A breast enlargement procedure is a cosmetic surgery procedure to increase breast size and improve breast shape, usually through the placement of some form of breast implants. The ultimate goal of a breast enlargement procedure is to enhance the patient’s natural proportions, and the cosmetic surgeon will tailor the procedure to meet each patient’s individual needs.
Why have breast augmentation surgery?
There are several reasons why people might want to have this surgery. Having larger breasts is just one of them. Another common reason, for example, is to correct a noticeable breast asymmetry. Restoring breast fullness after pregnancy and breastfeeding is also a common motive.
Of course, undergoing surgery is a big decision, and you have to carefully consider it. However, whatever the reason you decide to go for it, the procedure’s primary aim is to enhance your self-image and boost your confidence. To feel the best version of yourself.
Is it safe?
The answer is yes. As with every surgery, there is a minor risk for side effects. However, the procedures are now so standardised and safe that you don’t need to worry. Breast augmentation is still the most common cosmetic surgery procedure, and every year in the UK, more than 8000 women decide to go under the knife to enhance their cleavage.
Also, before your procedure, you will talk extensively with your expert surgeon who will explain to you all the steps of the surgery and recovery. They will also advise you on the maximum size you can reach safely. One of the most important thing with breast augmentation, in fact, is to make sure that the implant is not too large for the size of your anatomy and your body shape. This will minimise the risk of complications in the future.
What types of breast implants are available?
Today, if you are planning to have a breast enlargement procedure, your surgeon will discuss with you all the available options, and together you will decide the best plan of action to achieve your desired results.
The first thing you’ll discuss with your doctor is the choice of implant. By definition, a breast implant is “a medical prosthesis that is placed inside the breast to augment, reconstruct, or create the physical form of the breast”. But don’t let these big words scare you. Your breast implant will be the mean to achieve your aesthetic goals and feel good in your skin.
The most common types of implants are:
1. Saline breast implants
Saline implants are FDA-approved implants for breast augmentation in women above 18 years old. They are filled with sterile saltwater and provide a uniform shape, feel and firmness.
In the unlikely event of an implant leaking, the whole implant will collapse, and the saline will be absorbed and expelled by the body without causing any issue.
2. Structured saline breast implants
Similarly to saline breast implants, structured implants are filled with sterile saltwater, but they also contain an inner structure which provides a more natural feel to the implant.
3. Silicone breast implants
Silicone implants are FDA-approved implants for breast augmentation in women above 22 years old. They are filled with silicone gel and provide a feel that is more similar to the natural breast tissue. For this reason, they are the most commonly chose implant worldwide.
In the unlikely event of a leak, the silicone will remain within the implant shell or within the implant pocket, and the implant will not collapse.
4. Gummy bear breast implants
Gummy bear breast implants are form-stable implants filled with a thicker silicone gel than the traditional silicone ones. They have a firmer feeling and a unique shape, with more projection at the bottom and tapered towards the top.
They are usually referred to as gummy bear implants because they retain their shape even when if the implant shell is broken.
Other factors to consider when choosing breast implants
In addition to the different implants’ materials, it is also important to discuss with the surgeon other factors influencing the choice.
- Surface: implants can have two types of surfaces, smooth and textured. Textured implants are very common because they often do a better job at adhering with the body’s tissue.
- Shape: implants can have two shapes, teardrop or round. Generally, round-shaped implants are more similar to the natural shape of the breast. On the other hand, teardrop-shaped implants are the best option for patients who had parts of the breast removed during a previous surgery.
- Placement: implants can be placed either between the chest muscle and the existing breast tissue (subglandular placement) or partially under the chest muscle (submuscular placement).
For all these factors, there is no universal approach, not a “best one” overall. Your skilled surgeon will help you decide which is the best option for you and your needs.
Non-surgical breast augmentation procedures
Many patients don’t feel comfortable with the idea of implants and might not want invasive surgery. It’s good to know that nowadays there are alternatives to breast implants.
According to research, it is estimated than non-surgical breast augmentation procedures have gone up 70% in the last 20 years, and they are now surpassing other surgical treatments.
Non-surgical breast enhancement procedures are referred to as breast lift or mastopexy. The aim of these non-invasive treatments is to remove excess skin and tighten the remaining tissue. No cuts, incision or general anaesthesia involved.
Non-invasive procedures for breast lift include techniques which stimulate the chest muscles to create a lifting effect, techniques to tighten the skin (for example, laser or other collagen-inducing procedures) or injections with dermal fillers (similar to the ones used for wrinkles and lines on the face).
A successful natural alternative to surgical implants is represented by fat transfer. This procedure involves removing fat from an area of the body where it is in excess and transfer it to the area that requires restoration or enlargement. Extensive research has shown that fat transfer, also called lipomodelling, is an effective non-invasive approach to obtain breast augmentation with long-lasting results.