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Breast Augmentation

Breast Augmentation

Breast enlargement (augmentation) is a frequently performed procedure to correct hypoplasia (underdevelopment of breasts) or ptosis (droopy breasts).

Why do women seek surgery to enlarge their breasts?

Women whose breasts are abnormally small often say that they do not feel feminine and are ashamed of the boyish appearance of their chests. They are unable to wear underclothes or swimwear of their choice and inhibited about going out on beach holidays or swimming , as they feel self-conscious whilst wearing evening wear or strappy summer clothes. Women feel a lack of confidence in their work environment and in their personal relationships and therefore wish to have surgery to correct this problem. Most women who have had children and have breast-fed or have lost significant weight are unhappy about the loss of volume and emptiness in the upper part of the breast.

Can I choose the cup size that I want?

It is advisable to discuss with your surgeon what is a reasonable size in terms of your height and body shape and your expectations before you undergo surgery. It is not possible to predict with absolute accuracy the cup size that an individual patient is likely to be after this procedure. Your surgeon will endeavour to give you a result appropriate for your height and build, while keeping your preferences in mind.

What does the operation involve?

Breast enlargement is performed under general anaesthetic and may involve one or two nights stay in hospital. With some patients it may be possible to carry out the procedure as a day case. A tube drain is inserted into each breast to remove any blood fluid that may have collected around the implant. This tube drain is normally removed within 24 to 48 hours and the patient is allowed home in a supportive soft brassiere.

Following surgery there is some discomfort, which is more than adequately treated by painkillers. The breast can be bruised and swollen and appears larger in the first few days after surgery than the eventual size. In approximately six weeks the swelling and bruising settles to a large extent and the final shape of the breast becomes evident.

What is the normal post-operative course?

A small dressing is applied to the suture line in the crease underneath the breast. Most patients are able to shower and change the dressing themselves everyday at home. An outpatient appointment is made for removal of sutures approximately one week after surgery. A review appointment is usually offered one to three months after the operation.

What level of activity can be carried out in the weeks following the operation?

For the first couple of weeks patients can experience discomfort while lifting weights or stretching the arms above the head. It is advisable to have help around the house and with young children during this period. The majority of patients are quite comfortable and able to return to work within two to three weeks after surgery. It is usually possible to return to normal exercise schedules including gym, aerobics and swimming four to six weeks after surgery.

What specific issues should be discussed in the preoperative consultation?

Your surgeon will discuss the different shapes and types of implants that are available to you. You will be informed as to whether the implant will be placed above or below the pectoral muscle in the chest and what the long-term implications of having a breast implant would be in. Such problems may include capsule formation, leaks and ruptures, future mammograms, implications for pregnancy and breast-feeding and the possibility of revision surgery in the future.

You will need another appointment about 2 weeks prior to your surgery, at no further cost, to have any questions answered following you first consultation and for this you are welcome to bring a relative or friend.

What are the complications of this procedure?

Breast enlargement surgery can have complications just like any other surgical procedure. These include bleeding, haematoma (blood clot under the skin or in the substance of the breast ), infection, visible scar, asymmetry, loss of sensation in the nipple and long-term problems such as capsule formation, leaks or ruptures.

Very rarely does an implant have to be removed due to a severe infection following surgery. If this happens the breast is allowed to settle and a new implant is put in three to six months after the operation.

What are the guarantees about the lifespan of an implant?

No implant manufacturer guarantees an implant for life but 10 to 15 years is considered a reasonable timeframe for implant survival. Patients are invited to return for an annual review to check the integrity of the implant and for significant capsule formation. If there is a suspicion of a leak or rupture the surgeon may advise you to have an MRI scan or an ultrasound examination to check on the integrity of the implant.

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My breasts settled very quickly and I was extremely happy with the results. They ended up being almost exactly the size I wanted. I went back to see Mr. Sood three months later and he confirmed everything was fine and going how he wanted.

C

Diary of a Breast Augmentation

“For such a long time now all I have dreamt about is having bigger breasts. I have been so unhappy with myself for as long as I can remember. My breasts did change slightly when I had my daughter but to be honest, I never really had much to change in the first place!

I would say that I’ve always been an A cup, I thought for years that surely they would grow soon, but nothing changed the older I got, and over the years I finally got to the point where I thought enough was enough. I was fed up of being conscious of myself, never being able to wear nice tops without extreme padding and, most of all, not feeling at all feminine.

The only option for me was surgery and I was determined I was going to change my life.

I spent hours on the internet researching different clinics and surgeons, making sure I knew what qualifications and standards I should be looking for, I never imagined how difficult it would be to decide on a surgeon. How do you really know if you have picked the right one?!

Luckily for me, a good friend of mine had undergone breast surgery a couple of years ago, so I thought what better way than to ask her everything I needed to know? She answered all my questions and even let me look at her results and I must say, she looked amazing – I could hardly see the scars. She had told me that her surgeon was Mr Manu Sood and I was so convinced by the time I left that I decided to book a consultation with him at the Spire Hartswood in Brentwood. It didn’t mean that I had to commit to anything, so I thought what’s the harm?

