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Breast enlargement (breast augmentation) surgery

Get the breast shape and size you want with breast augmentation (enlargement)

Woman measuring her bust after breast enlargement (breast augmentation) surgery
Breast enlargement surgery, more commonly called a boob job, is an operation to add silicone or saline implants into your natural breasts to make them larger and enhance their shape.

Is breast enlargement surgery safe?

Breast enlargement surgery with either saline or silicone implants is perfectly safe, which is why it is a popular surgery for people that want larger breasts.

A silicone breast implant is the most common type of implant in the UK. According to the NHS, a silicone breast implant is less likely to wrinkle and feels more natural in your body than a saline breast implant. Saline breast implants are more likely to become smaller over time and absorb into your body (this is not dangerous, but the implant will need to be removed and replaced).

At Circle Health Group, we offer both saline and silicone breast implants. You should discuss the pros and cons of each type of breast implant with your surgeon, along with the size and shape of your implants and where they will be placed (either behind your breast, or behind your breast muscle). Your consultant will be able to provide you with detailed information about your surgery during your initial consultation, and help you decide which type of implant will be right for you.

To book your initial consultation with a specialist, use our easy online booking service or call a member of our friendly advisory team.

The cost of breast enlargement surgery (a boob job) varies across the UK depending on where you have surgery and which surgeon performs the operation.

To find out more about the cost of breast enlargement surgery with Circle Health Group, call us on 0141 300 5009. We have a team of knowledgeable advisors who can answer your pricing queries in detail.

Breast enlargement surgery will not usually be covered by your private health insurance. We offer flexible payment options that allow you to spread the cost of treatment over a period of up to five years, making private healthcare more affordable than you think.

Breast augmentation surgery with Circle Health Group is typically performed by a consultant plastic, cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon.

You can usually see a specialist for your initial consultation within 48 hours of booking your appointment with us. Give us a call on 0141 300 5009 and we'll help you find an appointment time that suits you. During this initial appointment, your consultant will ask about your general health and medical history. They will want to know what size and shape you want to achieve from your breast enlargement surgery, so they can attain the best results.

Your consultant will usually examine your breasts physically as well as taking photos of them for your medical records. This consultation is a safe space for you to ask as many questions as you like. It's an opportunity to understand which techniques for surgery are available to you and discuss which implants might be best for you. You can ask any questions about having a boob job, including those about aftercare and your recovery.

The time you'll wait between your initial consultation and having surgery will differ from person to person, but it is usually around two weeks.

Your consultant will give you a good idea of timelines during your initial consultation, after which they'll put together a fixed-price treatment package based on everything you have discussed together. Once you've agreed to the costs, we can get you booked in to have your surgery at a time that suits you.

Your breast implants will either be made from silicone or saline. There are three main types of breast implants:

Silicone gel (soft) implants

These are pre-filled with silicone and less likely to wrinkle or ripple than saline. They are also known for feeling more natural than other implants. Silicone soft gel implants can rupture and spread into your breast tissue. This is not dangerous, but will need to be removed.

Silicone gel (firm) implants

These are also less likely to wrinkle or ripple than saline. Because they are filled with a firmer gel, they are less likely than a soft silicone implant to move and rotate inside your body.

Saline implants

A saline implant is a less commonly used implant for breast enlargement surgery. Saline implants typically feel less natural than silicone implants, and are more likely to rupture. This is not dangerous, but the ruptured implant will need to be removed and replaced.

Your consultant will ensure you have all the information you need about each type of implant, and that you receive the type of implant that best matches your needs.

People have breast enlargement surgery for many reasons, including:

Changes to your breast shape

You might have noticed your breasts have got smaller or have changed shape after you’ve lost weight or been pregnant.

Lack of symmetry across your breasts

You might have one breast that is smaller than the other, and would like to correct this lack of symmetry.

Unhappiness with the size of your breasts

You might feel unhappy with the size and shape of your breast(s).

There are many benefits to having breast enlargement surgery. The procedure can:

  • Improve your self-confidence
  • Correct unevenly shaped or sized breasts
  • Improve the shape of your breasts more generally
  • Help your breasts look and feel firmer and fuller

For thousands of women in the UK each year, the main benefit of having breast enlargement surgery is that it helps improve their confidence which, in turn, helps significantly improve their quality of life.

Before surgery, your consultant will provide you with a detailed checklist of things you need to do or remember to prepare for surgery. This checklist includes which items you should take with you to hospital (you will probably stay in hospital overnight).

You should refrain from vigorous exercise such as sport in the week leading up to your surgery. This is to avoid the risk of injuring yourself before the procedure. This could cause increased levels of pain and swelling following surgery and slow down your recovery timeline.

You should also ensure your house is recovery-proof for when you return home from surgery. This involves stocking up on tinned food (you might not have the mobility or energy to cook sophisticated meals in the first week or so after surgery), and eliminating any tripping hazards such as loose tiling before arriving into hospital.

You should also arrange for someone to collect you from the hospital after surgery, as you will not be able to drive home on your own. We can arrange for a taxi to collect you from hospital, if needed.

Breast enlargement surgery is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes around 90 minutes.

Your consultant will usually want to place the implant directly behind your breast, as this typically offers the most natural result. However, if you are slim and do not have enough breast skin and tissue to cover the implant, they might recommend placing the implant behind your pectoral muscle, which lies behind your breast. This will prevent the outline of the implants from being noticeable.

Your consultant will begin the procedure by making a small incision on the crease under your breast. They will then create a pocket inside by separating your breast tissue from the muscles and connective tissue in your chest. They will then insert the implants through each incision. After the implants have been positioned correctly, your consultant will close the incision with dissolvable stitches. They will then place a dressing over your stitches to protect them from becoming infected.

