Breast Enlargement Auto Augmentation Surgery Cost and Guide
Written by Medical Quality Officer, David Jones , MPharm
Medical Review by Chief Commercial Officer, Dr. Lizzie Tuckey , MBBS, BA
Breast auto-augmentation is a type of surgery that uses your own breast tissue to enhance the shape of your breasts. Often, it is combined with a breast uplift which is known as a mastopexy auto-augmentation. This breast auto-augmentation overview will explain the procedure, cost and recovery period.
2 to 4 hours
0 - 1 night
General or local with sedation
6 - 12 months
What can breast auto-augmentation surgery achieve?
A breast auto-augmentation can create fullness and projection in the upper part of the breast, thus allowing it to enhance the shape of the breasts without the use of implants. If a patient is happy with their breast size, the surgeon can reposition the patients tissue to create a fuller, more rounded shape. They can then use breast uplift techniques to lift and correct the sagging of the breasts. This achieves a higher, fuller breast without the use of implants.
This procedure is a great option for patients with sufficient breast volume, who:
- Do not wish to have foreign material (such as silicone implants) inside the breasts
- Are concerned with a flatness of the upper part of the breast
- Wish to correct sagging of the breasts
- Want to create a fuller breast and lift the breasts.
How much does breast enlargement auto-augmentation surgery cost?
To find out the costs of Breast Auto-Augmentation Surgery, it is advised that patients schedule a consultation with a surgeon. Prices can vary to reflect the unique aspects of every procedure.
Every patient has the opportunity to tailor their procedure personally, and a surgeon will use their expertise to make recommendations to ensure the best possible results. These variants will be discussed and decided upon during the initial consultation. Some of the potential variants which may affect the price of the procedure include:
- Surgeon experience
- Anaesthetist experience
- Which hospital or clinic is chosen for the procedure
- The complexity of the individual procedure
- Surgical techniques
- The time required in surgery for each patient’s case
Only after the consultation will a final price be determined. Once the price is set, there will be no hidden fees or surprises costs. The price will cover:
- Surgeon and anaesthetist costs
- Hospital costs
- Overnight stays (if required)
- Aftercare and follow-up appointments
Who are the best candidates for breast auto-augmentation?
A breast auto-augmentation is a procedure that is most suitable for patients who are happy with the size of their breasts but wish to enhance position and projection. It is also ideal for patients who do not wish to have foreign material put inside the body. If patients have a sufficient amount of breast tissue, the surgeon can reposition tissue to enhance the shape and fullness of the breasts. The most suitable breast auto-augmentation candidates are therefore those who have:
- Sufficient breast volume to create the desired fullness
- Breasts that are bottom-heavy or sagging
- Good quality skin that stretches well.
Why have a breast auto-augmentation?
Breast auto-augmentation can enhance the shape of the breasts. The surgeon will do this by re-positioning tissue from a fuller part of the breast to a less full part. This procedure can also help to increase the fullness of the upper part of the breasts. Some patients may also be concerned with the sagging of their breasts. This may be due to weight loss, breastfeeding or the normal ageing process. Combining a breast auto-augmentation with a breast uplift can help correct this.
Overall, this procedure can:
- Improve the shape of the breasts
- Increase the fullness of the upper part of the breast
- Correct sagging of the breasts
- Lift the breasts.
What a breast auto-augmentation will not achieve
A breast auto-augmentation will not dramatically increase the size of the breasts. The surgeon re-positions the existing breast tissue to another area of the breast. However, it is possible to combine auto-augmentation with fat transfer techniques. This is where the surgeon removes fat from an area of the body using liposuction and injects that fat into the breasts. This will increase breast volume.
How is a breast auto-augmentation procedure performed?
A breast auto-augmentation procedure typically takes between 2 to 4 hours to complete. It may be done as a day case, with local anaesthetic and sedation. This will allow patients to go home the same day. Alternatively, patients may have a general anaesthetic that means the patient is asleep for the whole surgery. In this case, patients may have to stay one night in the hospital.
Before patients go in for their surgery, the surgeon will provide instructions on what can and can't be eaten on the day of surgery and which medications can be taken.
The surgeon will discuss the full details of the procedure and its potential risks and complications. The surgeon will then examine the area and draw some lines to mark where they will make the incisions. Once the surgeon has fully informed the patient of all aspects of the breast auto-augmentation procedure, they will ask for a signature on a consent form, either in the pre-operative assessment or on the day of surgery.
