively to some activities, it just means that it needs slightly more time to fully heal. In case of any concerns or doubts or when women feel the recovery lasts for too long, they should visit a plastic surgeon and make sure that nothing bad happens. 

Post breast surgery bras

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After surgery bra must be worn as long as the doctor recommends

A breast surgery bra is a must-have after breast surgery. It must be worn after breast implants, breast lift, breast reduction – in fact, women need to wear a support bra after breast surgery of any type.

The benefits that are provided by bras for breast implants include:

  • increasing blood circulation and decreasing inflammation risk
  • preventing implants swelling and their shifting
  • reducing fluid retention and decreasing the risk of hematomas
  • minimizing the infections risk
  • ensuring a better healing.

There are various types and brands of professional and medical bras after breast surgery. So, it is important to choose the one that can fulfill the protective functions. The factors that women should take into consideration while choosing such a bra include front closure (thanks to which women minimize the chest and shoulder movement), breathable material (it prevents rashes and skin irritation), no underwire (underwires may increase pain and discomfort during the recovery), adjustable straps, and comfortable support (breasts should be held firm, yet without any pressure). 

Breast enlargement results

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Results after the surgery are immediate and impressive

How does breast enlargement work? How long do the results last? These are very common and very important questions. Basically, the surgery results are immediate, yet due to swelling and bruising, the natural breast implants effects are clearly visible after the recovery, that is after about 2 months. Regarding breast surgery scars, patients should not worry about them – a skilled plastic surgeon makes incisions in such places that will naturally hide the scars in the future (e.g. in the natural creases or folds). In addition, scars fade over time naturally, so even very prominent scars get less and less visible in the future, so scars should not pose any concerns to patients. Regarding longevity, breast implants are designed in such a way that their minimum longevity is a decade. Whether these are silicone or saline implants, they are very durable and when everything is ok, they can stay for even 20 years or longer. Women can prolong the implants longevity by following some simple steps, e.g. not smoking, avoiding sun exposure, or keeping a stable weight. There is an often repeated stereotype regarding implants, namely that they need to be replaced each 10-15 years. It is not true, and modern implant brands are greatly improved and much more durable than in the past. There are women that need implant replacement after 15-20 years, but there are also women who have breast implant surgery only once in their life. It is very individual, but when women follow the long-term recommendations given by the surgeon, they can enjoy their perfect breasts for many years. 

Breast enlargement aftercare

Breast enlargement aftercare is a very important aspect of the recovery. In the hospital, patients are put bandages over the surgical cuts. Often, a doctor decides to put drains which collect fluids and prevent any bulges. The drains remain for 1-2 weeks, and women are explained how to take care of them and keep them clear at that time. Women also get prescriptions for medications and antibiotics which must be taken as recommended by a surgeon. Regarding going home, patients are not allowed to drive themselves, so they need to ask someone to take them or order a taxi. They should put a soft pillow between the chest and seatbelts. Regarding the aftercare at home, the most important things to remember are listed below:

Bandages and incision sites

- bandages should be replaced every day (until the control visit day)
- a bra should be worn all the time - it keeps the breasts firm and prevent gauze and bandage movement
- the sutures are dissolvable, so they do not need removal
- the incision sites and surrounding area may be red, yet no cosmetics should be used without doctor’s approval
- the incision sites should be kept clear
surgery and wound healing may cause a slight temperature (up to 38,5° C)

Showering and daily hygiene

- the bandages and incision sites should be kept dry for 48 hours after the surgery
- a doctor should advise on showering when drains are put
- bathing is not recommended during recovery
- hot tubs or swimming pools should be avoided during recovery
- using any lotions, creams or deodorants should be discussed with a surgeon or nurse


Clothing

- a post-op supportive bra should be worn for 6-8 weeks
- patients should have a few bras so that they keep continuity in wearing them
- during recovery, bras should be worn also during the night, they can be taken off for showering only
- bras with underwire are not recommended

Physical activity

- patients are advised to be mobile just after the surgery
- any exercises engaging chest muscles are forbidden for 2-3 months
- lifting objects heavier than 2,5 kilograms is forbidden for 4-6 weeks
- a soft supportive bra should be worn during exercises


Aftercare concerns

- any doubts and concerns regarding aftercare should be reported to the surgeon
- when breathing difficulties occur, patients should contact a doctor
- problems with drains or incisions should never be solved without notifying a doctor
- redness, pain, swelling, or warmth in the operating area should alleviate over time, if it intensifies, patients should report it to the doctor.