Dissolvable stitches disappear in around seven to ten days. Non-dissolvable stitches need to be removed around a week after surgery.

Recovering from breast enlargement surgery is a different experience for everyone. Your recovery time depends on several factors, including your general health and fitness levels, as well as how well you manage your recovery at home. Most people fully recover within six weeks.

You should be able to return home on the same day as your breast enlargement surgery, but some people need to stay overnight for additional aftercare. Your consultant will be able to discuss the likelihood of this with you based on your circumstances.

As mentioned above, you will not be able to drive home on your own after surgery, because you will be coming round from general anaesthetic, and the effects can last for up to 24 hours. You'll need to arrange for someone to collect you from hospital, or we can arrange for a taxi to collect you. You should not drive for at least a week after returning home to protect your healing as much as possible.

Surgical drains after surgery

Surgical drains are tubes placed near surgical incisions (cuts) to prevent pus and other fluid building up in your incisions, which can cause an infection. The drain is a small plastic tube placed in your wound during surgery. It is connected to a plastic drainage bag that collects the fluid. After breast reduction surgery, you will likely need surgical drains to siphon off the build-up of fluid where your breast tissue has been removed. these might be in place for up to six weeks. Your consultant will ensure you understand how to care for and change your surgical drain safely at home throughout your recovery period, if needed

Scarring and bruising

You will most likely have minor scarring on the underside of your breasts and bruising around your breast area after surgery. Most of your scarring should fade after six to seven weeks, but everyone is different, and you shouldn't worry if it takes longer for your scarring to fade. If your consultant agrees, you can use bio-oil to help the healing process, however this won't be the right choice for everyone so do check before using it. Your surgeon will be able to explain the kind of scarring you should expect after your surgery.

Three to four weeks after surgery

You should take a week or two off work to rest and recover at home. You should avoid strenuous activity for at least a month after surgery. This includes heavy lifting and sport. You can enjoy gentle exercise such as yoga, swimming, and walking to remain fit and healthy as you recover. During this time, your breasts might feel numb, tingly, sensitive, or swollen. This is normal, so don't worry.

You will have a follow-up appointment with your consultant to remove your stitches within two weeks of your surgery. If you have dissolvable stitches, they will disappear within ten days of having surgery.

Six weeks

You should be able to return to normal daily life after six weeks, slowly easing more strenuous activities into your day as recommended by your consultants.

Our recommendations:

Here are some things we would recommend for after your surgery:

Wear a sports bra for up to three months after surgery

Some consultants recommend wearing a sports bra 24 hours a day for up to three months after breast surgery to support your breasts as you adjust to their new size. You can discuss this with your consultant.

Take traditional painkillers to manage pain and swelling

Your breasts will feel painful and tender after surgery, but over-the-counter painkillers can help you effectively manage this.

Sleep on your back during your recovery period

This takes pressure off the implants and your breasts as they heal and helps minimise swelling in your breasts.

Be careful when dressing yourself

Be cautious as you get dressed to avoid catching and irritating your stitches.

Your consultant will ensure you understand best practice for caring for surgical wounds and how to best manage swelling and pain from surgery. They will also answer any questions you might have about returning to work and everyday life after surgery.

Like all surgical procedures, there are some potential risks to consider when having breast enlargement surgery. It is a generally safe and common procedure with excellent outcomes, but it comes with some complications (like all procedures, however minor), which include:

General complications of any surgery

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Minor infection
  • Unsightly scarring of your skin
  • Blood clot in your leg
  • Blood clot in your lung

Specific complications of breast surgery

  • The implant rotating or moving out of place
  • Developing a collection of fluid (seroma) in the pocket where the implant is
  • Change of breast and nipple sensation
  • Stiff shoulder
  • Numbness or continued pain on the outer part of your breast
  • Rupture of an implant
  • Cosmetic problems

How long do breast implants last?

It's important to know that beast implants do not last a lifetime.

Most breast implants last for around 20 years. It is important to discuss the best ways to care for your breast implants with your consultant.

Is breast enlargement surgery risky?

All procedures come with an element of risk, however minor. But breast enlargement surgery is generally a safe and common surgery had by thousands of women in the UK every year.

How soon will I be able to return to work after breast enlargement surgery?

This depends on how well your body heals. Every woman is different. Speak with your Consultant about the average time it will take you to return to work depending on your personal physiology and other factors.

How painful is breast enlargement surgery?

You will be under general anaesthetic during breast enlargement surgery, meaning you will not feel any pain. But you will experience pain and swelling for the first few weeks after surgery, though this can be effectively managed with painkillers.

Can I breastfeed with implants?

It is sometimes possible to breastfeed with implants, but this depends on the size and placement of your implants and the type of surgery you've had. Your consultant will be able to explain whether you can breastfeed with the type of implants you have had.

When you choose to go private with Circle Health Group, you can expect:

  • Flexible appointment times and locations to fit your routine
  • The freedom to choose which hospital and consultant suit your needs
  • Personalised, consultant-led treatment plans tailored to your individual needs
  • Comfortable and safe private facilities maintained by expert multidisciplinary teams
  • Support by the same compassionate clinical team from beginning to end
  • Affordable, fixed-price packages with aftercare included
  • Flexible payment options to help you spread the cost of your care

If you would like to learn more about this procedure, book your appointment online today or call a member of our team directly on 0141 300 5009.

Content reviewed by Circle in-house team in August 2022. Next review due August 2025.

  1. Breast enlargement (implants), NHS
  2. Breast augmentation (enlargement), Nuffield Health
  3. Breast enlargement, Bupa
  4. Breast augmentation, Mayo Clinic
  5. Breast enlargement (implants), Royal College of Surgeons of England

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