Mr Richard Karoo (MBChB, MRCS(Eng), MPhil, FRCS(Plast)) consultant Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgeon, discusses the key elements to consider before breast surgery:

The female breast is of course, an organ of function, providing nutrition for infants – yet we cannot discount the cultural importance and attraction of the breast – in both ancient and modern sculpture, art, photography, film and media.

In the United Kingdom the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) estimate that approximately 8000 Breast Enlargement procedures for cosmetic reasons are undertaken each year by its members.

The idea of breast enhancement is not new. In 1895, one of the first techniques published in medical literature outlines a surgeon using benign fatty lipoma to reconstruct and balance symmetry to a patient’s breast following previous surgery. In the early 20th Century other materials such as glass and ivory were even experimented with! Yet it was 1962 before American surgeons performed the first Breast Augmentation with a silicone based breast implant.

Silicone implant technology has progressed over the last 50 years but the basic underlying desires for enhancement are the same.

This type of surgery is a personal choice and my patients often fall into two groups: those who feel they lack volume, and those who have experienced a change in volume after pregnancy and breast feeding.

Interestingly, I have seen the age of patients seeking this type of surgery increasing to the mid-50’s – mid-60’s demographic, who have wanted to have breast enlargement, but due to family commitments or financial restraints have not had the opportunity to do so until now.

The key elements before considering this type of surgery is a thorough assessment by your surgeon.  The type, shape, projection and volume of the implant is very important; and crucially, the position of the implant – whether placement is below the breast and muscle (which gives more of a natural look) or just below the breast tissue alone.  

Other factors include where the incision is made and whether any other uplifting adjustments are potentially required to help enhance the shape and form of the breast.

Remember, that to a certain degree, your procedure is a two-way process. Discussing your desired outcome with your surgeon will help achieve the best results possible.

This can be a life changing process. Patients tell me that holidays in the sun by the pool with family or friends are no longer filled with dread; fitted clothing just feels right: “this is how I always felt my shape should have been but never had the volume to fill my bra until now”.

When this surgery is undertaken well; in the right environment with the appropriate follow up care, both with the operating surgeon and the hospital nurses; one can see a truly positive enhancement in a patient’s confidence and well being.

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