Breast Enlargement and Breast Uplift
Learn everything about your treatment
Learn everything about your treatment
2 to 3 hours
Day case or one night
General anaesthetic or local anaesthetic with sedation
6 - 12 months
Breast enlargement and uplift overview
What is a breast enlargement and uplift?
This procedure is a popular cosmetic surgery in the UK. Firstly, it involves increasing the size of the breasts. In addition, it involves lifting the breasts and improving their shape. While it is possible to perform a breast uplift and a breast enlargement as two separate surgeries, your surgeon may recommend that you combine the two. This breast enlargement and uplift overview aims to give you a better idea of what the procedure involves and what it can achieve.
What can a breast enlargement and uplift achieve?
The goal of this surgery is to create firmer, fuller, more youthful looking breasts. To create the breasts you desire, your BAAPS/BAPRAS surgeon will remove any excess skin you may have on your breasts. After, they will then reshape your breast tissue. They may need to re-position your nipple and areola (the area of skin around your nipple). In addition, they may also need to alter the size and/or shape of your areola. Lastly, they may use implants to enlarge your breasts. All of these changes aim to enhance your breasts and achieve the goals that you have.
You may consider this procedure if you:
- Are currently unhappy with the appearance of your breasts.
- Would describe your breasts as droopy or shrunken in appearance.
- Feel that weight loss, pregnancy, breastfeeding or ageing has negatively affected your breasts.
- Feel self-conscious about your breasts.
- Would like to achieve a fuller, firmer, more youthful looking breasts.
Who are BAAPS/BAPRAS?
BAAPS/BAPRAS feature a lot on our website. So who are they? The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) and The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) are the two main plastic surgery societies in the UK.
At Medbelle, we choose to only work with surgeons who are members of either BAAPS/BAPRAS. This is because we want you to achieve the best results possible from your procedure. BAAPS and BAPRAS ensure their members are highly qualified and skilled in all the latest surgical techniques by organizing regular training programmes. Consequently, we feel this inspires confidence in the abilities of their surgeons.
In summary, we advise that you take your time to choose a BAAPS/BAPRAS surgeon that you feel understands your personal goals for your procedure. Furthermore, it is important that you feel you can trust your surgeon and believe that he or she can deliver the results that you desire.
Breast enlargement and uplift candidates
Who are the best candidates for a breast enlargement and uplift?
A breast enlargement and uplift is a popular cosmetic procedure for women in the UK. Consequently, many women are suitable breast enlargement and uplift candidates. As you progress through your life as a woman, it is only natural that your breasts will change. For example, pregnancy and breastfeeding can cause great changes to your breast tissue. In addition, weight loss or gain and the natural process of ageing also contribute to breast change. You may therefore no longer feel happy or confident with how your breasts look anymore.
This procedure aims to lift and enlarge your breasts and give them a fuller, firmer more youthful appearance. Suitable breast enlargement and uplift candidates are women who:
- Are relatively fit and healthy.
- Have a healthy BMI.
- Have no serious health conditions.
- May have excess skin on their breasts.
- Think their breasts look droopy or sag.
- Believe that their breasts have lost their shape.
- Feel that pregnancy or breastfeeding have negatively affected how their breasts look.
- Beleive that weight loss or gain has had a negative impact on how their breasts look.
- Think that ageing has negatively affected how their breasts look.
- Have realistic goals for this procedure.
- Are emotionally ready for surgery.
Why have a breast enlargement and uplift?
Firstly, it is important to say that your opinion of your body is the most important one. In addition, many of the breast changes mentioned above are natural and common in all women. Your breasts are a sign of your femininity and you should be proud of them. However, if you feel that you are not confident with your current breast appearance, we would love to help you change that!
If you are not happy with how your breasts look or feel, the breast enlargement and uplift may be the procedure to help. It will remove any excess skin which makes your breasts appear droopy. Furthermore it will reshape and enlarge your breast tissue. As a result, you will have fuller, firmer, more youthful looking breasts.
Breast enlargement and uplift procedure
How is a breast enlargement and uplift performed?
