Breast enlargement surgery, or breast implants or augmentation, is one of our most regularly performed procedures.

Genetics plays the biggest role when it comes to breast shape and size.

However, once developed, the breasts can also fluctuate in response to changes in weight, hormones, pregnancy and breastfeeding – sometimes in an asymmetrical fashion.

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. The straightforward procedure involves an implant or fat graft, which changes the size, shape or texture of the breast.  

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 undertand how the appearance of your body can affect your confidence and everyday happiness, and as such we handle each case with sensitivity and discretion. 

 

4D Augmented Reality Imaging

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

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Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Breast Augmentation Results

Click here to view our gallery of before and after and Breast Augmentation

What to expect

Free Consultation with a Patient Advisor

We offer a free, no-obligation 30-60 minute consultation with one of our Patient Advisors, including a virtual reality consultation to demonstrate the potential outcomes in your individual case. They will work with you to understand your objectives and the results you want to achieve, talk you through the procedure and answer any questions you may have. If you decide that you would like to proceed to the next step and see a surgeon, your Patient Advisor will be happy to arrange this for you. At this point, you will be required to pay a consultation fee.  

Surgical Consultation

The next step is for you to meet your chosen surgeon at the Cadogan Clinic. Your surgeon will use this time to make a comprehensive medical assessment of you, your condition, and your expectations before making a recommendation and personalised treatment plan for you. You will then discuss the outcomes you can expect to see and ask any questions.

The Procedure

On the day of your procedure you will be welcomed at the Cadogan Clinic by your Patient Advisor and dedicated nursing staff. Following a brief medical check, you will meet with both your surgeon and anaesthetist to run through the details of your procedure one final time and answer any last questions you may have.  

Recovery

After the procedure, you will recover in the capable hands of our aftercare team. As we are a day-case facility you can expect your recovery to be complete within 2 to 3 hours. If your surgeon is happy with your results, you will be able to be discharged from the Clinic the very same day. In some cases patients may wish to stay locally in our exclusive partner hotel the day before or after your procedure in order to be close to their surgeon. Talk to us about these options if this is for you. 

After Care & Support

Our care and support continues in the days and weeks following your procedure with our complimentary aftercare programme. This comprised of a series of appointments made with your surgeon and nursing team to monitor your progress and recovery. They will also introduce you to several scar minimization techniques and bespoke products to aid your progress. Our team are also on call to answer any questions you have around your surgery at any time you are concerned.

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