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What Is Breast Augmentation?

Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure which is carried out to enlarge and reshape the breasts, improving bodily proportions. The surgeon will insert a breast implant or carry out a fat graft to change the size, shape or texture of the breast. Breast augmentation is also known as breast enlargement and often referred to as a ‘boob job’. 

Breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the UK. The latest figures showed that 4,702 breast enlargement procedures were carried out in 2020 alone. This national trend is reflected here at the Cadogan Clinic, where breast augmentation is our most popular procedure.

This treatment is typically chosen by women who have naturally small breasts or asymmetrical breasts, where one breast is different in size, volume or position to the other. Breast augmentation is also popular among women who have experienced a reduction in breast size following pregnancy or weight loss.

In a breast enlargement procedure, implants are often used. At the Cadogan Clinic, we only use the very best quality silicone or saline implants. Your surgeon will discuss in more detail which option is the most suitable for you. We have never used PIP implants at the clinic.

At A Glance

Breast Augmentation

At A Glance

  • Surgery Time

    1 - 1.5 hours

  • Exercise Including Gym

    4 - 6 weeks

  • Time Off Work

    1 - 2 weeks

  • Bras & Garments

    Worn for 6 weeks

  • Hospital Stay

    Day case

  • Sexual Activity

    Restricted activity after 4 weeks

  • Shower

    Shower after 1 week

  • Full Recovery

    4 - 6 weeks

  • Reasonably Mobile

    1 day

  • Driving

    1 week

  • Sleeping Position

    Sleeping on back recommended for 1 - 2 weeks

Breast Implants
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Prices for Breast Augmentation

Included in this treatment

  • Up to two 30 minute – 60 minute consultations with a leading specialist plastic surgeon at our award-winning premises in Chelsea
  • Your procedure carried out at London’s leading specialist cosmetic surgery centre of excellence
  • Return home on the same day to recover in comfort in your own home
  • 24/7 on call nurse assistance
  • Dedicated Patient Co-ordinator, as a personal point of contact through your journey with Cadogan
  • A pre-operative medical assessment to ensure you are fit for surgery
  • Comprehensive post-operative aftercare courtesy of our specialist cosmetic nurses

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Breast Augmentation Surgeons

We have invited a selection of the country's very best consultants to join us at the Cadogan Clinic so that you can be sure that whatever the nature of your treatment, you will be seeing one of the top practitioners in the country.

Mr. Edmund Fitzgerald O'Connor

Specialist Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon

Mr Edmund Fitzgerald O’Connor is a fully qualified Specialist Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon. He focuses on providing the highest quality of care to all his patients. Putting patient safety, patient experience and patient outcomes first in all that he does...

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Mr. Naveen Cavale

Plastic, Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgeon / GMC: 4190952

Mr. Naveen Cavale is a fully qualified and fully accredited UK Plastic Surgeon who graduated from University College London and the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh. He has an NHS Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery practice in...

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Mr. Charles Bain

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon / GMC: 6120243

Mr. Charles Bain is a fully qualified and accredited Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. Charles studied at Bristol University, graduating with honours in medicine, and completed a BSc in medical ethics with first class honours...

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See all Plastic Surgeons

If you decide to undergo breast augmentation, it is important you choose a surgeon with the right training, skills and insurance to safely carry out the procedure. Only registered doctors can perform cosmetic surgery in England. A reputable cosmetic surgeon will be registered with a professional association such as the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) or the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS).

You should always book a consultation before deciding to have a boob job, or any other surgery. An in-depth consultation will offer you the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the procedure, recovery and any potential risks.

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Breast augmentation options

There are a number of options to consider for breast augmentation surgery. Your surgeon will discuss these with you at your consultation.

Breast implants come in various different sizes. There are three different shapes, round, teardrop and conical, and each comes in four different profiles, ranging from ‘low’ to ‘extra high’.This grading refers to where the edge of the implant meets the breast. A breast implant with a low profile will produce a softer, more natural, result. An extra high profile has a steeper edge and will result in a more dramatic, but more ‘false’, appearance. 

Implants are supplied by volume in millilitres or weight in grams, therefore it is not possible for you to specify a cup size. Various factors, including the amount of existing breast tissue and the amount of available skin, means our surgeon cannot make any guarantee of your final cup size. 

There are three different breast implant shapes available.

