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What is a Breast Enlargement?

Breast Enlargement, also known as Breast Augmentation or a Boob Job is a surgical cosmetic procedure which increases the size and enhances the shape of the breasts. This usually involves inserting breast implants into the breasts or using fat injections to produce the desired result.

Patients choose to have a Breast Augmentation for a number of reasons including:

  • Being unhappy with having naturally small breasts 
  • A lack of confidence in certain clothing such as low-cut tops or swimwear 
  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding causing a change in the size and shape of their breasts 
  • Ageing or dramatic weight loss causing the breasts to drop or sag

The results of Breast Augmentation are unique for each patient and the techniques used by your surgeon will depend on your individual concerns and desired results. 
 
Breast Augmentation is the most popular cosmetic procedure in the UK, with around 7000 being carried out in 2022.


Does the NHS Offer Breast Enlargement?

Any procedure to enlarge the breasts is seen as cosmetic and the NHS does not routinely offer cosmetic surgery. The cost implications of having surgery at a private clinic can be off-putting for some people although there are often flexible payment options that are available.

In recent years there has been a surge in interest around NHS boob jobs. This has largely been down to stories in the media about people publicising how they have accessed cosmetic surgery through the NHS. This has led to the NHS coming under severe criticism for how taxpayers’ money is being used and the NHS has put stricter conditions in place for surgeries such as Breast Augmentation.

With the NHS reporting underfunding for many years, decisions were made about how to prioritise and direct available funds. In 2014 the then Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced a clampdown on Breast Enlargement surgery. This followed a number of high-profile cases where women had reported to the media that the NHS had funded their Breast Enlargement surgeries at £5,000 per procedure. With the NHS being a political priority, it became too difficult to justify the expense of cosmetic procedures, especially when many patients were having difficulty accessing medically necessary care.

When women are seeking Breast Enlargement surgery it is often due to a factor in their lives that has had a negative impact on their levels of confidence and self-esteem. While this is widely recognised everywhere, for the NHS it is not enough for them to cover the costs. The only way they will carry out this procedure is if you are able to prove to them that you are experiencing severe psychological distress which will persist, unless Breast Enhancement is carried out. Whilst many of these cases are very complex and each patient has their own unique concerns and needs, for the NHS someone merely being unhappy with their appearance is not enough to justify the expense involved, when their purpose is to protect and manage medical concerns. 


What are the NHS Criteria for Breast Augmentation?

Although typically, the NHS does not offer cosmetic Breast Enhancement, there may be instances where surgery would be approved. The funding available for breast surgery varies around the UK and it is recommended to discuss if you can get a boob job on the NHS with your GP.

Examples of when, in theory, you could receive an NHS boob job are:

Reconstructive surgery

If a patient requires reconstructive surgery, the NHS may be able to carry out this procedure. This would apply to someone who has damaged or missing breast tissue due to an illness or injury. The most common reason for this is following treatment for breast cancer. It would also apply to a woman who may have been born with a birth defect that has affected the breast tissue.

Psychological harm

To undergo a Breast Augmentation on the NHS, it is not enough just to want to increase the size of your breasts. For the NHS to approve the procedure it needs to be shown that not having it will have serious consequences for a woman’s mental health. This could include women who have not developed breasts at all or women who have breasts where they vary significantly in size.

In both of these instances, the individual concerns of each patient will be assessed by a number of people to make sure the need is great enough for NHS funding to be justified. This will also include the surgical technique they feel is most appropriate and justifiable meaning that it is not guaranteed that you will get breast implants on the NHS. Unless it is decided that the surgery is required quickly for medical reasons, it will also likely be added to a breast enlargement NHS waiting list. This means the process for undergoing breast surgery on the NHS can be very lengthy and the waits may be a number of years. Due to either not meeting the criteria, or because of the long waiting times, many patients choose to look into the options available through private healthcare.


How Can I Have Breast Augmentation Privately?