A breast enlargement and uplift procedure usually takes from 2 to 3 hours to perform. After the surgery, you will either be able to go home the same day or have to stay in hospital for 1 to 2 days.
Before your surgery, you will meet with your BAAPS/BAPRAS surgeon. They will go over the procedure and the risks involved. You will be able to ask any questions you may have. If you still want the surgery, you will then consent by signing a consent form. This may be at your pre-operative appointment or on the day of your surgery. We advise that you fully educate yourself on the procedure and understand all the possible risks before you sign the consent form. Your surgeon will examine your breasts and may draw some lines using a marker on the area. He or she may also ask for permission to take before and after pictures.
You will meet your anaesthetist on the day of your surgery. During your consultation, you and your surgeon will decide together if the surgery will be done using general anaesthetic or local anaesthetic with sedation. Your anaesthetist will then give you the chosen anaesthetic before you have your surgery
There a number of different incisions your surgeon may use for your breast enlargement and uplift procedure. The incision that your surgeon will choose depends on your breast size and shape. In addition, your areola size and position, the degree of breast sagging and the quality and quantity of your skin will also affect their decision. Your surgeon will first clean and drape your skin, then make the incision they think is suitable.
Wise Pattern technique for Breast Augmentation and Mastopexy
The Wise Pattern technique is the incision style that surgeons most commonly use for a breast enlargement and uplift procedure. This involves making an anchor-like incision on the breast. This incision permits the removal of more excess skin and tissue after insertion of the breast implants.
This is a reliable technique that provides an excellent lift to even the most sagging breasts.
The other kinds of incision patterns your surgeon may use include the following:
Crescent incision (Periareolar)
Your surgeon may use a crescent incision if you have minor breast sagging. It cannot achieve a great degree of lift, which means that surgeons do not often use it.
Donut incision (Circumareolar)
Surgeons use this incision less commonly. They may use this incision if they have mild to moderate breast sagging.
Lollipop incision (Vertical)
Your surgeon may use this type of incision if you have moderate to severe breast sagging.
4. Insertion of the breast implants
Before your surgery, your surgeon will discuss the types of breast implant available and you will decide together which is the most suitable for you. Your surgeon will then insert this implant into your breast. They can place the implant over the chest muscle (pectoralis major), under the chest muscle or as a combination of both.
Subglandular implants (over the chest muscle)
A subglanduar implant is also known as a submammary implant. Your surgeon will place this implant over your chest muscle. This will create a more defined breast shape as the implant is closer to the skin’s surface. As this procedure is less invasive, you may feel less pain in the first few days after surgery. Placing the implant over the muscle leads to less movement of the implant when the chest muscle moves or flexes.
Submuscular implants (under the chest muscle)
A submuscular implant is also known as a subpectoral implant. Your surgeon can place your implants under the chest muscle. These are less likely to be felt or seen because the muscle provides excellent soft tissue padding. As these implants are not directly below the breast tissue, they are also less likely to interfere with mammograms. This placement is, however, more invasive and can, therefore, lead to a longer recovery period.
Dual plane implants (combination)
A dual plane implant is a mix of both techniques. The top part of the implant sits under the muscle. This reduces the risk of implant visibility and ripples. The bottom part sits directly in contact with the breast tissue. This helps create a more curvaceous underboob.
5. Closure of incisions
Your surgeon will then use sutures to close your incisions and put a dressing over your wounds. They may insert a drain below the skin to reduce swelling and bruising. Usually, they will remove these drains before you are sent home.
6. Return to the ward
Finally, you will be taken back to the ward to recover from the surgery and anaesthetic. You will either return home the same day, or spend one or two nights in hospital for monitoring.
What are the different types of breast implants available?
Breast implants can be filled with saline, silicone gel or highly-cohesive silicone gel.
Saline implants consist of an outer silicone shell which encases sterile salt water (saline). The surgeon will insert the empty silicone shell into the breast, then inflate it with salt water through a small valve. Insertion of saline implants leaves a smaller scar than surgery with silicone implants. This is because silicone implants are pre-filled before surgery.