  • Round breast implants are spherical and result in a fuller look at the top of the breast. Round implants are a good option if you are looking to correct sagging of the breasts.
  • Teardrop breast implants are so called because of their shape, with more volume at the bottom of the implant. The teardrop provides a more natural-looking result compared to round breast implants.
  • Conical breast implants are the best choice for women who want a better shape to their breasts without undergoing a breast lift (mastopexy). Breast augmentation provides longer-lasting results than a breast lift.

All of these are available in four profiles, ranging from ‘low’ to ‘extra high’. 

Breast asymmetry is very common and affects more than half of all women. Some are not concerned by this, but for others it can make them feel self-conscious. Asymmetric breasts occur when one of the breasts has a different size, volume or position to the other. Hormonal changes, puberty and trauma could all be responsible. A rare condition called juvenile hypertrophy of the breast can cause one breast to grow significantly bigger than the other. Breast asymmetry can be corrected as part of the breast augmentation procedure, although some minor differences may remain after surgery.

Usually breast asymmetry is no cause for concern, but if there is a large variation in asymmetry or the density of one breast suddenly changes, then this could be a sign of cancer. If you have noticed any dramatic or sudden changes to your breasts, you should see your GP.

In terms of breast implant positioning, there are two different options available. Implants can be placed in front or behind the pectoralis major muscle (chest wall muscle).

Placing the breast implants in front of the muscle, behind the breast, is the most straightforward of the two options. It is less likely to cause significant discomfort for the patient. It is highly effective at correcting slightly drooping breasts.

Inserting breast implants behind the muscle is the best option for slender patients and those with very little breast tissue as the muscle provides cover to help hide the upper half of the implant. This reduces the chance of being able to see or feel the implant in situ. However, this method is known to cause significant discomfort to the patient.

There are two different types of implant that we use in breast enlargement surgery.

Saline: Saline breast implants are filled with sterile salt water. The implant is empty when it is put into the body before being filled with water. This means the incisions required to insert the implants are smaller than those needed for a silicone implant.

Sometimes the saline implants are more visible under the skin than silicone. Some women claim they can feel the water ‘sloshing’ around. In the event the implant should rupture, the body will absorb this liquid with no risk to health. You will need further surgery to replace the deflated implant. 

Saline implants are typically less expensive than the silicone option.

Silicone: Silicone is the most popular choice for breast implant material and is the most commonly used implant material in the UK. Silicone is safe, durable and offers a more natural look and feel. Silicone implants are particularly good for slender women who have less breast tissue.

Our expert surgeons will make the incisions as discreet as possible under the breast. There are various incisions which can be made to put breast implants in place. 

The most common and safest is the inferior mammary fold or IMF. This naturally-occurring fold can be found where the wire in an underwire bra would sit.  Other incisions include the periareolar incision, which is made around the nipple, or axillary, where the incision is made in the patient’s armpit. 

Although our surgeons aim to keep scarring minimal, there will be some element of scarring in all breast augmentation patients. The average scar size is around 5-6cm. This can vary depending upon the size of the implants.

All sutures are placed below the skin and are naturally dissolved by the body over the course of a few weeks. Dissolvable stitches are perfectly safe and are regularly used by many surgeons across all healthcare settings. The use of dissolvable stitches means you do not need to make a follow-up appointment for removal.

Often our surgeons will opt to seal the wound with a special tissue glue. This helps to limit the risk of superficial wound infection which can be caused from the normal bugs that everyone has on their skin. The glue will peel off over the course of one or two weeks after it is applied.

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To enquire about a consultation with a Breast Augmentation specialist, please complete the form:

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If you have any questions or queries please call to speak to one of our advisors or request a call back to speak at a time that suits you.

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Why Do People Have It?

Breasts come in all different shapes and sizes and their size and appearance can change numerous times over the course of a woman’s life. This can be down to many different factors, including changes in weight, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and hormonal changes. Sometimes these factors can cause the breasts to become asymmetrical. Breast augmentation adds volume to small breasts, restores size and shape following weight loss, childbirth or breastfeeding, and can improve the shape and contour of asymmetrical breasts.

Although some women are comfortable with the appearance of their breasts, for others their breasts can be a source of insecurity and unhappiness. Breast augmentation can help to restore body confidence in one safe and convenient procedure.

Who Is Suitable?