As getting a boob job on the NHS is not typically possible, unless you meet their criteria, for most people the only option to access cosmetic breast surgery is through a private clinic. Choosing to have your Breast Augmentation privately does have several benefits:

  • Even for patients who may meet the Breast  Augmentation NHS criteria, the waiting lists can be very long, whereas private clinics are usually able to offer surgery within a few weeks of your initial consultation.  
  • Choosing private healthcare can also give you more flexibility and choice when it comes to factors such as location, the right surgeon for you, and the exact specifications of your surgery, depending on your concerns and the results you are looking for.

Accessing surgery privately means there will be a cost for your surgery. The prices of Breast Enlargement will vary between clinics – at Cadogan Clinic Breast Augmentation starts from £5,900.00.

When you contact Cadogan Clinic about Breast Enlargement, one of our dedicated surgical patient advisors will speak with you about your concerns and answer any initial questions you have. They will then book you in with one of our specialist breast surgeons for an initial consultation at our hospital based in Chelsea, London.

If your surgeon recommends Breast Augmentation to address your concerns, your patient advisor will find you a suitable date for your surgery to be carried out at one of our on-site state-of-the-art operating theatres.

Following your surgery, you will come back to Cadogan Clinic for a follow up appointment with our specialist cosmetic nurses to check your incisions and make sure you’re healing well. You will also have an appointment with your surgeon to discuss your results and recovery.

Can I claim Breast Enlargement Surgery Through My Health Insurance?

Health insurance policies vary depending on the contract you have with your provider. Typically, cosmetic surgery is not covered by health insurance unless you can show that it was carried out for a medical reason. You will need to discuss the terms of your insurance policy with your provider to find out whether they cover cosmetic surgery and the information that you need to provide to be able to make a claim.


Can I get Breast Enlargement with Finance?

Understandably, many patients are concerned about the cost of undergoing Breast Enlargement surgery privately. However, cost should not be a barrier to accessing a cosmetic procedure which can significantly improve confidence and quality of life for many people.

To assist patients, Cadogan Clinic have a partnership with Chrysalis Finance who are specialists in offering healthcare payment plans. They offer plans starting from 0% APR over 1 year with longer plans available with 14.9% APR.


Words From Our Founder

Mr. Bryan Mayou

Although Breast Augmentation is a very popular procedure, it remains outside the scope of the NHS due to it being cosmetic. However, in cases of Breast Reconstruction, such as post-cancer treatment, the NHS will use implants to restore the shape of the breasts and a patient's confidence. Breast Augmentation is available through private healthcare and Cadogan Clinic is proud to offer this ever popular procedure to enhance the confidence of women who aren't entirely content with the size or shape of their breasts. We focus on using the most up to date techniques and providing the highest levels of care for all of our patients.
Mr. Bryan Mayou

FAQs

Between 2000 and 2010, there were instances of people having purely cosmetic Breast Augmentation on the NHS. This caused criticism of the NHS and how taxpayers’ money was being spent. Since then, the NHS has changed its criteria for cosmetic procedures, making them much stricter and more focused on addressing medical concerns.

In comparison, procedures such as Breast Reduction which can improve medical concerns such as back pain are more regularly carried out on the NHS. The criteria for this are still strict and the waiting lists may still be restrictive for many people, making them consider private treatment instead. 

As with many medical devices, breast implants do not last forever, and it is normal that they need to be removed or exchanged within 10-15 years of being inserted. This can be carried out by a different surgeon from the one who carried out the original procedure. The NHS wouldn’t carry out a routine breast implant removal surgery, as there is likely to be no medical concern. However, if your breast implants are causing a medical emergency, the NHS may remove them to protect your health.

This can happen in cases where patients have had Breast Augmentation abroad and have experienced serious complications due to a lack of proper aftercare. It is important to remember that although the NHS may remove your breast implants in this situation, they are not responsible for replacing them or maintaining your results. This may mean you have to undergo further surgery privately to restore the results of your Breast Enlargement. 


Treatments mentioned in this article



Trustpilot

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2024

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2023

Aesthetic Awards

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2021

Aesthetics Awards

Highly Commended

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2021

My Face My Body

Best Clinic Winner

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2020

My Face My Body

Best Clinic Winner

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2019

My Face My Body

Winner

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2018

My Face My Body

Highly Commended

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2018

Aesthetics Awards

Highly Commended

Laurel Wreath for Awards

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