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Preparing for breast enhancement surgery

Breast augmentation surgery at Benenden Hospital

Making a decision about your implants is a big part of preparing for breast enhancement surgery. You’ll want to take into consideration the following factors when choosing: what are the implants made of? What do they look like? What is the most suitable type for you?

You’ll also need to prepare physically and mentally for your breast augmentation surgery to ensure your wellbeing is optimal to allow for smooth surgery and recovery. Our guide below can help.

Choosing the perfect implants

Our Cosmetic and Plastic Consultants currently use two brands of implants – Mentor and Motiva. Silicone is the most common type of material used for breast augmentation in the UK and is favoured by our Consultants for its low wrinkling properties, and natural look and feel.

These implants are a silicone shell filled with a medical grade silicone (plastic) gel. Silicone implants come in a range of textures, primarily smooth and textured, but they also do have varying degrees of mild texturing.

Cohesive gel implants maintain their shape efficiently within your breast and work well with teardrop-shaped implants. Round silicone implants appear fuller and have a lower risk of moving out of place whereas smooth silicone implants are more malleable and allow for natural movement.

It’s important to note that textured silicone implants adhere more firmly to breast tissue but they are associated with a very small risk of Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).

The size and shape of your implant will be affected by the width of your breast but ultimately, it is the decision of each patient if you choose a rounded or teardrop shaped implant, and the level of projection you opt for. It all depends on what aesthetic result you’re looking for.

Your Consultant will discuss the pros and cons of each type of breast implant to allow you to make the right decision for you. The size, shape and where they’ll be placed (behind the breast gland or breast muscle) will also need to be decided. The implants that we use are selected to ensure quality, safety and the best possible results.

What will happen at your initial consultation?

During your initial consultation to discuss your breast augmentation surgery, you’ll meet one of our expert Consultants in our Outpatients department. One of the most important aspects of this surgery is knowing what outcome you’d like.

You'll have a breast examination which includes detailed measurements of the size, shape, skin quality and placement of your areolae and nipples. Following on from this, you will be informed of the realistic outcomes, and any risks or complications will be outlined. Photographs of your breasts may be taken (with your consent) for comparison.

Breast augmentation is suitable for you if you have small breasts, different size breasts or have lost fullness either from age, weight change, breast cancer treatment, pregnancy or if you simply want larger breasts. We want to ensure that you’re opting for this surgery for you and no one else. The end goal for many is to increase self-confidence and/or self-esteem.

During your breast augmentation consultation, you’ll need to be prepared to answer the following:

  • Why do you want breast augmentation surgery? What are your expectations and your desired outcomes?
  • What is your medical history and are you on any medication? We will also ask about your smoking status and BMI

What will happen at your second consultation?

Once you've been approved for breast augmentation surgery, you'll return to our Outpatients department for your second consultation with the Consultant prior to surgery. Here, your Consultant will confirm everything discussed at your initial consultation, check for any changes, re-discuss the risks ensuring you understand everything, answer any questions and confirm you are happy with the chosen implant.

You'll have a preoperative assessment with our cosmetics nurse at a later date. If you’d like to know what to expect, our article on preoperative assessments can help.

How to prepare for your breast augmentation surgery?

There are many ways you can ensure your emotional and physical wellbeing are optimised in the build up to your breast augmentation surgery. Most of your physical health will have been assessed in your preoperative appointment, but this checklist may help you to get started:

  • If you smoke, you’ll need to stop for at least six weeks to avoid any healing complications such as infections
  • The ideal BMI is below 30 to ensure you’re fit enough to safely undergo an anaesthetic. If your BMI is over this, you are at an increased risk and as such it may be recommended that you return when your BMI is lower
  • Stop taking any herbal medicines at least two weeks before surgery as these can increase the risk of bleeding
  • Packing an overnight bag is another way to prepare for your surgery, as you may be required to stay overnight, depending on your recovery and the time of your surgery.

As well as preparing your body for surgery, you can also prepare your mind with these top tips:

  • It is normal to feel nervous before having any operation, and it may feel like a whirlwind of emotions. It can help to remember why you opted for breast augmentation and focus on how you’ll feel after surgery
  • Setting realistic expectations can help to avoid any initial disappointment after your surgery. As with any surgery, you’re likely to experience some discomfort, but if you’re struggling with pain or notice any bleeding, please inform our nurses
  • You will be given instructions on how you care for your wounds to avoid infection and our Cosmetic nurse will explain the estimated timeline for your recovery at your preoperative assessment
  • Speak to friends and family about your decision so they will be able to support you in the weeks following your surgery and while waiting for your operation. It might be useful to speak to someone who has undergone a breast augmentation. If you have any concerns prior to surgery, speak to the cosmetic nurse.

Book your initial consultation for breast augmentation surgery

If you want to improve your self-confidence with a breast augmentation, our dedicated specialised cosmetic nurses who will see you through your patient journey pre- and post-breast augmentation are available for any questions that you might have.

Our leading Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeons have many years of experience and are members of esteemed professional bodies including The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) and The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS). Using the latest techniques and treatments, we can help you to achieve your desired outcomes.

Book a consultation today by completing our online booking form or by contacting our Private Patient Team via Livechat or on 01580 363158.

Published on 16 August 2023