Patients will meet with the anaesthetist on the day of surgery, and they will take the patient to the operating theatre. The anaesthetist will either use a general anaesthetic, or they will give a local anaesthetic with or without a sedative. Patients will decide together with the surgeon which type of anaesthetic to use during the first consultation.
The surgeon will clean and drape the surgical area in order to ensure the area is sterile. This will help reduce the risk of infection. The type of incision the surgeon chooses depends on a number of factors. These include:
- Breast size and shape
- The position of the areola
- The degree of breast sagging
- Skin quality
- The amount of excess skin.
The surgeon will advise patients on which incision is best to use for the breasts. The different kinds of incisions they may use include the following:
For a doughnut incision, the surgeon will make a cut around the full circumference of the areola. This is the dark area around the nipple. Surgeons do not commonly use this technique in a breast auto-augmentation. However, it may be appropriate if the patients has mild to moderate breast sagging.
A lollipop incision requires the surgeon to make two cuts. The first is made around the full circumference of the areola. The second cut is made vertically down to the breast fold, where the breast meets the chest. This may be most appropriate if there is moderate breast sagging.
The anchor incision requires 3 cuts to be made. The surgeon will make the first two cuts similar to those in the lollipop (vertical) technique, and then they will make a third incision horizontally across the breast fold. This may be most appropriate if there is severe breast sagging.
Once they have made the incisions, the surgeon will carefully select and prepare a wedge of breast tissue, which they will leave attached to the breast to preserve the blood supply. The surgeon rotates this wedge of tissue to its new position in the upper breast before reattaching it to the chest wall to hold its new position. Finally, the surgeon may remodel the surrounding breast tissue, remove excess skin, and reposition the nipple and areola.
Closing of incisions
Once the surgeon achieves the desired outcome of the breast auto-augmentation, they will close the incisions with sutures.
Return to the ward
Patients will return to the ward after the operation, where they will stay for a few hours or overnight to allow the anaesthetic effects to wear off. When it is safe to do so, the patient will be able to return home.
What to expect from the consultation?
Before surgery, patients will have a breast auto-augmentation consultation with a highly qualified BAAPS/BAPRAS surgeon to discuss the procedure. This will often last between 15 minutes to an hour. During this time, the surgeon will take a medical history and examine the breasts. Examining the breasts allows the surgeon to understand what's possible for the patient. The surgeon will also talk to the patient through the procedure and explore what they would like to achieve from the breast auto-augmentation procedure.
The surgeon may ask for details of the following:
- Current health status
- Any medical conditions
- Medications (including prescription, over-the-counter and herbal medications)
- Any surgeries in the past
- Alcohol intake, smoking, and recreational drug use
- Any allergies.
It is important that the patient provides accurate information to the surgeon during the consultation. By doing so, the surgeon will have a better understanding of the individual's case. This allows the surgeon to make the most appropriate decisions on the surgery and care. Patients should also make their goals and expectations clear to the surgeon. They can then advise patients whether these are realistic and to what extent they can be achieved. Patients will be more likely to achieve the results they want if they are open and honest with the surgeon.
Questions to ask during the breast auto-augmentation consultation?
Patients should use the free auto-augmentation consultation time to ask the surgeon any questions they may have. Patients may find it helpful to think about the questions they would like to ask and make a list before seeing the surgeon. The following are some questions patients could consider:
- Is this surgery suitable?
- What would be the best surgical approach?
- What other options are there?
- Will it hurt?
- What are the scars like?
- How long is recovery?
- Request to see before and after photos
Preparing for Surgery
How to prepare for breast auto-augmentation surgery?
After surgery, it is important that patients try to relax as much as possible. This will help speed up recovery. Below are some breast auto-augmentation preparation tips that patients may find useful.
Patients can reduce stress during the recovery period by completing some household chores before having surgery. Try to get some of the big jobs out of the way, such as doing the washing, taking out the bins, and doing a general clean before the procedure. This way, patients will not have to worry about doing these things when they return home after the breast auto-augmentation operation.
