Breast augmentation (breast enlargement) is the most popular surgical cosmetic procedure performed in the UK. Quick, safe and effective, the procedure can help restore your body confidence and happiness with your shape.

Breast enlargement surgery, or breast implant surgery or augmentation, is also our most regularly performed procedure at the Cadogan Clinic.

Whatever your personal reasons, opting to have a breast augmentation at the Cadogan Clinic means access to leading UK consultants, techniques and facilities. Our expert team understand how the appearance of your body can affect your confidence and everyday happiness, and with thousands of breast enlargement procedures performed historically by our surgeons, we are extremely well placed to assist you on your journey.

What is Breast Augmentation

Breast Augmentation is the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the UK, accounting for 7,700 procedures in 2019 alone. Breast Augmentation involves the insertion of a silicone breast implant into the body, or fat graft, in order to change the size, shape and texture of the breast.


Why do people have it

For many women, the size and shape of their breasts can cause unhappiness and insecurity.

Whilst genetics plays the biggest role when it comes to breast shape and size, it is also true that, once developed, breasts can fluctuate in shape and size in response to changes in weight, hormones, pregnancy and breastfeeding – often in an asymmetrical fashion.

Breast Augmentation is the most effective and immediate corrective procedure in such instances, providing a safe and convenient solution, restoring confidence to thousands of women each year.

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


What to expect

CONSULTATION 

The first step for all of our patients is to meet with the surgeon we feel is best placed to perform your procedure for a consultation.

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.

 

4D Augmented Reality Imaging

Augmented or adjusted breast size and shape in real-time, observing movement and anatomical suitability.

PRE – PROCEDURE

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

DAY OF THE PROCEDURE

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.

POST PROCEDURE & RECOVERY

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.

What are the risks

Complications are rare although, as with all surgery, possible. Your surgeon will discuss each of these risks comprehensively at your consultation. Read our FAQ section for more information.

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

Breast Augmentation Results

Click here to view our gallery of Before & Afters and Breast Augmentation results

Frequently Asked Questions

This is not a simple answer, because surgeons have different requirements, not only with the bras they recommend but also with the dressings beneath. It will also depend somewhat on the exact procedure performed.

The wounds are generally closed with stitches under the surface. These dissolve over a few weeks. You may have a strip dressing or reinforcement paper strips over or along the wound. Then there is variation. That may be the sum total of dressings or there may be gauze and stretchy Mefix paper dressing covering the wound and also supporting the breasts.

Finally, the garment. Some surgeons do not use them at all. In fact, many at the Cadogan Clinic will advise that you bring in or buy later a normal sports bra without wire support. The alternative is the lycra 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 sporting activity.

For many women, the size and shape of their breasts can cause unhappiness and insecurity. Breast augmentation 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.

Our aim at The Cadogan Clinic is to give you perfectly natural breasts. However, they have to be what you want. Sometime patients will say that they do not want to look natural! We will do our best after careful discussion to give you what you want.

An important factor is to consider what we start with. Patients often show photographs from the internet of their desired result and it is just not possible. It is nevertheless helpful to see what we should be aiming for. We can then discuss what we can do and see whether this is going to be sufficient. Our worst nightmare is to have a patient who is expecting one thing and we give another. We might feel that we have done a good operation, but you wanted and expected something else. This is an important discussion.

Careful planning with you of the size and shape is essential and this is followed by a perfect technique. However, the implant alone may not be adequate. We may need to consider also carrying out a breast lift or mastopexy. Thin patients may need to have the implant put at a deeper level under the pectoral muscle to avoid sharp edges making the implant visible.

These days we often need to disguise these edges with fat grafts (Lipofilling). This is such a useful technique for final adjustments.

Breast Augmentation is a popular procedure and can be extremely gratifying; however, as with all surgical procedure, there can be risks.

