How does it work?
Having your breasts enlarged means having an implant inserted under the skin to make your breasts look bigger. There are two main types of implants available: silicon and saline. Silicon is thought to look and feel more natural, but some women feel safer knowing that the saline solution is non-toxic.
There are a few ways of having the breast implanted. The surgeon will have to make an incision in your skin in order to put the implant in, this could be in the inframammary fold (the point at the bottom of your breast where it meets your ribs), in your armpit or at the side or bottom of your nipple. If you’re having a tummy tuck, you can have both operations done at the same time and have your new breasts inserted from the incision in your stomach and moved up under the skin into the right place. There is also a method of inserting them via your bellybutton - to minimise scarring - even if you're not having any other surgery.
Your surgeon will make an incision in your skin and then create a ‘pocket’ for the implant – this will either above your pectoral muscles, completely beneath them or partially under them (which requires cutting some of the tissue that attaches your pectorals). If you are having the implants put in from your armpits or stomach, an endoscope might be used to help your surgeon see what is going on inside (an endoscope is a tiny camera in a thin tube). The implant will then be put into place and the incision stitched up.
After treatment you’ll need at least a week off work to allow yourself to heal, not using your arms too much and being careful with your dressings. You’ll also have to wear a sports bra 24 hours a day for three months afterwards to make sure your new breasts aren’t bouncing around too much.
Many women say having a boob job has changed their lives, making them feel happier, sexier and more confident. It's a big decision (and can be expensive too), so it’s important to find a cosmetic surgeon who you trust. When it comes to the quality of the job (i.e. how minimal the scarring and how natural your breasts look afterwards) this is really an area where you get what you pay for - the more skilled and experienced your surgeon is the more he or she will charge.
After your initial consultation, there will normally be a cooling off period of a couple of weeks; just to give you time to make sure you’re absolutely happy about going under the scalpel. The procedure itself only takes an hour or two, but a lot of clinics like you to stay in overnight just to keep an eye on your progress immediately afterwards.
Is it for me?
If you are truly unhappy about the size or shape of your breasts, surgical enlargement could help you to feel more comfortable with your body and more confident. Implants are also used to reconstruct breasts after a mastectomy or if some tissue is lost due to breast cancer.
Breast implants are not completely failsafe, though, and there are a number of possible complications. The most common of these is capsular contracture, which happens when the body rejects the implant and encapsulates it in a mesh of bodily fibres and tries to force it out of your body. This can cause the implant to move from the right position. Having your implants rupture is also another cause for concern, although implants can stay in place for decades without any problems. Your plastic surgeon will explain the varying risks with different types of implants.