Saline implants are often one of the least popular breast implant types. This is because they are more prone to rupture, deflation and loss of volume over time. Due to their consistency, they may also look and feel less natural than silicone based implants.
Silicone gel implants consist of an outer silicone shell with a soft, silicone gel core. To insert silicone gel implants your surgeon will have to make a larger incision. This is because, unlike saline implants, they are pre-filled before surgery.
Silicone gel implants have a firmer consistency than saline implants, making them less prone to wrinkling. Many patients agree that silicone gel implants feel and look more natural than saline implants.
Highly-Cohesive Silicone Gel
Highly-cohesive gel implants consist of an outer silicone shell and contain a much firmer silicone gel. This firm consistency allows the implants to achieve the most natural look and feel. They are the least likely implant type to rupture, and even when they do – the contents do not spill out as they do with the other types of implant.
The current design of breast implants means that they can generally last for over a decade. Therefore they do not have to be replaced on a regular basis. High-quality implant manufacturers usually offer lifelong guarantees to show their confidence in their implant reliability. Some brands even offer to subsidize a potential implant replacement in case there are any problems.Your surgeon will choose the best fitting implants for you based on their experiences with the different brands.
What are the different breast implant shapes available?
There are two different shapes of breast implant available; round and teardrop shaped. Both shapes can help create a full, natural-looking breast. The shape of implant that is best for you will depend on what you would like to achieve from your breast enlargement and uplift procedure. so your surgeon will work with you to find the most suitable implant shape for you.
Round breast implants add volume to the upper and lower part of your breast. These give a fuller, more lifted breast appearance.
Teardrop, or anatomical, implants add more volume to the lower part of your breast than the upper part. This gives a more discreet look that is more in keeping with the natural shape of breasts. This is usually the preferred option for patients looking to achieve a more natural breast enlargement.
Your surgeon will decide with you which type of implant is most suitable to use during your breast enlargement and uplift procedure.
Breast enlargement and uplift consultation
What should I expect from my breast enlargement and uplift consultation?
Before your surgery, you will meet with your BAAPS/BAPRAS surgeon for your breast enlargement and uplift consultation. This will usually last from 15 minutes to 1 hour. During this time, your surgeon will ask you a number of questions to find out more information about you medically. They will discuss the procedure itself and its risks and complications. In addition, they will find out your personal goals for the surgery and ensure they are realistic. They may examine your breasts and ask for permission to take before and after pictures. Remember that you have have the right to say no if you do not feel comfortable with this. Your surgeon may ask you about:
- Your current health.
- Any medical conditions you have.
- Your past surgeries.
- Any medications you may take (these include prescribed, over-the-counter and herbal medications).
- If you smoke or have done previously.
- Your alcohol intake.
- Any recreational drugs you take currently.
- Any allergies you may have.
- Your goals for the surgery.
During this consultation you will reveal a lot of personal information about yourself. We like to remind you that your surgeon is a professional doctor who must keep your private information confidential unless it poses a risk to you or others. Therfore, you can and we encourage you to be as open and honest with your surgeon as possible. As a result, they will be able to use the information you give to provide the best care which is suitable to you as an individual.
What questions should I ask during my breast enlargement and uplift consultation?
Your breast enlargement and uplift consultation is also an opportunity for you to ask questions. You may like to spend some time thinking about things you would like to know before you go to this meeting. Furthermore, you may find it useful to write your questions down. This way, you will be less likely to forget to ask something that is important to you. Below, we have composed a list of questions you may like to ask your surgeon on the day but feel free to add any more to your list that you can think of.
- Are my goals for this procedure realistic?
- Which incisions will you make on my breasts?
- What will the scarring be like after the procedure?
- How long will my recovery be?
- How long will the results last?
- Do you have any before and after pictures of previous breast uplift and enlargements you have performed?
- What are my options if I am not happy with the results?
Breast enlargement and uplift risks and complications
What are the main breast enlargement and uplift risks and complications?
As with any other surgery, there are certain breast enlargement and uplift risks and complications that you should know about. We advise that you take time to educate yourself on what these are before you make any decisions. Our surgeons also advise that you take a two week ‘cooling off’ period after your consultation with them before you decide to go ahead with the surgery. This will ensure that you are making a fully informed decision.