At Cadogan Clinic we strive to reduce any possible risks of side effects this includes selecting only the best surgeons to work with, offering day case only procedures which not only allows you to recover quicker, but reduces the risk of infection, establishing aftercare support and scar minimisation programmes.

Implant Choice

Choice of implant is of great importance, of course. The risk of implants have been highlighted by the recent PIP crisis. Due to concerns of their quality, Cadogan Clinic has never used PIP implants. We only use FDA approved implants.

Our implants of choice are with Allergan or Sillimed. During your consultation, our surgeons will discuss the implants they recommend and perform a sizing to ensure you are happy with the size of your new breasts.

Complications of Breast Augmentation

Complications are normally infrequent when carried out on well-selected patients in an appropriate environment with good support staff and facilities. However, irrespective of the surgeon, patient or institute in which the surgery is carried out, complications can occur and patients must be well informed.

Early problems include haematoma – collection of blood in the breast. If it occurs, it usually happens in the first 24 hours after surgery. This normally requires a trip back to the operating theatre to wash out and deal with any possible source of bleeding – it is uncommon to have to do this.

Occasionally, implants can move out of position early on and require replacement – this will necessitate further surgery.

Infection, although unusual, is a recognised complication in about 1-2% of cases. If it happens it normally occurs within the first 10 days after surgery, although occasionally implants can become infected months and years afterwards.

Significant capsule formation over time occurs in about 10% of individuals. A capsule is a fibrous layer that the body forms around a foreign body such as a breast implant; normally it remains soft and imperceptible. After some time it can harden and contract, distorting the shape and feel of the breast. In such cases, the capsule will need to be removed and the implant replaced.

Rippling of the implant can occur. Occasionally, in people with little breast tissue and thin skin, the implant can be felt and seen below the skin and a rippling effect is sometimes evident. This can be more evident in certain types of implants and may require replacement with an alternative.

Implants can rupture over time – in the majority of cases, this probably goes unnoticed. This is not serious or a health risk, but may cause a change in shape or feel of the implant necessitating its removal – it is usually due to bulging of the silicone gel from its outer shell through the capsule mentioned above.

The nipple sensation can be affected following breast augmentation – some women report reduced sensation, whilst others report a slightly increased or hypersensitive nipple. Normally, these changes are temporary but occasionally can be long-lasting. Although the same volume implants are used at the time of surgery on both sides, minor asymmetry between the two breasts is still possible; indeed where there is slight asymmetry pre-operatively, implantation can sometimes accentuate the difference.

Natural looking breast augmentation is possible via a range of techniques. A pocket underneath the breast is created in order to accommodate the implant. Depending on the breast shape and size, the implant is placed either below the breast tissue or beneath the pectoral muscle on top of which the breast sits. The size and the shape of the implant is also crucial to obtaining a natural result this will be discussed before the operation. In the case of natural fat transfer, there is no artificial implant and the end results will be much more similar to how you were before. However, natural breast augmentation has limits on the possible size and shape.

Whilst the appearance of implants following breast augmentation are broadly similar regardless of implant material, there are several different alternatives open to you. 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. However, some patients feel more comfortable with saline, or salt-based, implants as a non-prosthetic alternative is preferred.

Whilst each of our patients is given final say about the type of implant used in the procedure, our surgeons 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.

Needless to say, Cadogan Clinic believes safety and quality to be of absolute importance when it comes to the delivery of cosmetic surgery. Consequently, unlike many of our competitors, we have never used PIP implants and continue to use only FDA-approved materials in all of our procedures.

Several key factors contribute toward achieving natural-looking results from breast augmentation surgery.

First and foremost an experienced, qualified cosmetic surgeon is required who possesses the skills and deep expertise in the procedure to carry it out in accordance with best practice principles, as well as tailor it to your personal wishes and requirements. Whilst the procedure itself is regarded as relatively straightforward surgically speaking, the very best results can only be achieved when the procedure is tailored to each individual’s circumstance and condition.