Cadogan Clinic considers individuals fit for the procedure, if all of the following are true of them:

  • An adult with fully developed breasts
  • Physically and psychologically fit and healthy
  • Bothered by the size or shape of their breasts, either for genetic reasons or due to external factors such as ageing, pregnancy or weight gain/loss
  • Have realistic expectations of what can be achieved by surgery

Testimonials

The Process

At the consultation a pre-operative assessment will be made, with several key measurements made of your breast and chest, alongside documentation of nipple position and skin tissue quality and laxity.

A selection of implant shape (teardrop, round or conical), size, and surface texture will then be made in reference to your stated desired aesthetic outcome, and a decision made on where the incision and pocket placement site will be.

Standard clinical photography will also be taken, and dependent on which consultant you see, a visualisation of what outcome you can expect will be made via Crysalix 4D imaging technology used at the Clinic.

Finally a comprehensive discussion regarding risks and complications will take place, alongside a discussion regarding the post procedure and recovery phase. Your previous medical history will also be recorded (including previous surgery, medications, allergies etc.) and an assessment of your fitness for surgery.

If your surgeon feels you are a good candidate for surgery, you are then invited to consider whether you would like to proceed for surgery or otherwise following a two week 'cooling off' period.

Within this period you are welcome to come in and discuss your potential surgery with your surgeon as many times as you like.

If you choose to proceed with surgery, the next time you come into the Clinic after your final consultation will be the day of your procedure.

Before admission the following behavioural changes are recommended / required:

  • In the 6 weeks before your procedure we recommend smoking is discontinued as patients who smoke have a higher risk of wound breakdown, implant infection and, ultimately, the need for implant removal
  • In the week before your procedure you must cease taking Aspirin or any medication that contains Aspirin
  • In the 6 hours prior to surgery you must not consume food or any drink, other than small sips of clear fluid (e.g. still water, black coffee, black tea) which are allowed up to 2 hours before admission

On the day of your procedure we ask that you arrive for your admission an hour before the agreed start time of surgery. At this point a nurse will come and record blood pressure and other relevant vitals, you will meet with your anaesthetist and your surgeon who will make the final mark-ups.

Breast enlargement in itself is straightforward and takes place under general anaesthetic in roughly an hour. An incision will be made in the area most likely to leave the least visible scar, most commonly the inframammary fold underneath the breast, but can also occur under the armpit (axillary) or along the areolar edge (periocular). The implant is then inserted into a pocket either above or below the muscle, as determined by several factors such as existing breast volume, levels of excess skin and shape of the breast structure, and as agreed at your consultation. The incision is then sutured to leave an scar of between 4 -5 inches.

After your anaesthetic has subsided, you will recover in our ambulatory recovery rooms for between one or two hours. Once our specialist nursing team are happy that your initial recovery is complete and you are safe to return home, you will be allowed to leave the Clinic accompanied by a friend or member of your family.

Once home you will have access to our dedicated on call nursing team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This team of specialists are dedicated to your comfort and pain control, and are there to field any questions you may have in the immediate post operative phase.

Pain generally subsides between 1 – 4 days after surgery and most patients are completely pain free by 1 week. We recommend at least 1 week off work and very minimal movement in the first 2 weeks.

You must wear a post surgical garment for 6 weeks to ensure the very best long term scar results and reduce the risk of implant rotation. Strenuous upper body exercise should also be avoided for 6 weeks.

We ask that you come in and see our nursing team 1 week after surgery to ensure your incision sites have been properly reviewed. At this juncture we also recommend you meet with one of our on site aestheticians to discuss ongoing treatment to support the healing and scarring process.

We ask that you come in to see your surgeon after 6 weeks for a post procedure for a final check up.

Why come to the Cadogan Clinic for your breast enlargement?

  • Cadogan Clinic is an award winning specialist cosmetic clinic, with a track record of delivering safe, high quality cosmetic surgery
  • We are home to a team of high profile, published breast augmentation specialists who between them have performed thousands of breast enlargement treatments
  • Unlike many of our competitors, we use the latest anaesthetic technologies to minimise your downtime, and allow you to return home on the day of your procedure
  • Our nursing team provide a dedicated 24/7 on call service during recovery – whatever your question, we can provide the answer
  • We offer a complimentary consultation and treatment with our onsite team of aestheticians to ensure you heal and scar quickly and efficiently

What are the benefits of day case surgery?