The main breast enlargement and uplift risks include:
Generally, surgeons take all the precautions to ensure you don’t get an infection. However, if an infection does occur you must take it seriously. Most infections are mild infections (often wound infections or delayed wound healing). They will generally settle down with a short course of antibiotics. Unfortunately, however, if infection persists or becomes worse, it is likely that you will need to return to the hospital for treatment. If the infection affects your implants, you may need to replace them. If this is the case, you should wait at least 3 to 6 months before having new ones put in.
Bleeding & bruising
Usually, when bleeding occurs, it is directly after your surgery while you are still in the hospital. Sometimes, however, bleeding can occur a few weeks later. You may notice that your breast appears very swollen and tight. If you do experience bleeding, you may have to back to the operating room. Your BAAPS/BAPRAS surgeon will fix this issue. You may have to spend an extra night in hospital and in addition, you may experience more bruising but things should settle down after this.
This is when your body creates more tissue around the implants. This new tissue is a lot tighter than normal breast tissue. This can result in a hard or painful feeling in the breast for some women. The amount of tight tissue which your body creates varies greatly from patient to patient. Your surgeon will be able to discuss this with you further.
Some temporary change in breast sensation after surgery is quite common. The most common symptoms are increased or reduced sensitivity around the scar and nipples (the areola). Usually, both numbness and increased sensitivity gradually settles down. You should be aware that it can take several months to do so. In rare cases, numbness can persist for longer than this and is likely to be a permanent change.
Your surgeon will have to make incisions on your breasts to perform your procedure, so scarring is unavoidable. Some scars may be well hidden, while others will not. Generally, with time, your scars will begin to fade. You can discuss the scars you are likely to have with your surgeon during your consultation.
There is always the risk that you are may not be happy with the results of your surgery. This may be because of aesthetic reasons (the size, shape or symmetry of your new breasts). To avoid this, we advise you choose your surgeon carefully and make sure he or she fully understands your goals for the procedure. Furthermore, it is important to be aware that your implants may shift or change over time. If this were to occur, you may want or need revision surgery.
This is when an implant splits open and leaks out its contents. If this happens, it is usual practice that your surgeon removes, and if you desire, replaces the implant. Implants are made in such a way so as not to cause any damage your body’s tissue. However, if anything goes wrong, it is best to address the issue as soon as possible. If you think something has gone wrong with your implant we advise that you contact your surgeon to arrange a consultation. Otherwise, complications may arise.
One possible cause of implant rupture is direct damage to the implant. For example, being thrown against a steering wheel during a car accident could cause implant rupture. Rupture can also occur if damage to the implant occurs upon its initial placement and your surgeon does not detect this. Again, we stress the importance of choosing a surgeon who you trust and believe is suitably competent to perform your surgery.
During your procedure, the blood supply to certain areas of your body may be lost. Although this is very unlikely to happen and is very rare, if it does occur, that skin, tissue or body area may die. You will need to have further surgery to remove the dead tissue.
Breast implant risks
There are more specific risks that are associated with breast implants, which can be found here.
Breast enlargement and uplift preparation
How can I prepare for a breast enlargement and uplift?
Being prepared for your breast enlargement and uplift will enable you to have a more stress-free recovery. This involves getting a few things in order before you go into hospital. We have put together some breast enlargement and uplift preparation tips for you.
Cleaning and doing household chores can be hard work on your best day! Therefore, getting some of these tasks out of the way before your surgery can be really useful. For example, you may like to do the laundry and take out the bins. Then, while you are recovering, you will not have to worry about these jobs for a few days!
You may not feel up to going to the shops for a while after your surgery. Therefore, doing a big shop the day before you go into hospital could really help you. In addition, some patients like to make use of online shopping services which can be delivered straight to their door. You may also like to make up some meals and freeze them so that you can avoid having to cook for a few days too!
