Breast Augmentation. Mr Andrew Morritt answers your FAQs…

Mr Andrew Morritt, Consultant Plastic Surgeon
Claremont Clinics: Friday PM/EVE


Why do women normally want a Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation is a commonly performed procedure that is most frequently requested for the following reasons:

  • To increase the size of naturally small breasts
  • To restore breast volume loss following pregnancy, weight loss or ageing
  • To improve the symmetry between the breasts, when one breast is significantly larger than the other (breast asymmetry)
  • To improve minor amounts of breast sagging, without having the scarring on the breast that occurs with a breast lift (Mastopexy)
  • To improve the fit of clothing

What does the procedure involve?
Breast augmentation is usually carried out under general anaesthetic. A cut is made most frequently in the crease under the breast and a breast implant is inserted into a pocket behind the breast tissue to increase breast size and improve breast shape. The implants are either placed directly underneath the breast tissue (subglandular) or under the chest muscle that lies behind the breast (submuscular). The cut is then stitched up with self dissolving stitches and dressings are applied to keep the wound clean and dry as it heals. Sometimes a drain is inserted into the breast to drain any fluid from the surgery and this is usually removed the day after surgery.

What types of implants are used?
Breast implants come in a wide range of sizes and are generally round in shape or teardrop shaped (anatomical implants). All of the commonly used breast implants have a silicone shell and this is filled with either silicone gel or saline (salt water). In contrast to the silicone implants used many years ago, which were filled with runny silicone that could leak if the implants ruptured, the silicone gel used in silicone gel filled implants today tends to be much thicker in consistency. Silicone gel filled implants tend to feel more natural and are more durable than implants filled with saline. Different breast appearances from the very natural to the obviously augmented can be achieved by using different implants. I generally use breast implants made by Mentor or Natrelle which are some of the highest quality breast implants available on the market, have good safety records and come with a lifetime replacement warranty.

Will I experience any pain after the procedure?
Patients differ in how much pain they experience following breast augmentation surgery. Some patients may be free of pain within 3-4 days following surgery, whereas others may have discomfort for 2-3 weeks. Most patients find that the pain following breast augmentation surgery can usually be well controlled with tablet medication. Severe pain following breast augmentation is less common. Younger patients sometimes experience more pain following surgery than older patients and submuscular breast implant placement can also be more painful than a breast implant placed over the muscle (subglandular).

How long will I need off work?  What is the recovery time?
People heal at different rates and of course have different jobs. Some patients may feel ready to return to work 1 week following surgery, others may not feel ready to return until 2 weeks post surgery  Those with particularly strenuous jobs will need to take a bit longer off work or perform light duties during the first 6 weeks following surgery. All patients are usually fully healed and able to return to normal activities (including exercising) at 6 weeks post surgery. We advise that patients avoid driving until they are completely pain free and can perform an emergency stop confidently, so they are covered by their insurance policies.

Will I need any special clothing or garments?
Patients are provided with a support garment that they wear continuously during the day and night for 4-6 weeks following breast augmentation surgery (this can be taken off for showers). Patients are advised not to wear an underwired bra for approximately 6 weeks following surgery, as the skin under the breast can be numb for some weeks and could be damaged by pressure from the wiring.

Can I come back and see you if I’m worried about anything?
Of course. We aim to provide excellent aftercare following surgery. You will be given a follow-up appointment before you leave the hospital (usually 5-7 days following surgery). You will then have a number of further follow-up appointments to check that you are progressing well and to answer any questions or concerns you may have. You can also contact the nursing team at any time following the surgery for advice or review if you have any concerns. All follow-up appointments and aftercare are included for 1 year following surgery.

A GP referral is preferable, although you can self-refer or see one of our Private GPs for a referral if you prefer. To book an appointment, call our friendly Private Patient Team on 0114 263 2114. 

Copyright Andrew Morritt, 2016.

Date: 03/11/2016
By: technical
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