Breast enlargement, or breast augmentation, is a procedure carried out by a specialist plastic surgeon to increase the volume of the breasts. 

Breast enlargement is a very common procedure that uses breast implants, fat transfer, or a combination of these to boost the cup size and the profile of your breasts. A breast enlargement surgery can also be performed together with a breast lift, a procedure that lifts and raises the breasts. 

However, undergoing breast enlargement is a big decision, and it’s important not to rush into it. It is a major surgery, the results are not guaranteed, and there are some risks. 

These are five things you should consider before deciding to have breast enlargement surgery. 

Be sure about why you want it 

When thinking about getting a breast enlargement surgery, the first thing you should do is ask yourself some questions. What is it exactly that you want to change? How long have you thought about the procedure? Can you afford it? What is your current life situation, and how will the surgery impact it? 

Do you want the procedure for yourself, or to please someone else? This question is crucial, as you should only decide to undergo breast enlargement for yourself. To look and feel better in your body. 

Another important question to ask yourself is whether you expect the surgery to change your life beyond your appearance. Unrealistic expectations are the root of future dissatisfaction or even regrets. 

Once you have a clear answer to these questions, do your research. Start by asking your GP, read and find out as much as you can from trustable online sources, think about all the costs (not just the procedure, which is not covered by insurance, but also aftercare, follow-up visits, and potential future procedures). 

Assume that you will need additional surgeries in the future

While modern implants are long-lasting devices, they do not last a lifetime. It is highly likely that you will need additional surgeries in the future to replace them, either because the shape of your breast has changed or because there might be issues with the implants. Today’s implants will commonly last more than a decade before they need replacing; nevertheless, additional surgeries are something you should definitely consider and budget for when deciding to undergo a breast enlargement surgery. Your surgeon will be able to advise you on the best plan for you and address any concerns you might have for the future. 

Find the right surgeon

This sounds obvious, but it is so crucial that you find the right surgeon. First, what are the surgeon’s credentials? Is the clinic registered with the Care Quality Commission? In addition to this, you should look for signs that your surgeon is active in his or her surgical community and up to date with the latest advances. At your first consultation appointment, be sure to ask them lots of questions like how many times they have performed the procedure, what qualifications and training they have, if they are a member of a relevant professional association that shows they meet set standards in training and skill, and everything you need to know about the procedure and the aftercare. Ask them for the before and after photos of their previous patients. It is essential that you feel comfortable with your surgeon and that you feel you had enough time and information to explore all the options. It is your body and your decision, and you should take it objectively and confidently. 

Choosing the right implant is key

If you are planning to have a breast enlargement procedure, your surgeon will discuss with you all the available options. Today there are several types of implants, and together you will decide the best plan of action to achieve your desired results. 

The most commonly used implants are saline or silicone implants, and they both come with pros and cons. It is also important to consider that, although implants, especially the silicone ones, have a natural feeling, breasts with implants will still feel different to the touch than real breasts. In addition to the material of the breast implant device, together with your surgeon, you will need to consider other factors such as the surface (smooth or textured), the placement (between the chest muscle and the existing breast tissue or partially under the chest muscle and the shape (teardrop or round). Breast augmentation will not fix sagging breasts. For that, you might want to combine the procedure with a breast lift procedure. 

Before deciding what to go for, you will try on different sizes with bead-filled bras to give you a better idea of what you might like and, most importantly, what might fit your body type and shape with a natural-looking result. It is important to set realistic goals, and you won’t be able to go from a size cup A to a DD in one go. You will need to start gradually, and your surgeon will advise you on how additional surgeries might further increase the size in the future. Think about the fact that your body (your chest muscles, the ligaments supporting the breasts, the spine) need to adjust to the new weight and posture. 

There are non-surgical alternatives to breast enlargement surgery

If you feel anxious about going under the knife and you want a less invasive procedure but still achieving great results in terms of breast shape and volume, you should remember that there are non-surgical alternatives to breast enlargement surgery. One example is fat transfer, a very successful, implant-free alternative to add volume to your breasts using the fat from your own body. In fat transfer augmentation, fat is transferred from one area of the body to improve volume and change proportion. To undergo a fat transfer – often called a “natural boob job”- you will need to be at least a UK size 10-12 to have access to enough fat tissue.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "5 things you should consider before having a breast enlargement surgery," in Medicalopedia, April 27, 2021, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/9703/5-things-you-should-consider-before-having-a-breast-enlargement-surgery/].