4 August: Q&A with Mr Philip Turton

I am in my mid-thirties and I’m considering breast enlargement. I have always been small chested and after breast feeding my daughter, I had hoped my breasts would stay a little larger but actually I became even more flat chested. My only concern with having surgery now is that we haven’t completed our family yet and I would definitely like to breast feed again. 

Would it be better to wait until our family is complete before having a breast enlargement?

Mr Philip Turton, Consultant General and Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon replies;

The very great majority of women that come to me for breast enlargement surgery describe a loss of firmness and volume as well as a scalloped appearance in the upper part of their breasts. This has invariably appeared after having had children, and generally in both women who have breast fed as well as those that haven’t.

The glandular tissue in the breast matures during pregnancy, and shrinks back afterwards. Some women experience a substantial increase in size of their breasts during this time but the atrophy afterwards is also even greater and the associated loss in shape is then all too obvious. Some women try padded bras or bra fillets to correct this, without satisfaction. Having breast implants is generally a fantastic way to restore volume and shape and can boost self-confidence. As long as the overlying tissue is not too diminished it will still satisfactorily mask an implant for many years. Careful measurements and the correct implant type are very important in this regard.

If you are planning to have more children you may want to wait, but this is not essential. The extra stretch of your breast tissue from weight gain and the hormonal influences of pregnancy when implants are in place may contribute to a little additional looseness. The determining factor is how much bigger your breasts were during your last pregnancy and whether you are prepared to wait.

As far as breast feeding goes, this is not usually an issue, but it is important to let your surgeon know that you are planning to breast feed in the future. The implants are placed behind your breast and not within the breast substance so lactation is unaffected. I place incisions in the crease under the breast, and this avoids damage to the ducts.

There are pictures on my web site (www.cosmeticbreastsurgeon.co.uk) of women who have had implants before and after having children which I hope you will find useful.

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Mr Philip Turton

Mr Philip Turton, Consultant General and Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon, Spire Leeds, private hospital, Roundhay, Leeds, Yorkshire

Mr Philip Turton, Consultant General and Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon, Spire Leeds Hospital

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