February 2021

What is breast augmentation?

Breast augmentation - or augmentation mammoplasty - is a type of cosmetic surgery that increases breast size and restores the shape and fullness of a woman’s breast. The process involves placing an implant beneath existing chest muscles and breast tissue. [1]

Whether you want to correct uneven breasts, enhance your appearance or increase your body confidence, your plastic surgeon will be able to advise you on the most suitable course of action, as well as providing you with an overview of the risks, complications and benefits involved with breast enlargement surgery.

How does breast augmentation work?

Breast augmentation is carried out by inserting a breast-shaped implant - typically made from either silicone gel or saline - behind a woman’s natural breast tissue. [2]

When carrying out augmentation mammoplasty, a patient has a choice of incision options including:


The choice of incision depends on a number of factors including the patient’s body type and their chosen size of implant. [3]




How much do breast enlargement procedures cost?

In the UK and Germany, breast implant surgery typically costs up to £8000 / €9500 plus the cost of any consultations and follow-up care. [4] As breast implants have an average lifespan of 10 years, you'll also have to fork out for any follow-up surgery you may require in the future. However, in some parts of Europe, breast augmentation can be carried out safely and skilfully at a significantly lower cost.


The benefits of breast enhancements

Breast augmentation is the most common type of cosmetic surgery in the UK. [5] There are many reasons why a woman may want breast enhancements, including:


What happens after breast augmentation?

Breast augmentation is an outpatient procedure, usually performed under general anesthetic. Relatively non-invasive, you can expect to be able to walk around freely following your operation, and return to work after a couple of days. [6]


It can take a little while for the incisions to fully heal, though, so it’s recommended that you don’t carry out any strenuous exercise or physical activity for 2-4 weeks after surgery.


In some cases, patients may be asked to wear a sports bra or supportive surgical bra for a period of time after the breast enhancement procedure to enhance the natural healing process.


What are the risks of breast augmentation?

With over 400,000 women undergoing breast augmentation each year [7], it remains one of the safest and most popular forms of cosmetic surgery in the world, however like any surgical procedure, breast enhancement surgery carries with it some risks, including:



To help lower your risk of developing any post-surgery complications, speak to your cosmetic surgeon about breast augmentation aftercare.



[1] https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/breast-augmentation/about/pac-20393178

[2] https://www.oaklands-hospital.co.uk/treatments/cosmetic-surgery/breast-enlargement

[3] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263567

[4] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cosmetic-procedures/breast-enlargement/

[5] https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2014/feb/03/uk-plastic-surgery-2013-most-popular

[6] https://www.americanboardcosmeticsurgery.org/procedure-learning-center/breast/breast-augmentation-guide/

[7] http://www.center4research.org/breast-implant-illnesses-whats-evidence/