Skip to main content

Welcome to the Circle Health Group website. We've changed our name from BMI Healthcare. Just as before, we have thousands of specialists offering expert healthcare. Click here to find a specialist or a hospital near you.

Breast enlargement (breast augmentation) surgery

Breast augmentation (enlargement) uses silicone or saline (saltwater) implants to make your breasts larger and improve their shape.

Breast augmentation (breast enlargement, more commonly referred to as a boob job, is a procedure to implant silicone or saline implants into your natural breasts to make them larger and improve their shape. 

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. 

Saline breast implants are more likely to go down over time and absorb into your body (this is safe). 

Is silicone safe?

Both saline and silicone implants are considered safe. However, having breast enlargement is a big decision. It’s important to discuss the procedure with your Consultant, as well as which kind of breast implants you should choose to have fitted. 

Choosing a surgeon

Choosing your Consultant should be a carefully considered discussion that takes into account the Consultant’s qualifications and experience, as well as their expertise and surgical technique. 

We have a wide body of Consultants trained in delivering breast augmentation with successful results. To find out more, look at our list of Consultants and book an appointment with one of them online.

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

  • Enhance your appearance; 
  • Improve your self-confidence; 
  • Correct uneven breasts; 
  • Improve the shape of your breasts, and  
  • Helping your breasts look and feel firmer and fuller. 

How long do breast implants last?

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

If kept in good condition, most breast implants can last for around 20 years. It is important to discuss the best ways to care for your breast implants with your Consultant. 

Deciding whether to have breast implants is a big decision that takes careful consdieration. Your Consultant can talk you through the process and help you decide if it’s the right procedure for you.

The procedure 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 usually offers the most natural result. However, if you are slim and do not have enough breast skin and tissue to cover the implant, they may recommend placing the implant behind the pectoral muscle which lies behind your breast. This will prevent the outline of the implants from being noticeable.  

Your Consultant will usually place the implant through a cut on the (inframammary) crease under your breast. They will make an incision (cut) and create a pocket to place the implant in. 

Preparing for surgery

Before surgery, your Consultant will likely provide you with a checklist of things you need to do or remember to prepare for surgery. This includes which items you should take into hospital, as well as arranging childcare for the first few days following surgery, if needed. You should refrain from vigorous exercise the day before your surgery. 

After surgery, your breasts will be swollen, bruised and sensitive. 

This is normal, but you are required to rest to ensure you recover properly. Your Consultant will offer advice on the best way to rest and what to avoid in the first few weeks (heavy lifting, driving and sleeping in certain positions).

There are a few alternatives to breast augmentation surgery (breast implant surgery). These are: 

Breast uplift

A breast uplift (mastopexy) is an operation to remove excess skin from your breasts to improve their shape. Your breasts should have a better shape after surgery, improving your confidence in turn. 

Padded bras

These are a non-surgical option. Using padded bras help enhance the breasts, giving the impression of larger breasts. Your Consultant might be able to offer you advice on this.

Injecting your own fat into your breasts

Fat transfer for a breast reconstruction involves extracting fat cells from your abdomen, thighs, buttocks or areas where there is excess fat, and re-injecting it into your breasts. As well as increasing the size of your breast, this procedure has added benefits of rejuvenating skin and bringing in new, healthy blood supply.

Like all surgical procedures, there are some levels of risks to consider when having breast surgery. Some of these can be serious and can even cause death. However, you can speak to your Consultant about the following risks of breast enlargement surgery, if they concern you. 

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

  • Developing a collection of blood (haematoma) in the pocket where the implant is 
  • Infection of the implant 
  • Wound breakdown or skin necrosis, where some of the skin over your breast dies 
  • Kinking and rippling 
  • The implant rotating or moving out of place 
  • Developing a collection of fluid (seroma) in the pocket where the implant is 
  • Capsule contracture, where scar tissue that your body naturally forms thickens and tightens around the implant 
  • 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  

Recovering from breast augmentation surgery is a different experience for every woman. Various factors come into play, such as the size of your breasts, the type of implant you have received and how well you manage your recovery at home. 

Going home after breast augmentation surgery

Organise a lift home with a friend or family member after resting at hospital for a few hours, as you will not be able to drive for the first few weeks of your recovery. You will likely experience pain and swelling at this point in your healing, which you can take over-the-counter painkillers to ease. 

There are certain guidelines you should follow at home after breast augmentation surgery to ensure you experience the best recovery possible. These include refraining from strenuous exercise, being careful when dressing yourself so as not to irritate any stitches and sleeping on your back. 

How soon will I be able to return to work after 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. 

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 answer any questions you might have about returning to work and everyday life after surgery. 

Breast enlargement cost varies depending on the individual person, where they are treated and who they are treated by. 

In the UK, the cost of breast implant surgery starts from £5,975.

To find out more about the price of breast implants at Circle Health, call 0141 300 5009. We have a team of knowledgeable advisors who can answer any questions about pricing you might have.

Specialists offering Breast enlargement (augmentation)

View all specialists

Prof Vivien Lees

Consultant Plastic Surgeon


The Alexandra Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr James Bedford

Consultant Plastic & Hand Surgeon

MBChB(Hons), MRes(Ed), MSc, FRCS(Plast), BrDipHandSurg

The Highfield Hospital 1 more The Alexandra Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Robert Winterton

Consultant Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon

MBBS, BMedSci, MPhil, FRCS

The Highfield Hospital 1 more The Alexandra Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr James Harvey

Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon


The Alexandra Hospital

View profile Book online

Mrs Rachel Holt

Consultant Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon

MB, ChB, MD, FRCS(plast), DipOBPS

The Alexandra Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Humayun Khan

Consultant Plastic Surgeon


The Alexandra Hospital

View profile Book online

Find a specialist