When we are fit and well we don’t usually realize all that our bodies do in a day. However, after surgery, you will feel the effects of even the smallest of tasks. For this reason, you may like to have a look around your house and make important things more accessible. For example, you may like to move some crockery, clothes or other essentials down to lower shelves so you do not have to overstretch.
Children & pets
Looking after children and pets is not an easy task. Subsequently, you may like to ask a friend or a relative to help look after any children or pets you may have for the first few days of your recovery. This way, you can remain as stress-free as possible.
You will not be able to drive yourself home after your operation. This is because of the side effects of your anaesthesia and because you will be in pain. Therefore, you should arrange for someone to pick you up.
Your BAAPS/BAPRAS surgeon may tell you to bring a supportive bra with you on the day of your operation. It will be useful for your recovery if you leave some comfortable clothes somewhere that will be easily accessible to you when you get home. Loose fitting clothing that opens at the front it the most appropriate. You may also like to make sure you have some slip-on shoes so that you can avoid having to bend down for a few days.
Eating & drinking
After your surgery, we advise that you eat foods that are high in protein and low in sodium and sugar. These include fresh fruits and vegetables. We also advise that you try to drink plenty of water and avoid beverages containing caffeine or high levels of sugar. Maintaining a healthy diet will help you recover quicker.
It can be useful to have some spare pillows around the house as you may find it more comfortable to sleep propped up after your surgery. We advise that you rest and sleep on your back continuously in an inclined position (25-to 45-degree angle) for the initial post-operative days.
These breast enlargement and uplift preparation tips should help you during your recovery. It is important however, to follow the exact instructions that your surgeon gives you.
Breast enlargement and uplift aftercare
What can I expect after a breast enlargement and uplift?
At Medbelle, we want you to know exactly what to expect after your surgery. How can you commit to such a big surgery when you don’t know what will happen afterwards? We think that when you know what is coming, you feel more ready and able to handle it. At your consultation with your BAAPS/BAPRAS surgeon, he or she will go through your breast enlargement and uplift aftercare. They will be able to give you an approximate idea of when you will be able to return to work, begin exercising again and when you will be able to drive after your procedure.
You will be given an appointment to come back and see your surgeon before you leave the hospital. This appointment will usually happen 1 to 2 weeks after your surgery. Your surgeon will review your progress and make sure you are recovering as expected. In addition, they will remove any undissolvable stitches and advise you on further aftercare and the need for further dressings. Below is some general information on your breast enlargement and uplift aftercare.
How will I feel after my surgery?
If you have a general anaesthetic, you will wake up slowly after your surgery. You may feel drowsy for the same reason but this will wear off within a few hours. In addition, the general anesthetic can affect your memory and concentration for the first 1 to 2 days after your surgery. Again, this too will wear off. You will stay in the hospital for 1 to 2 days after your procedure.
If you have the procedure done under a local anaesthetic with sedation, your recovery will be quicker and you will be able to return home the same day.
How will I get home after my surgery?
After your procedure, you will not be able to drive yourself home for safety reasons. This means you must arrange for someone to pick you up, or arrange for a taxi to take you home. Depending on your surgeon’s advice, you may not be able to drive for 5 days to 2 weeks after surgery.
How should I look after my breasts after surgery?
After your surgery, it is important that you carefully nurse your breasts. Your surgeon may or may not advise that you do a gentle massage of the breasts.
Usually, scars tend to be quite red in the 6 weeks after surgery, changing to purple in the following 3 months. From that point onward, they fade to light lines. Your surgeon may advise that you follow the following techniques to reduce the appearance of your scars:
- Scar massage – you can start this after the removal of any dressings and after your incisions have healed.
- Silicone gel, cream or sheets – You can use these for six months to a year soon as your scars heal fully.
- Keep your scars out of the sun and use a high-factor sunscreen to avoid color differences in your scars and protect your skin from cancer.
Will I have to wear a post-operative bra?
Yes. The post-operative bra is an important part of your breast enlargement and uplift aftercare. Your surgeon will advise you on which kind of post-operative bra you will need to buy, and how long you will need to wear this for. You may need to wear this bra for a period 2 to 5 weeks.
How will I manage my pain after my surgery?