What are the risks

If you choose to have a boob job at a reputable clinic, like the Cadogan Clinic, then complications from this procedure are rare. However, like all surgery, there is the possibility of complications from breast augmentation.

Typical risks include, but are not limited to:

  • Asymmetrical breasts
  • Haematoma/bleeding
  • Capsular contracture (an immune response where the body creates scar tissue to defend itself from a foreign object)
  • Implant moving
  • Rippling
  • Nipple sensation/numbness
  • Implant leakage
  • Implant rupture
  • Infection 

As a standalone specialist plastic surgery day-case unit, only admitting healthy, elective patients, the risk of cross–infection at the Cadogan Clinic is significantly lower than with competitors who use general hospitals.

We only work with FDA-approved implants at the Cadogan Clinic, which further minimises the risk of complications.

What Can I Expect From My Surgery?

Our Surgical Patient Advisor, Ellie, answers our patients most frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

For many women, the size and shape of their breasts can cause unhappiness and insecurity. Breast enlargement can provide a safe and convenient solution, restoring confidence to thousands of women each year.

Whatever your personal reasons, Breast Augmentation at the Cadogan Clinic will provide the leading UK consultants, techniques and facilities for your treatment. Our expert team is acutely aware that the appearance of your body can affect your confidence and everyday happiness, and as such we handle each case with sensitivity and discretion.

Silicone implants offer the most natural look and feel of all the available breast implant options. We use implants made from cohesive medical-grade silicone gel, which mimics the feel of natural breast tissue. To ensure the most natural appearance possible, the chosen implant must be the right shape, size, volume and profile to suit the woman’s size and body shape. An implant with a lower profile will ensure the most natural result. Your surgeon will help you decide on the best option to suit your physique.

Our surgeons typically aim for natural breasts when it comes to breast enlargement surgery, unless otherwise specified by you.

Natural breasts can be achieved by selecting the right implant size and shape for you and your existing anatomy. Natural breasts can also be achieved by selecting the right position (above or below the muscle) for the implant. Your surgeon will provide his or her recommendation.

In addition, we also offer advanced fat transfer breast enlargement procedures that employ fat injections into the breast in order to transfer fat to the breast region and deliver more natural breast contours. This can be performed in conjunction with breast implants or as standalone breast augmentation surgery to naturally increase the breast size.

There are several different types of implant used in breast enhancement surgery. The main distinction is between saline and silicone implants. There are also textured and smooth implants.

The external appearance of these different types of implant are broadly similar regardless of material. Silicone implants remain the most commonly used implant material in the UK due to silicone’s preferred properties as the safest, most inert of prosthetic materials and slightly more natural feel following procedure.

We only use the very best breast implants for breast enhancement at the Cadogan Clinic and safety is of utmost importance to us. Your surgeon will explain the various different types of implant available to you at your breast enhancement consultation, and will give an informed, expert view at your consultation as to the optimal material, brand, size and shape of implant for your particular body shape and type, in light of the results you are hoping to achieve

We have never used PIP implants and continue to only use FDA-approved materials in all of our procedures.

You can have a breast augmentation and a breast lift (mastopexy) at the same time. A breast lift is a surgical procedure designed to lift and/or reshape breasts that hang low over the chest and have the majority of their volume at their base. It is an effective procedure to restore firmer, more youthful-looking and voluminous breasts. Breast augmentation with implants is concerned with increasing the size of the breasts. If you are considering combining the two procedures, you should factor in that a breast lift has a longer recovery time than breast enlargement on its own. 

Different surgeons have different protocols, but it is common for a garment to be worn in the immediate post operative phase. The wounds are generally closed with stitches under the surface, which then dissolve over a few weeks. You may have a strip dressing or reinforcement paper strips over or along the wound. There may also be gauze and stretchy Mefix paper dressing covering the wound and also supporting the breasts.

A compression garment is then generally worn to support the breasts and protect the wounds. Although some surgeons do not use them at all and recommend a sports bra instead, it is most common to wear a lycra compression bra made specifically for breast surgery of which there are many types. The team will fit the one most suitable for you and your surgery. There is one other lycra dressing, occasionally required, and that is a stretchy strap worn across the upper breast to hold the implant low.

The sports bras or lycra garments will be worn day and night for 3 weeks or more and then during the day for a longer time, particularly during exercise or sporting activity.

