The top 10 questions you’ve always wanted to ask about Breast Augmentation . . .
Q & A with Exeter Medical’s Christopher Stone MB ChB, MSc, LLM, FRCS (Eng), FRCS (Plast), Consultant Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgeon and Director at Exeter Medical Ltd
1. What is breast augmentation and on average how much does it cost?
“Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure to enhance or increase the size and shape of a woman’s breast; it can add volume and contour post pregnancy, weight loss or through the natural ageing process.
“In terms of cost this will vary depending upon the implant selected and location for your surgery.
“For example, Teardrop and B-Lite implants are more expensive; but your surgeon will guide you through the choices in your implant selection, type and shape of the implant and the surgical placement to try and optimise your breast shape at your desired size.
“As a guide breast augmentation using a standard round implant will cost around £5,000; whereas breast augmentation using a tear drop implant will add approximately another £200.”
2. What type of implants do you use and will they last forever?
“Personally I tend to use Nagor implants as I have found these to be reliable and to provide consistently good results over time. There are a number of other reputable implant manufacturers such as Mentor, Allergan and Eurosurgical.
“With regards to implants lasting forever I tell all my patients that this will not be the last operation they have; implants tend to have a lifespan of around 15 years but patients may also want to change the size of their implants over time, or to have them removed, and there may be a need for a breast uplift.”
3. If people are unsure as to what treatment would best suit them, what should they do?
“Book a consultation with one of the Consultant Plastic Surgeons who specialise in breast augmentation at Exeter Medical. Once an appointment has been booked you will be sent an information pack with everything you need to know and your chosen consultant will discuss any questions you may have. The consultant will discuss issues such as your general health, age, the existing shape and size of your breast tissue and nipples; as well as the outcome you wish to achieve.
“Consultations generally last approximately 45 minutes. You will never be put under pressure to make a final decision about surgery at your consultation – only once you feel completely confident and informed of the procedure should you decide whether to consider surgery further.”
4. In terms of size, who gets to choose?
“I strongly believe the patient should always choose.
“With regards to size, my role as a surgeon is to advise what will look best and to manage a patient’s expectations. The largest implants I have undertaken are 850cc with the smallest being 150cc. That said, most patients tend to choose implants in the 250cc-400cc range. I have to say most patients tend to be sensible and choose something which looks natural. We can simulate how a patient’s new implants will look by padding out their bra with sizers; this helps patients decide what size implants will be most likely to achieve their goals.”
5. Can I choose a specific surgeon to perform my breast augmentation?
“Yes at Exeter Medical you can choose from three surgeons who all specialise in breast augmentation.
“On Mr Stone’s, Mr Oliver’s & Mr Cawrse’s pages you will find links to view before and after pictures revealing the various outcomes of surgery for each surgeon. I find these are really useful in patients gaining a realistic idea of what is possible for their specific body type and goals.
“Overall I cannot stress how important it is to know what to look for in a surgeon. Research is key to finding a qualified surgeon who is experienced in breast augmentation. I always recommend finding a surgeon who is a full member of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) and holds an accreditation on the General Medical Council’s (GMC’s) specialist register for Plastic Surgery. I would also advise using a surgeon who works, or has worked, as a Consultant within the NHS in plastic surgery.”
It took me many years to decide to go ahead with breast augmentation surgery – I only wish I had done it sooner! Care throughout and after surgery was faultless. Thank you Mr Stone.”
Mrs B, Devon
6. How long is recovery after the operation?
“After the operation patients usually stay in hospital overnight but will be mobile from day one. Most women experience some discomfort following breast surgery and take painkillers for up to one week following the operation. Initially breasts will be firm and swollen and they will take at least six weeks to soften to a more natural state. Breast swelling will settle down within around six weeks.
“It is important to allow for a natural period of healing to take place and for women who lead busy lives to abstain from strenuous activity or upper body exercise for approximately four to six weeks. We recommend no driving for one week and find most women are able to return to work after one to two weeks depending upon the type of work they perform. I always recommend wearing a sports bra for six weeks after the operation to prevent any movement of the implants.”
7. What are the risks and complications associated with having breast implants?
“There are risks as with any operation, but complications are uncommon in breast augmentation procedures. Patient satisfaction is, therefore, very high. The operation itself is fairly straightforward and takes approximately one to one-and-a-half hours. Any risks and complications associated with breast augmentation surgery will be discussed at the initial consultation with your surgeon.
“Any problems or concerns after the operation should always be directed back to your original surgeon.”
8. Can breast implants affect my ability to breast feed?
“Breast implants shouldn’t affect a woman’s ability to breast feed. Some women with low breast volume might not be able to breast feed, but this would be the case whether they had breast implants or not.”
9. Can I get a breast uplift (mastopexy) at the same time?
“This can be done, however many surgeons prefer not to perform both procedures at the same time. When the two operations are performed together it is often sensible to insert a smaller implant in order to avoid too much tension on the skin.”
10. What are the most common FAQs by patients looking to undergo breast augmentation?
“Most of my patients come well-organised and have done a great deal of research before meeting me at their consultation. With regards to the actual procedure itself, all the difficult decisions are made in the clinic – essentially getting the right implant in the right place (above or below the muscle). Some patients spend more time than others in deciding upon their preferred implant size.”
What to do next?
It is important for all prospective patients to have realistic expectations of the improvements that can be achieved through breast enlargement surgery. Exeter Medical will conduct a full and thorough consultation with you in which issues such as your general health, age, the existing shape and position of your breast tissue and nipples as well as the desired outcome you wish to achieve will all be discussed. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and ensure you are fully confident and informed of the procedure before deciding whether to consider surgery further.