Breastfeeding after a breast augmentation

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There are no contradictions to breastfeeding after the implants surgery

Can you breastfeed with breast implants? Regarding breast implants and pregnancy, women are advised to have breast implants after breastfeeding. Nonetheless, breastfeeding with breast implants is also possible of course. It may be more challenging for women, yet it does not prevent breastfeeding and does not influence a baby in any way. The breast implants surgery aspects which may influence future breastfeeding include:

  • the incision sites – with the incisions made in the armpits or on the breasts line, the majority or all of breast nerves important for breastfeeding are intact, so there should be no problems; there is more risk of nerve damage when the incision is made around the nipple – and here there is a risk that breastfeeding will not be possible;
  • nipples feeling – when women feel nipple normally, the nerves are not damaged and breastfeeding is not endangered; it is important to remember that the nerves healing may take even a year or longer, so the lack of sensation in the nipples shortly after surgery should not be worrying; also, some women breastfeed successfully without the nipple sensation;
  • implants location – usually, implants located under the muscles are regarded as safer in terms of breastfeeding than implants located over the muscle as they do not influence milk production.

Getting pregnant with breast implants is considered totally safe and normal. Women should just inform a surgeon about their plans for the future so that it is taken into consideration while choosing and positioning the implants. Besides, breastfeeding itself is very challenging and demanding and many a time, problems with milk are not connected with implants, but with anatomy and hormones. When women having or not having breast implant surgery have any problems with breastfeeding, they should ask a certified lactation consultant for advice – it usually turns out that boosting milk production by a breast pump or frequent breastfeeding is enough and solves the problem with lactation. 

Mammogram with breast implants

Generally, a mammogram with breast implants is of course possible however there are some alterations to the examination. So, the mammogram is very safe as long as women inform a GP and person doing the examination that they have implants before it starts. Women with breast implants have the standard examination done – it involves taking 4 standard x-ray pictures of the breasts. In addition, they have 4 extra pictures (known as implant displacement views) taken. Because of the fact that the x rays do not go through the silicone or saline substance, a technician does not get the full image of breasts after taking the standard photos, so the implants are pushed back to the chest wall and breasts are pushed over it and compressed and then, the extra pictures are taken. The implant displacement views may be quite discomfortable for women and are generally hard to take – so it is helpful when women find a place where technicians have experience in examining women with breast implants. Theoretically, implants can be ruptured during the mammogram, however, it is extremely rare and more and more places have experience and expertise in these examinations. Finally, it has not been proven that breast implants and cancer have any connection and the groups of women with and without implants having breast cancer is pretty the same. 

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Breast implants may last 10 years or even longer. After some time there may be a need to do revision surgery

How long do breast implants last?

The minimum duration of breast implants is 10 years. However, for most women, breast implants after 10 years are in perfect condition, so there is no need for breast implant replacement surgery. The average longevity of implants is 20 years, but it does not mean that each woman must have breast implants replacement then. The replacement is needed only when breast implants do not fulfill their functional and aesthetic function. Some women may need removal of breast implants after a few years and some may not need it at all. How do I know when my breast implants need replacing?

Symptoms indicating removing breast implants include:

  • implant hardening: especially developing a capsular contractures and hardening of scar tissue around the implant; it may result in acute pain, tenderness and change of breast shape;
  • rupture of saline: once it happens, the implant gets deflated, the saline leaks from the inside, as a result a breast loses its shape and size;
  • rupture of silicone: it is much harder to detect it because silicone gel is really dense and the leakage may go unnoticed; the symptoms of the silicone rupture include pain, numbness, burning, swelling, change of sensation, changed size of breasts;
  • rippling: it happens when implants develop ripples or wrinkles, these changes may be sensed and seen;
  • repositioning: it may be caused by losing or gaining weight or result from ageing.

In case of any doubts, women should visit a plastic surgeon to check whether they need removing breast implants or not. Generally, replacing breast implants cost, is higher than the cost of primary breast enlargement surgery. In addition, it depends on the surgery type as women may have only implants removal, implants replacement, or implants removal with uplift.