In the first place, the right implant must be chosen to suit your body shape, size, as well as your personal hopes for the overall results of the operation. This involves a selection of an implant comprising the right material (our surgeons typically recommend FDA-approved Allergan or Silimed implants for the most ‘natural’ look), right shape (round, anatomical or teardrop, or conical), right size and volume, and right profile.

For each implant there are 4 different profiles, ranging from ‘low’ to ‘extra high’, referring to the edge of the implant where it meets the chest. A low profile will deliver a softer, subtler, ‘more natural’ effect as compared to an extra high profile which has a steeper edge to the implant resulting in a ‘falser’ look and greater cleavage.
A further complexity relates to the actual location of the implant in the chest.

There are two basic areas where implants are placed: above or below the pectoralis major muscle. Where they are placed depends on your preference, your anatomy and what the surgeon feels is best for you, but can have a significant impact on the naturalness of results. Your expert surgeon will once again help you make the right choice for you.

A final, vital stage impacting results is the level and quality of the post-surgical aftercare. How you act and behave in the immediate weeks after your operation can make a significant impact on the results you achieve. For example, wearing the right supportive bra will sustain the breasts in the right, natural breast position as well as avoid unduly rubbing settling scars. Some activities such as going to the gym, aerobics and sports that use your arms will need to be avoided for a short period of time, whilst you should take care when lifting your elbows above your shoulders (e.g. washing your hair etc) to avoid the implant from turning, leading to an unnatural result that may require more surgery.

Our expert team of nurses and surgeons will ensure that you get the right advice following your procedure in order to optimize your results, as well as give you access to one of London’s leading scar minimization and prevention units who have designed bespoke moisturisation and massaging systems to ensure scars fade as best as possible.

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.

How well a person heals post surgery is dependent on each individual. As an incision has occurred most commonly in a discreet location under the breast, there will be some element of scarring in all patients. There are various incisions used to place implants in the breast.

  1. The inframammary incision – in the breast fold – usually 4-5cms in length, this is probably the most commonly used one.

  2. Circumareolar – around the nipple.

  3. Axillary – in the armpit.

Immediately post surgery you will visit our aftercare and scar minimisation department. During these follow-up appointments, our team of specialist nurses will keep an eye on your progress to make sure that you are healing properly and there is no infection. Also during this appointment our team will go through the techniques they have developed to reduce the appearance of any scars.

This is a combination of massage and moisturising.

Massage/moisturise
Treat the whole breast, including scar. Use the palm of your hand in a gentle circular movement, using a moisturising cream we recommend (heal gel) or (kelocote) which you can buy at Cadogan Clinic Shop. This helps to soften your skin, adjacent tissue, and adjust to its new contour.

Scarring and Other Breast Procedures
Different types of scarring can occur during different procedures. Following a mastopexy (i.e. breast lift), scars can occur on the breast itself, as during the procedure excess skin and flesh is being removed.

In procedures such as a natural breast augmentation scarring is less common, as fat is being injected to create additional volume rather than excisions being used.

Recovery from breast augmentation is normally a very quick process. However, there a few things you should be aware of:

  • Do not try to raise your blood pressure, avoid participating in sexual activities during the first 2 weeks of recovery time.

  • Housework or any form of physical exercise (i.e. the gym) should also be completely avoided for the first 2 weeks.

  • Avoid pulling, pushing and lifting heavy objects.

  • Raising your hands over your head for prolonged period can also cause complications post breast augmentation surgery and should be avoided, for example washing your own hair.

After you have had an operation on your breast you may feel reluctant to move your arm. It is recommended that you take 2 to 3 weeks off from work, however, if you have a sedentary job one week in is adequate. These exercises will help you get back the range of arm movements you have before your surgery. 

Exercise may also help your tissue to heal and relieve any pain you may have. Start slow exercises as soon as possible after your operation even with drains in place. Do not take your arm above shoulder level 90 degrees for the first week. 