My Consultation

Before my appointment I had written down a list of questions that I wanted to ask – I felt it best that I should write them down, as my nerves would probably get the better of me.

I walked into my appointment to be greeted by Mr Sood; instantly my whole body relaxed and I felt at ease. We chatted for a while about what treatment I wanted and what I expected to achieve. I then removed my bra and Mr Sood examined me, I thought this was going to be the most embarrassing moment of my life, to undress in front of a stranger when I’m so unhappy with myself, but for some reason I felt totally comfortable. When Mr Sood examined me he was spot on with his judgement of my breast size, of which one was an A cup and the other almost a B! I never liked the fact that my breasts were noticeably different in size, but it always bothered me more that I didn’t really have much at all. I was delighted when Mr Sood said that the size he recommended I have was a large C to a D cup, due to the difference in size of one to the other he also suggested that I have different sizes in each one to balance them out as much as possible, Mr Sood said the best implants for me would be circular in shape and placed on top of the muscle. I was glad the implants would be placed above the muscle as this is a less painful procedure and was unlikely to need drains put in afterwards.

I was very surprised at the end of the consultation to find that Mr Sood had answered all of my questions without me even saying anything!

A couple of days had passed, I had made up my mind and decided to book my procedure, I planned with my family some dates and then rang the secretary to confirm everything. I had the option of having my procedure done as a day case as it was quite a straight forward operation, but for my peace of mind I decided I would stay overnight, I just felt I would be in the right place if I had any concerns.

The day of my operation

I couldn’t believe it – the day was finally here. I woke up early, as I had to be at the hospital around 7am. I was glad it was early, though, as all I could think about was how hungry I was! I didn’t feel the slightest bit nervous but so unbelievably excited. I think my boyfriend was more nervous than me!

After checking into my room at the hospital I was left to settle in and change into a gown. I met my anaesthetist and then Mr Sood arrived to prepare me for surgery. The only slight discomfort I had was the fear of being put to sleep and not waking up. I know it sounds strange but I’m sure it’s probably quite common.

Mr Sood discussed the procedure with me again and then drew the markings for my surgery on my chest in pen. It felt strange to have someone drawing over me but I remember Mr Sood holding one of my hands and I just felt at ease. The time had come, I kissed my boyfriend, he was so shocked at how calm I was.

After the operation

I opened my eyes and it took a minute for me to realise where I was. Then it clicked: I’d woken up from my operation and the first thing I thought was “I have new boobs!!”. I lay there for a while to come around properly and all I could think about was how it had gone. Just then Mr Sood caught my eye and told me that they looked really good. That comment at that time was enough for me and I felt like I just wanted to go back to sleep.

I returned to my room and for the rest of that day I did feel very uncomfortable. I felt sick from the anaesthetic, so the nurses gave me a tablet that didn’t really do much. In the end I had an injection to take the sickness away. My dressing felt very tight but secure, it was like wearing a velcro corset (a tight one!). It felt strange when I stood up as I felt unusually top heavy and found it quite difficult to use the bathroom and I couldn’t really move about too much. That night I had to sleep in an upright position in case of any excess fluid needed to drain, it took me a while to get comfortable but it wasn’t too bad really, I actually had a really good night’s sleep.

The next morning I felt a lot better but I just couldn’t wait to get home to my own comforts. I needed help getting dressed and I wasn’t allowed to raise my arms above my shoulders. It felt so heavy when my corset was off that it made me feel like the implants would fall out, it was a very strange feeling. I was given some medication to take home with me and that was it I could go, I wore my sports bra and the velcro corset home for extra support which made me feel more comfortable too.

Aftercare

Day by day I felt so much better. I was frustrated that I couldn’t lift things and raise my arms but I just got used to it. I’m not one to have people running around after me! A couple of weeks later I returned to the hospital to have my stitches removed with Kathy, Mr Sood’s nurse. I thought it was really going to hurt but I didn’t feel a thing. To be honest, even if it was going to hurt, I think Kathy would have taken my mind of it – we didn’t stop talking! She made it so quick, definitely one of the friendliest nurses I have ever had.

I returned again after a couple of weeks to see Mr Sood for a consultation, just to check everything was okay. It has taken me time to adjust to my new boobs as they feel so different, it took me a while to lay on my front and return to jogging in the gym but only because it felt so strange (in a nice way).

To this day I still believe it was the best decision I have ever made. My operation has totally changed my life and turned it around, I can wear any top I like with or without a bra and it actually feels good, I’ve definitely got my feminine side back without a doubt.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Sood for all his support and skills, you truly are an amazing surgeon and I can’t thank you enough.”

SH

To this day I still believe it was the best decision I have ever made, My operation has totally changed my life and turned it around, I can wear any top I like with or without a bra and it actually feels good. I’ve definitely got my feminine side back.

SH

Sincere thanks go to all patients that grant their permissions for us to display their photographs.


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