Breast implants gone wrong - side effects of breast implants

Serious side effects of breast enlargement surgery are very rare, but each patient must be informed about pros and cons of breast implants and the possibility of short-term or long-term complications before making the final consent to have the surgery.

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Serious side effects usually don’t happen but the patient needs to be aware of them

The side-effects of breast implants include:

The need for revision surgery

Some patients need implants replaced in the future to keep the aesthetic effects. There is also a risk of scar problems which can be solved only surgically. 

Implants rupture and deflation

Rupture is a hole or tear which appears in the outer shell of an implant and provokes leaking breast implants. It may be caused by a capsular contracture, implant ageing, mammogram examination, surgical affection, improper implant filling (too much or too little saline), too burdensome physical pressure. The symptoms of leaking breast implants include increasing pain, loss of shape and size, swelling and firmness.

BIA-ALCL (Breast implant associated-anaplastic large cell lymphoma)

Patients who have the symptoms of BIA-ALCL (e.g. pain and swelling) should visit a doctor to get a diagnosis. When this condition is confirmed, patients may need implant removal surgery including the scar capsule removal, which is quite more complicated than regular breast implant removal.

The disease of connective tissues

The connection between tissue problems or cancer and breast implants is still under broad examination, and in fact, there is no hard evidence that implants can influence breast tissue diseases. Yet, since it is not proven to be totally harmless in this regard, patients should be informed that such risks of breast implants are theoretically possible.

Capsular contracture

It is a tissue hardening that occurs around the implant. It is likely to occur after seroma, hematoma or infection.

There are 4 grades (called Baker grades) of this condition:

Grade I – breasts look natural and are quite soft

Grade II – breasts look natural, yet they become quite firm

Grade III – breasts start to look unnatural and are clearly firm

Grade IV – breasts look unnatural, they are very hard and cause pain.

The 3rd and 4th grades are serious complications which often require hospitalization and surgery. The implants are removed, they can also be replaced by the new ones, but the condition may occur again. 

Breast implants illness (BII)

It refers to the inflammatory / autoimmune syndrome with specific symptoms that happen to women after breast enlargement surgery. It is still under examination, so each patient noticing the characteristic conditions should report it to the doctor, which will help investigate BII. The common symptoms include hair loss, sleep problems, breathing difficulties, headaches, depression, chronic tiredness, concentration problems, anxiety, muscle and joint pain, dry eyes and mouth or skin problems. 

Breastfeeding

Breast implants usually do not affect breastfeeding or lactation, yet there are cases when women lose such an ability after breast implants. Mostly, women who have breast implant reconstruction after mastectomy have not enough breast tissue and glands to breastfeed. 

Implant complications

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Some complications can be treated non-surgically, but others may require a revision operation

The implants complications are extremely rare, they happen to only a few percent of breast implants patients. Some defects can be treated non-surgically while others require an operation. The implant-related complications include:

  • breast and nipple pain
  • extrusion (the implant breaks the sin and become visible)
  • deformity of chest wall
  • lymphedema
  • skin necrosis or lack of sensation
  • asymmetry in size or shape of breasts
  • implant deflation
  • irritation and rash
  • hematoma
  • infections
  • long wound healing
  • ptosis
  • implant malposition or displacement
  • atrophy of breast tissue
  • iatrogenic implant damage
  • palpability.

Alternatives to breast implants

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Currently, there are many options on the market that may help to get breast bigger, but they won’t work the same as implants surgery

Breast implants is the most popular procedure for breast enlargement. It is the most durable and effective procedure, yet it is a surgery, so it entails some degree of risks and is quite costly. No wonder many people look for alternatives, e.g. non surgical breast enlargement, especially natural breast enlargement – which is much cheaper and available for women. There are a few options of breast enlargement without surgery, which are listed below. However, before trying any method, women should do the research and check whether they really work as it is very easy to get tricked and waste money on doubtful breast enlargement methods.