Although scarring is kept to a minimum, you should expect some scarring following a breast enlargement procedure.

The extent of the scarring will depend upon the types of incision used in the surgery. Scars can be expected where the underwire on a bra would sit, around the nipple area or in the armpit. Scarring will be at its most noticeable during the first few months following surgery. Scars will be raised and a different colour to your skin. They will eventually flatten and fade. The scars may not take on their final appearance until a full 18 months after surgery.

Breast augmentation recovery time is relatively swift, and you will usually feel your normal self within a week. After one week you can return to work if you have a desk job, but it may be longer for more active occupations.

You should expect to be off heavylifting, gym, steam and sauna for 6 weeks, and be wearing your compression garment 24/7 for 6 weeks minimum also.

Breast augmentation recovery stages tend to be fairly predictable between patients, and significant variation from this schedule is unlikely.

Breast augmentation recovery time is reduced when the procedure is performed as a day case at the Cadogan Clinic, due to the advanced sedation techniques that allow for quicker initial recovery.

The aim of breast augmentation surgery is to make the breast implant look as natural as possible, so the position of the implant is important and does matter.

This will be confirmed by surgeon at your breast augmentation surgery consultation following an assessment of several different factors including your existing anatomy and physique, whether you have plans to breast feed or not, and the amount and quality of your existing breast tissue.

Breast implants do not have an expiration date. They only need to be replaced in the very rare case in which they break or rupture, usually a result of the use of sub-standard implants or sub-standard surgery. This is not serious or a health risk, but may cause a change in shape or feel of the implant necessitating its removal.

Other causes for replacement include infection which occurs in about 1-2% of cases, usually within the first 10 days of surgery, capsule formation, occurring in about 10% of individuals and involving the straightforward removal of a fibrous layer that the body forms around the implant making it hardened and unnatural to the touch, and implant rippling, most commonly occurring among people with little breast tissue and thin skin. Additionally, some patients decide in time that they want they the implant replaced or removed for cosmetic reasons like wanting to go bigger, smaller or completely natural.

Cadogan Clinic has become a well-known provider of implant replacement services as our reputation as a trusted cosmetics provider has been enhanced following the PIP scandal that implicated so many of our competitors. It remains one of our most commonly performed procedures.

In order to get the best results from your breast augmentation, it is vital that you follow the aftercare instructions issued by your surgeon.

You should take part in minimum physical activity after your boob job. You should take one or two weeks off work, refrain from driving for one week, only resume restricted sexual activity after four weeks and avoid exercise, including the gym, for four to six weeks.

It is important that you keep your wounds clean. Our nursing team will issue instructions on how to do this. You should avoid using the shower until a week after surgery.

It is also important that you protect your scars from sunlight for six weeks following surgery. After this time you may start moisturising and massaging your scars with a non-perfumed moisturiser. By doing this, it will help to soften and hydrate scar tissue. 

You must wear a surgical garment for six weeks following breast augmentation.

Breast enlargement surgery is a popular procedure and generally very safe. That said, as with all surgery, there are risks with breast enlargement surgery that you need to be aware of.

The best means of mitigating risks is to ensure that your surgeon is properly qualified and highly experienced in breast enlargement surgery, and we ensure this is the case with all of our patients by only choosing to work with the very best surgeons.

Choice of a high quality implant is also crucial, and again, we only work with FDA-approved implants at the Cadogan Clinic.

Typical risks include, but are not limited to:

  • Asymmetrical breasts
  • Haematoma/bleeding
  • Capsular contracture
  • Implant moving
  • Rippling
  • Nipple sensation / numbness
  • Rupture
  • Infection

As a standalone specialist plastic surgery day-case unit only admitting healthy, elective patients the risk of cross – infection are significantly reduced at the Cadogan Clinic in contrast with competitors who utilise general hospitals.

Breast implants are safe and we only use the best breast implants available on the market. That said, breast augmentation surgery is not without its risk and we recommend you read our FAQ on this question.

Your surgeon will also discuss risks in full at your breast enhancement consultation.  

The Cadogan Clinic does accept breast enlargement finance but we do not currently offer it ourselves. Speak to one of our advisors who can direct you to a cost effective third party high street provider.

Finance for breast implants is simple and straightforward to organise, and regularly chosen by our patients.

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