For the first few days after surgery, patients may not feel like going to the supermarket. As patients will not be able to do any heavy lifting straight after surgery, it is recommended that patients do a grocery shop a day or two before surgery to stock up on some items that can keep in the fridge or the cupboard. Freezing some pre-cooked meals may also be helpful. This will mean that patients have some food and meals already prepared for during the recovery period.
Children and pets
If patients have young children or pets, they may wish to ask friends or family to look after them for the first week or so. This may minimise stress levels during recovery.
Patients will not be able to drive straight after surgery. Therefore, ensure patients should organise for someone to drive them home safely from the hospital after the operation. Patients may like to ask a family member or friend to help with this.
After breast auto-augmentation surgery, it's a good idea that patients maintain a healthy diet by eating a diet high in protein and low in sodium. This can include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Make sure to keep hydrated with water and caffeine-free beverages. Avoid consuming too much salt and sugar during the recovery period.
After a breast auto-augmentation, patients may be required to wear a post-operative bra. The surgeon will tell patients how long they must wear this for. Patients should also make sure that they have loose clothing that fastens easily from the front or back to wear for the first few days after surgery.
Be sure to have plenty of extra pillows at home, as patients may find it more comfortable to sleep propped up after the surgery. Patients are often advised to sleep on their back in an inclined position for the first few days. This helps to avoid contact with the healing area and will also help reduce swelling.
It is vital that patients follow the BAAPS/BAPRAS surgeon’s specific breast auto-augmentation preparation advice so that they may achieve the best results possible.
Risks & Compilcations
What are the risks of breast auto-augmentation?
All surgical procedures carry the potential for risks and complications to occur. Before patients decide to go ahead with the auto-augmentation procedure, it's advised they are as informed as possible and are aware of the breast auto-augmentation risks and complications.
During the consultation, the BAAPS/BAPRAS surgeon will talk patients through all of the breast auto-augmentation risks and complications which include:
Bleeding from the treated area typically occurs right after the operation. However, sometimes, it can occur a couple of weeks later. Minor bleeding is common and may lead to some bruising. Heavier bleeding, whilst rare, may result in oozing from the suture lines. It is also possible for blood to collect under the skin. This is called a haematoma. If this occurs, the breast may become very swollen or tight. If patients notice this, it's advised they seek medical attention straight away.
Infection is a risk that comes with all surgical procedures. Signs of infection may develop over the first two to three weeks after surgery.
Patients should contact the surgeon if they notice:
- A temperature of 38° C or over.
- Redness around the wound that begins to spread.
- Yellow pus-like or foul-smelling fluid coming from the wounds.
- Increasing pain or discomfort that pain medication does not relieve.
Mild infections, which are often wound infections, will often settle down with antibiotics. Very rarely, an infection can affect the final results of the operation. This may result in the need for further surgery.
As breast auto-augmentation requires the surgeon to make incisions, scarring is unavoidable. However, in most cases, the scarring will be minimal and will fade over time. The extent of scarring will depend on the technique the surgeon chooses to use, as well as a patient's skin’s ability to heal.
Tissue or skin necrosis
During surgery, a certain area of skin, fat, breast tissue or the nipple can lose its blood supply. It is possible that this area of tissue then dies. This is called necrosis. It is much more likely to occur in smokers. Areas of tissue necrosis feel lumpy and hard and can interfere with breast scans such as a mammogram. Patients may require further surgery to correct the necrosis if it occurs.
A seroma is a pocket of fluid that can sometimes develop under the skin after surgery. This is often at the site of the incision or in an area where tissue has been removed. Patients may notice a swollen lump in the treated area of the breast, and a clear discharge may drain from the incision site. Most small seromas will require no treatment. However, larger seromas may need draining with a needle. If a seroma becomes infected, it can develop into an abscess. These will require medical treatment.
Change in sensation
After a breast auto-augmentation, it is common to experience either some numbness or increased sensitivity. This will often be around the scar, the nipples, or the areola. Generally, this will be temporary and should settle down with time. A permanent loss of sensation is rare but can occur.
There will always be a risk that patients are unhappy with the final results of the surgery. If patients are unhappy with the results, they may wish to have further surgery to correct this. It is therefore recommended patients choose their surgeon carefully. Make sure that they fully understand all expectations during the consultation.
General surgical complications
All surgeries carry some common surgical risks. These include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Blood clots
- Risks of anaesthesia
- Post-operative pain.