So, the available alternatives are:

  • Vacuum bras – it is a battery operated device which can enlarge the breasts by even 3 sizes. It generally extends the breast tissue by pulling it and triggers new cells production and blood circulation by putting the breasts under tension. It needs to be worn regularly for a specific period of time, e.g. women wear it for 20 minutes a day for a month, then for 40 minutes a day for 2 months – in fact, the usage of a vacuum bra depends on its brand and manufacturer. 
  • Botox – it is injected into the minor chest muscles and lifts the breasts. The duration of the effects is a few months, so for long-lasting effects, it needs to be repeated regularly.
  • Injectable fillers – fillers, which contain mostly hyaluronic acid, are used mainly for face improvement, yet when they are injected into breasts, they make breasts more firm and increase their volume.
  • Fat transfer to breasts – it is a breast enlargement surgery without implants. The fat is taken from one body part (e.g. tummy or thighs) and is transferred to breasts.
  • Cosmetics – there are many breast-firming creams, they should contain phytoestrogens or Retin-A.
  • Supplements – the market offers a wide range of breast-enlargement supplements, yet their effectiveness is often doubtful.
  • Push-up bras and external prostheses – they guarantee a look of enlarged breasts only when women wear them.

Breast enlargement pills

tablets

One of the options are breast enlargement pills, but they may be risky to the health, so women should be extremely careful before taking them

Breast enlargement pills UK are widely advertised. In fact, it is regarded as the most natural method of breast enlargement, yet it may be also the most risky one. Patients should realize that even the best breast enlargement pills do not increase the breasts size magically, they rather improve skin condition and provoke new cell production. The ingredients that usually compose these pills are Dandelion, Kava Kava, Wild Yam, Red Raspberry, Motherwort, Saw Palmetto, and Damiana. What is important, many of the available supplements are made of natural ingredients. Yet, natural pills may be also risky to the health, so women should be extremely careful and double check any pills that they would like to buy.

Fat transfer to breast

Fat transfer to breasts is the second most popular breast enlargement method after breast implants. The procedure involves taking the fat from one body part and transferring it to breasts in a form of breast enlargement injection. Most women are qualified for this procedure, but the final fat transfer to breast results vary depending on the individual. If women expect much bigger breasts, they usually have several fat graft procedures. During one session, a plastic surgeon is able to transfer about 300-400 mi of fat. The fat is extracted thanks to liposuction, then the fat cells are separated from the blood and other fluids, and finally, it is injected into the breasts. It is important that a surgeon does not inject too much fat at once because the excessive fat may get absorbed by the body and bring no results at all. Generally, most women are good candidates for fat grafting, however, there are some limitations, especially not enough fat, too loose or too tight skin, and insufficient supply of blood. Women wondering whether to have breast implants or fat transfer should ask a plastic surgeon for the advice. Both methods have pros and cons and a surgeon after analysing an individual case, will surely advise on which one is the best and most effective choice for a woman. 

Breast enlargement cost

british punds

Breast implants price vary across the UK, it also depends on the type of the surgery

How much is a breast enlargement? It is a very general question, yet we will try to give women a rough idea of how much is breast enlargement UK. At the beginning, we need to stress that the final price is very individual and however many clinics share their breast enlargement prices in a pricelist, the final price may be slightly different. The average cost of breast implants in the UK is 5500 GBP, yet the whole breast enlargement prices UK range extends from 4500 GBP to 8000 GBP. This range is very wide – yet there are some factors that influence the price and knowing them helps patients make a very rational and thoughtful decision.

The breast enlargement UK price factors include:

  • implant type: generally, saline implants are cheaper than silicone implants because it is more costly to produce and distribute the silicone gel than saline filling; 
  • implant brand: regarding the brands, manufacturers can set their own prices, eg. the Mentor and Allergan implants cost is different, yet all the brands try to be competitive as for the affordability of their products;
  • geographical location: if you live in London and look for breast enlargement near me, you would probably find relatively expensive options – the plastic clinics in big cities are more expensive and exclusive than clinics in small towns; such factors as cost of living and high demand for the surgery naturally makes the breast enlargement cost UK higher than average;
  • a surgeon’s experience: it is obvious that a surgeon with broad experience, many achievements, great credentials and numerous certified trainings charge more for the breast implants than a young surgeon who has just started his practice; yet, we do not mean that the most expensive surgeon always performs the best breast implants UK, there are many great surgeons who are very experienced and offer reasonable prices as well;
  • price components: the price of breast implants may vary depending on what is included; usually the factors that influence the price are anaesthesia, hospitalization, medications, surgical facilities cost, and post-op garments.

Finally, what we advise is to ask the clinics directly what is included in their prices and which surgeon performs the surgery. Doing the research at the source would give the most precise answers to a question ‘how much does breast implants cost’. When the cost is too high and finding a more affordable clinic seems to be impossible, there are some other options of getting breast implants. We explain them below.

