Breast augmentation is an operation to increase the size of the breasts. There are a number of reasons people come to see me to discuss this surgery; some women feel that their breasts haven't developed to the size that they would like, while others feel the current size of their breasts doesn’t match their frame size. Many women decide to see me once they have had children as breastfeeding and pregnancy can often make them feel that they've lost a bit of fullness in their breast, and they would now like to regain some of the fullness and shape that they had when they were younger.
Whatever your reasons for considering breast augmentation, we will talk together about what you are hoping to achieve from the surgery. It is important to have realistic expectations about what this type of surgery can (and cannot) achieve. My approach to this operation is always to leave somebody with a result which is very much in keeping with their frame size; the surgery is intended to complement your body shape, not to give you breasts that appear disproportionate to your frame.
Like any surgery, cosmetic surgery should only be decided upon once you have a clear understanding of the benefits as well as the potential risks. Before any surgery, I will meet with you at Circle for at least two pre-operative consultations. These consultations are your opportunity to talk about your reasons for wanting surgery and to explain what you hope to achieve as a result of it. Working together, we will fully explore your surgical options and I will talk you through every step of the process so that you know exactly what to expect before, during and after surgery.
These consultations are your opportunity to ask any questions you may have about breast augmentation. We will also discuss the size of implants you would like to use and will use a pre-op sizer kit to give you a clearer idea as to your breast size following surgery. Many patients find this very helpful. This will allow us to select an implant size for your surgery which is realistic and which we are both comfortable with.
Many of the patients I meet tell me that our approach is very different to that which they have experienced in other clinics. Some patients are not offered the opportunity to meet their surgeon until the day of their surgery, or to discuss which size of implants are going to be used. My approach is very different, and I will only ever carry out breast augmentation when it is appropriate and when all of your questions have been answered, allowing you to make an informed decision about your operation.
Breast augmentation surgery is an operation to place cohesive silicone implants in a pocket under either the breast tissue or sometimes the muscle on the chest wall (this will depend on a number of factors, including your breast and frame size before surgery).
The operation is done under general anaesthetic, meaning you will be asleep. It takes about two hours and most patients will stay at Circle for one night afterwards so that we can monitor recovery. During the operation, I make very fine cuts, about 5cm in length, in the folds below both breasts to allow me to position the implants in the correct place. These incisions are made so that they are hidden in the lower part of the breast once they are healed.
Following your surgery, I will see you at Circle at regular intervals to check you are healing well and are happy with the results of the surgery. Of course, if there are every any problems, or you have any concerns at any stage, we are only ever a phone call away.
You should expect your breasts to be a bit sore for the first few weeks, but you will be mobile and you pain will be well-controlled with suitable painkillers. Most people are back to full health and activity again after around two months, but I always tell people how important it is to give themselves enough time to recover properly. The better the recovery, the lower the complication rate and the better the outcome.
The Royal College of Surgeons, which is the professional body for surgeons, introduced a cosmetic accreditation process a while ago. To gain this advanced accreditation, a surgeon has to submit a body of supporting evidence and references for their work and go on a professional skills course to demonstrate that they have the ability, the skills and the values that are in keeping with what the Royal College of surgeons think are important for patients seeking cosmetic surgery.
I’m delighted to say that I am one of very few specialist breast cosmetic surgeons with this accreditation (you can find my details on the website for the Royal College of Surgeons by clicking here and searching for me). I also work extensively in the NHS, which provides me with ongoing clinical oversight and governance.
The decision to have cosmetic surgery is always yours. I am very happy to talk with you about your options and to give you my advice and recommendations, but there is never any pressure put on you to have surgery if it is not absolutely right for you. I look forward to meeting with you here at Circle and helping you make the decision that is best for you.