It is likely that you will experience some discomfort and swelling in the first few days after your surgery. You can easily manage this with over the counter pain medication such as paracetamol. Pain relief and compression bandages for the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery can be helpful.
How much time will I have to take off work and exercise?
If you have a less active job (e.g. office work), 1 to 2 weeks off work should give you enough time to recover. If however your job is more active (e.g. waitressing), you should take at least 2 weeks off. For all job titles, you should avoid even light exertion for at least 2 to 3 weeks after surgery. Your surgeon will tell you exactly how much time you need to take off.
You may not be able to exercise in the first 1 to 3 weeks after your surgery. Some very light walking should be fine but any other aerobic activity can make swelling worse. After week 3, some light intensity sports that don’t include heavy lifting or vigorous movement can be done (e.g. cycling). 6 weeks after your surgery you should be able to return to all your previous activities.
When will I see the final results of my breast enlargement and uplift?
You will be able to appreciate the changes in your breast directly after your surgery. It may take up to 6 weeks however, to appreciate the full cosmetic results of your surgery.
Your breasts will be very sensitive for several weeks, and it may take a few months for them to settle completely. During this time your breasts may appear too high or unnaturally round and your nipples may become a little numb for a short while.
After 6 to 12 months your body should have healed to the extent that the scars have faded and your breasts have settled.
Remember that you must strictly follow your surgeon’s breast enlargement and uplift aftercare advice to ensure you get the best results from your surgery and reduce the risk of complications.
Breast enlargement and uplift FAQs
What are some common breast enlargement and uplift FAQs?
Questions from other patients can be useful. Other patients may ask questions you hadn’t thought of yet. Here are some common breast enlargement and uplift FAQs.
Will I be able to breastfeed after my surgery?
It is very likely that you will still be able to breastfeed after your surgery if you were able to breastfeed before it. However, some women may struggle to breastfeed after their breast enlargement and uplift. The incision and surgical technique your BAAPS/BAPRAS surgeon choose to use may impact your ability to breastfeed. It is therefore important to tell your surgeon during your consultation if you want to breastfeed in the future.
If you are currently breastfeeding, it is likely that you will have to stop for at least 3 to 6 months before having surgery. This will allow your breasts to settle before your procedure.
What effects do smoking, drinking and using drugs have on my surgery?
Some lifestyle factors greatly increase your risk of complications during and after your surgery. These include smoking, drinking alcohol and taking drugs (prescription or otherwise). We recommend that you stop smoking and using all nicotine products at least 6 weeks before surgery. Your surgeon will speak to you about these lifestyle factors at your consultation.
What effect will weight change after my procedure have on my results?
This will depend on the amount of fat currently in your breasts. It will also depend on the amount of weight loss or gain that occurs after your surgery.
Usually, it will take a weight gain or loss of at least ten pounds to cause a significant effect on your results. This may include changes to the shape or fullness of your breasts. However, it is hard to predict how weight change may alter each woman’s breasts. It may affect each patient differently.
Do I need a GP referral for cosmetic surgery?
Your BAAPS/BAPRAS surgeon will be happy to see you without a referral from your GP. However, if you plan to go ahead with your surgery, your surgeon will ask for permission to contact your GP. He or she will do this to request details of your medical history.
Will I need further surgeries after my breast enlargement and uplift?
You may choose to have further surgery in the future for a number of reasons. For example, you may decide to change the size, shape or type of implant you have.
You may also need further surgery if certain problems arise. These problems may include implant rupture, capsular contracture and implant re-positioning. Due to huge improvements in implant durability, material, and design over the past two decades, problems like these are now very uncommon.
Are there any reasons I would not be able to get breast implants?
Your surgeon will not perform breast implant surgery if:
- There is active infection anywhere in your body.
- You have existing cancer or pre-cancer of your breast and have not received adequate treatment for these conditions.
- You are currently pregnant or nursing.
In these cases, surgeons do not recommend breast implant surgery. This is because it may interfere with the treatment of active infection or cancer and the safety of the pregnancy or nursing. These factors may also affect the healing process after the surgery.
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Breast Enlargement and Breast Uplift
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