Plastic and reconstructive surgeons at The London Clinic offer breast augmentation as part of their repertoire of cosmetic surgery. Several of our surgeons offer this service, working in the excellent operating theatres within The Clinic, and providing access to the best aftercare and follow-up.

Why have breast augmentation?

Breast augmentation is requested by women for several different reasons. It may be a purely cosmetic procedure performed on both breasts to increase a small cup size to boost self-confidence. Sometimes only one breast may need enlarging so that it matches the other breast to treat breast asymmetry.

Many women find that pregnancy and childbirth give them larger, fuller breasts, but others experience shrinking tissue and a loss of tone, which give them smaller, droopy breasts. Breast augmentation can be done in conjunction with a breast lift to provide the contours that are similar to those you had pre-pregnancy or larger if you prefer.

Breast augmentation may also be performed after a mastectomy; breast reconstruction is done on the affected breast to build a breast larger than the woman’s previous breast size and then the other breast is enhanced.

Breast augmentation: what to expect

The first step to getting the breasts that you want is to have a consultation with one of our plastic and reconstructive surgeons who specialise in breast augmentation. Your detailed medical history will be taken and you will have a thorough examination to make sure there are no medical reasons that would make your operation difficult or dangerous.

You will be asked to disclose:

  • Any medication you are taking.
  • Any medical or physical problems you have experienced within your breasts, such as lumps, cysts, nipple discharge or skin problems.
  • Whether you have had any previous operations on your breasts.
  • Your general health: if you have any allergies, whether you have reacted to any drugs in the past and your tendency to scar or bruise.
  • Details of your family history relevant to breast cancer: if you have sisters with breast cancer or your mother has had the disease.
  • If you smoke you will be asked to give up for at least 6 weeks before your breast reduction and to avoid smoking for several weeks afterwards as this can interfere with wound healing.

Your expectations will be discussed in detail and your consultant will advise you about what is possible. It is important that you don’t approach breast augmentation with unrealistic ideas of the outcome.

Breast augmentation surgery

Breast augmentation is typically performed as an outpatient procedure but under general anaesthesia. You will be able to go home later the same day, but you will need someone to drive you as you will not be able to drive yourself. Some surgeons will keep you in for one night.

The details of the procedure will depend on the method you and your surgeon choose.

All procedures involve a small incision, which is necessary to insert the implant. This can be in the crease underneath the breast, between the breast and chest, along the nipple area or through the navel. The implant will be inserted and placed behind the breast tissue or under the pectoral muscle in your chest. After the surgery is completed, you will be taken to the recovery room for a short period of time and closely monitored.

Recovering from breast augmentation

You can expect your recovery after breast surgery to take 2 to 3 weeks. All of your dressings will be removed within a few days and you will be able to have your first post-surgery shower within the first week.

As your soreness subsides you will be able to resume normal activities, but you will need to avoid heavy lifting and be very gentle with your breasts for up to 3 weeks. Your arm movement will be limited during this time, but you will be able to raise and lower it normally after about a month.

You may have some bruising and discolouration but this will disappear quickly and any swelling should go down within a month.