If you have an active hobby or leisure interest, please seek advice from your surgeon as to when you will be able to return to it following surgery. After six weeks the operation scar will be well healed and you can gradually use your arm more. You may feel aching around the shoulder after certain activities. 

Whilst it is important to gradually return to normal activities you should continue to avoid any heavy lifting that places a strain on chest area for a few days of healing, as the stress on the stitches may increase your risk of developing lymphoedema.

If the operation scar is well healed after six weeks you can begin swimming. Most other more intense leisure activities can be started after two months of your operation. It is sensible not to drive until after your first outpatient clinic appointment for a follow-up; however, do not commence driving until you feel confident that you are safe and able to react in an emergency without causing strain to your surgery area. When you do start driving again, initially go on short trips and gradually increase the distance as you feel able.  

When you return to work will depend on the type of work you do your doctor, nurse or physiotherapist will be pleased to give you more specific advice. Working from home for the first couple of days is fine, but travelling to work for the first week or so is not recommended. Taking time to rest and heal is advisable.

Breast augmentation surgery is usually performed as a general anaesthetic as a day case procedure, i.e. coming in and out of the hospital the same day.

The site of the incision: 

There are various places where the incision (scar) can be placed. The most common and safest is the inferior mammary fold or IMF. This is where the wire from the underwired bra sits. Alternative incisions are the peri-areolar (around the nipple) or axillary (armpit). The size of the scar will range from approximately 5-6cm depending on the increasing size of implant.

The types of stitches/sutures:

All sutures are placed below the skin and are dissolved by the body over the course of a few weeks. Nothing needs to be pulled out/removed. Often surgeons will seal the wound with tissue glue, to limit the risk of superficial wound infection from the normal bugs we have on our skin. This glue peels off over 1-2 weeks.

Shapes of implants:

There are three shapes available, round, anatomical (tear drop) and conical. All three come in a range of increasing sizes of base diameters, i.e. how broad an implant is.

Profiles of implants:

For each base of an implant there are 4 different profiles. These are low, medium, high and extra high profile. This is simply a term used to describe the edge or “take off” of the implant. Low profile is a softer, subtler edge (a more “natural look”) and, to the other opposite end of the spectrum, an extra high profile has a steeper edge to the implant, resulting in lots of cleavage (“false look”).

Volume of implant versus cup size:

You choose a volume of implant with your surgeon. You do not choose a cup size. The reason for this is that there is no standard cup size.

Asymmetry:

Most women have some form of minor breast asymmetry. One side may differ from the other in volume, position of the nipple or shape of the chest wall. This is entirely normal. Your surgeon will try to adjust this as best he/she can during the procedure, but if minor differences still remain after the operation, we accept that it is within normal limits.

Where the implant is positioned:

There are two basic areas where implants are placed: above or below the Pectoralis major muscle. Where they are placed depends on your preference, your anatomy and what the surgeon feels is best for you.

The recovery time from breast augmentation is quick. A keen sportsman does not want to lose fitness, so we have had marathon runners out there a few days after surgery well supported in a sports bra. Maybe this is not what most surgeons would recommend, but it is possible.

Essential dressings cover the wound and support the breasts. Your own supporting sports bra, measured to the new size, is enough and you will need to wear this day and night for 3 weeks and when exercising for 3 months. There is some variation between surgeons and depending exactly on the procedure.  We rarely use drains and stitches are dissolving.  Showering from 1 week is good, but do dry off well.

You can drive within a few days, but be careful with the seat belt. Work from home, if you can for a few days. A week away from the workplace is quite adequate.

The shape will be nice immediately, but it will improve as the skin stretches. A large implant under tight skin will take the longest before it becomes natural. It will look better at 3 months better still at 6 months, and really good at a year.

The size of the implants is also put into consideration since larger implants may require more dissection and stretching of tissues hence a significantly longer recovery time. Implantation through the subpectoral dual plane takes a slightly longer period for recovery as compared to implantation in the subglandular plane.

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