Breast enlargement NHS

breast surgery

Usually, plastic surgery is not funded on the NHS, but implants may be treated as reconstructive surgery and then there is a chance to have it on the NHS

Plastic surgeries are generally not available on the NHS, yet under some restricted circumstances, patients are given such an option. Regarding NHS breast enlargement, it may be funded, but there are 3 main conditions that must be met, none of which is a financial reason. So, if the only factor that makes people look for breast enlargement on NHS is the high surgery price, women are highly unlikely to get breast implants on the NHS. 

How to get breast enlargement on NHS? The criteria for women include:

  • having asymmetrical or seriously underdeveloped breasts causing major physical and psychological trauma
  • requiring reconstructive surgery after a breast removal or mastectomy
  • suffering from a very serious mental distress caused by breasts defects.

The breast implants NHS criteria generally refer to serious defects which make breast implants medically proven. So, if women are just dissatisfied with their breast size or shape, they are not regarded as good candidates for breast implants on NHS. However, if the breast look causes really serious mental distress, they may visit a GP who may ask a psychiatrist for help. In this case, the final decision regarding NHS funding will be made by a psychiatrist who will deeply analyse such a case. The other obstacle in NHS funding may be a breast enlargement NHS waiting list, which often is too long for women. The NHS prioritises the surgeries by medical need, and breast surgeries here are not life-saving surgeries, so the waiting time may last for months, or even years.

Breast enlargement abroad

Getting breast implants abroad is a tempting alternative for women looking for breast enlargement surgery. When women cannot afford the surgery in their home country or the NHS does not qualify them for the surgery, breast implants abroad packages are definitely a great option. The main advantages of getting a plastic surgery abroad are:

  • an affordable cost – cheap breast implants abroad may cause 2000-3000 GBP abroad, which is much cheaper than in the UK or the USA;
  • no waiting list – private clinics have full availability, usually it is not a problem to organise the breast surgery for the same or following month;
  • privacy – a surgery abroad guarantees the highest privacy and confidentiality;
  • vacation – a surgery abroad gives the opportunity to combine pleasurable and relaxing vacation with breast implants surgery;
  • an experienced surgeon – thanks to much lower costs, patients get a chance to have a surgery performed by a world-class surgeon.

Below, we will present more details about two destinations which are most frequently chosen by European medical tourists, namely Poland and Turkey. These countries have paved the way to get high-quality, yet affordable breast implants abroad

Poland breast surgery

smiling lady on the field

Poland is known on the medical tourism market as a popular destination due to high-quality treatments and competitive prices

Breast implants Poland is a very popular surgery not only among Polish women, but also among women from the UK, Scandinavian countries, Germany, France, or even the USA. What characterises Poland on the medical tourism market is a very high quality of private health care and a very competitive breast implants Poland price. Plastic surgeons in Poland are world-class specialists and thanks to a very long and demanding education and training system, they are highly qualified professionals even at the beginning of their career. What’s more, English is a commonly used language and plastic surgeons working in clinics serving international patients use it on a daily basis, so there is no language barrier between a surgeon and foreign patients. Well, apart from medical benefits, Poland has a great touristic assets and offers much added value, e.g.:

  • there are direct flight connections with hundreds of European cities and with some cities in the USA;
  • the flight tickets may be very cheap, e.g. the cost of flight ticket from London to Warsaw can be as low as 20 GBP;
  • the cost of living are low, which is reflected in very affordable prices for hotels, transportation, restaurant meals, groceries, etc;
  • Poland is a very attractive region and is tourist-friendly, it is a great destination for summer or winter holidays or city-breaks;
  • there are some recommended, high-quality medical tourism facilitators offering free help in organising breast enlargement Poland.

Breast implants Turkey

girl looking at the sea

Breast implants in Turkey are one of the cheapest in the world

The main concern regarding breast enlargement Turkey has been safety – both in terms of a country situation and clinic standards. Yet, now Turkey is one of the most popular destinations for medical tourists worldwide. The healthcare standards have greatly improved and the fact that Turkey has entered the international medical tourism market made that Turkish health centres and clinics started to follow all the international health care standards. Breast implants Turkey prices are one of the cheapest in the world – the main reason for which are very low costs of living. In general, medical tourists are very positively surprised by the modernity, luxurity and high-standard of the clinics and hotels – but it is how Turkish medical tourism reality looks like. Of course, we suggest that potential patients double check each clinic and read breast implants Turkey reviews before making a final decision, but it refers to any clinic in any country. Finally, Turkey is a popular summer holiday resort visited by millions of tourists every year, so patients are strongly advised to benefit from the charm and uniqueness of this country while they come for the cheap breast implants Turkey.