What to expect after a breast auto-augmentation?
Patients will feel more at ease if they know what to expect after surgery. The BAAPS/BAPRAS surgeon will discuss the breast auto-augmentation aftercare process during the consultation. This will include providing information on:
- Going back to work
- Resuming exercise
- Being able to drive again
Before patients return home after the surgery, the surgeon will organise a follow-up appointment. This will often be within two weeks of the procedure. During this appointment, the surgeon will inspect the wounds to check how healing is coming along, change any dressings and address any complications or concerns.
The way patients feel after surgery will depend on what type of anaesthetic was used for the procedure. If patients were put to sleep with a general anaesthetic, they may wake up feeling tired and groggy. Patients may also find that their concentration is affected for the first day or so after the surgery. However, all of this will resolve with time.
If patients have a local anaesthetic, they may feel numbness in the area of the procedure. This should only last for a few hours.
The breasts may initially feel over-enlarged, tight and heavy. This will be due to post-operative swelling, which will gradually settle over the first few weeks.
The first 24 hours
It is important that patients have an adult around them for the first 24 hours after breast auto-augmentation surgery, such as a family member or a friend. This way they will have someone who can help you in case they feel dizzy or unsteady. Patients will also need someone to drive them home as they will be unable to drive after the procedure as they are recovering from the anaesthetic.
Returning to work
Depending on the nature of a patient's job, it is recommended that they take at least one to two weeks off work after the breast auto-augmentation. If the patient's job is relatively active and requires them to be on their feet (for example, a bar staff), then patients should take two weeks off. If patients have an office job, it is advised they to take at least one week off. During this time off, it is important that patients take it easy. Avoid even light duties for the first week, and do not lift anything heavy.
Returning to exercise
Patients must not partake in any strenuous physical activity in the first 3 to 4 weeks following the surgery. Vigorous movements can increase swelling of the breast area and slow down recovery. Patients can, however, resume light cardio activity such as walking on a treadmill after two weeks.
In order to help the recovery process, patients should avoid lifting arms above the head for the first week of the procedure. Try not to lift any heavy objects such as grocery shopping for at least the first 6 weeks. It is also recommended that you sleep propped up on pillows to help reduce swelling.
Knowing when you can return to exercise is an important part of your breast auto-augmentation aftercare. You must follow the advice that your surgeon specifically gives you on when you can start exercising again.
After the surgery, patients can expect to have some pain, tightness and discomfort around the surgical area. This should resolve within a few days. Taking over-the-counter pain medication, such as paracetamol, can help ease this.
It is important to look after the wounds and keep the incisions clean and dry. The surgeon will tell the patient when they can shower again after the surgery. Do not remove the white tape (steri-strips) on the incisions until the surgeon says it's possible. The surgeon may also advise patients to moisturise or massage the area to promote healing. Although the healing wounds may be itchy, try to avoid scratching them. It's a good idea to follow the surgeon’s specific aftercare advice for a speedier recovery.
Patients may need to wear a post-operative recovery bra for several weeks after the surgery to support the breasts. Over this first week, patients will need to wear this all day and night. The surgeon will let patients know how long they will need to wear this bra for.
The final results
Although patients may notice a change in their breasts immediately following surgery, it can take a few months for the swelling to completely settle. As a result, patients may find that initially, the breasts appear too high or overly-enlarged. However, patients will be able to fully appreciate the cosmetic results of the breast auto-augmentation after 6 to 12 months.
Breast Auto-Augmentation FAQs
Below you can find some questions that patients commonly ask about breast auto-augmentation. If you have any questions that do not appear in this breast auto-augmentation faqs section, you can contact your patient care adviser or ask your BAAPS/BAPRAS surgeon during your consultation.
Breast Auto Augmentation Surgery Risks & Complications FAQs
Breast Auto Augmentation Surgery FAQs
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All of the information found on our website is sourced from highly reputable experts, government-approved authorities and is widely used by healthcare professionals.
- https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/blog/what-is-an-auto-augmentation-breast-lift American Society of Plastic Surgeons
- https://www.e-aps.org/ Archives of Plastic Surgery
Our content is written by our Medical Quality Managers and Patient Care Advisers, all of who have medical backgrounds and training. Prior to publishing, all the information is reviewed by a surgeon specialised within the relevant field.
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