Breast implants reviews

Breast implant reviews are very valuable and help make the choice about the clinic and surgeon. When patients see that a chosen clinic or doctor has some negative reviews which undermine their credibility, they should reconsider their first decision. It is important that patients trust the clinic and the surgeon and feel comfortable with committing the health to their care.

Breast enlargement before and after

Another factor that is important in choosing the surgeon are breast implants before after photos. Most surgeons share such photos on their or their clinics’ websites. Such pictures of breast implants show whether a surgeon can meet our expectations and give us the real image of the results that can be expected. 

Summary

Breast enlargement is one of the most important and intimate plastic surgery for women. It’s significance stems from the fact that breasts are a symbol of femininity, they often shape women’s self-esteem, confidence, and attractiveness, and for most women, the surgery improves not only the physical look but also greatly influences the psychological health. Breast implants allows for achieving perfectly shaped and sized breasts for women after serious trauma affecting the breasts and for women who just feel chronically depressed with their natural look. Women have several options for breast surgery. We strongly advise to consider surgery abroad, which in fact bears the same risk as a surgery done in a home country, yet is much more affordable and often allows for choosing the best-quality surgeon. Clinic Hunter offers free help in finding the best plastic surgery clinic abroad, so if you are interested in breast implants, contact us to get more details. 

girl in beach

 

Sources

“Are Breast Implants Safe?” ASAPS, 27 Aug. 2019, aestheticplasticsurgeons.org.au/news/are-breast-implants-safe/.

“Breast Augmentation.” Breast Augmentation & Implants: Breast Enhancement Surgery, www.smartbeautyguide.com/procedures/breast/breast-augmentation/.

“Breast Augmentation: What You Need to Know.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263567#1.

“Breast Implant Reconstruction: Surgery Details, Implant Types, Risks and More.” Breastcancer.org, 18 Jan. 2021, www.breastcancer.org/treatment/surgery/reconstruction/types/implants#:~:text=After%20a%20mastectomy%2C%20one%20of,all%20of%20the%20chest%20muscle.

Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “Risks of Breast Implants.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, www.fda.gov/medical-devices/breast-implants/risks-and-complications-breast-implants.

Colleen, de Bellefonds. “Breastfeeding With Breast Implants.” What to Expect, WhattoExpect, 29 July 2020, www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/breastfeeding-with-implants.

Gardner, Stephanie S. “Breast Implants: Silicone Vs. Saline, Cost, Problems, Recovery.” WebMD, WebMD, 25 July 2019, www.webmd.com/beauty/cosmetic-procedures-breast-augmentation#1.

“Mammograms for Women with Breast Implants.” American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/screening-tests-and-early-detection/mammograms/mammograms-for-women-with-breast-implants.html.

NHS Choices, NHS, www.nhs.uk/conditions/cosmetic-procedures/breast-enlargement/.

Shahram Salemy, MD. “How Much Does Breast Augmentation Cost?” American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 31 May 2019, www.plasticsurgery.org/news/blog/how-much-does-breast-augmentation-cost#:~:text=While%20it’s%20impossible%20to%20know,price%20from%20%246%2C000%20to%20%2412%2C000.

Klaudia Grabowska

Klaudia started to work for Clinic Hunter many years ago, just after graduating from the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin in Poland and since that time, this job has become her biggest passion and inspiration.

She has gained necessary expertise and experience by serving patients from all over the world (mainly the UK, Scandinavian countries, and the USA), taking an active part in numerous live and video trainings with clinics in Poland, Hungary and Turkey, participating in international medical tourism conferences and events, and completing internal Clinic Hunter courses. Now, Klaudia is an accomplished patient advisor specialising in such fields as dentistry, plastic and bariatric surgery and hair loss treatment. Her main idea is helping people nad making their lives better, that is why this job brings her so much satisfaction and joy.

In private, Klaudia is a bike-tour lover. She travelled to over 25 countries and many of them she visited by bike. However, now she spends every spare moment with her little son.

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