Breast enlargements are the UK’s most popular cosmetic procedure and Spire Washington Hospital provides surgeon led consultations for women interested in finding out more before committing to any surgery.
The confidential, hour-long sessions focus on what options are available, the potential complications associated with the procedure and how much it is likely to cost.
Consultant Mr Tom Collin, one of the hospital’s breast enlargement specialists, said: “Much of the time spent is discussing the patient’s expectations - why they want the procedure carried out, what they hope to achieve and what the goal is in terms of shape and size.
“The discussions always cover the pros and cons of having surgery and we generally discuss the safety of silicon implants – people are still concerned about safety after the PIP crisis and it is something we take extremely seriously.”
At the consultation is the opportunity to try some implants from the ‘sizer kit’ to get an idea what sort of size and shape is right for you both now and in the future. Although breast implants don’t have a set ‘lifespan’, they aesthetically look at their best for six to 10 years. Changes in weight or body shape can affect the way the implants look, just as with natural breasts.
“My experience is that most people are pretty conservative and look for a natural enhancement,” said Mr Collin.
“It’s important to note however there may be some deterioration in the tissue surrounding the implants as the person gets older. There is a general downward movement in everyone’s body as skin starts to sag slightly and when there are implants that becomes enhanced. If you have overly large implants, you can imagine that effect is more noticeable. That said, people can have them in for years and they can continue to look great.”
The implant operation takes around an hour and a half to two hours and most people go home the same evening or the next morning. After having the procedure, a sports bra or a hospital bra needs to be worn for around six weeks and the patient has to take life relatively easily.
Recovery times depend on whether the implants are above or underneath the muscle. Implants under the muscle mean a longer recovery time as it can be four to six weeks before you can comfortably get your hands above your head.
Mr Collin said: “We encourage people not to do too much too soon. It takes around three to six months for the implants to settle into a permanent position with silicon. It can take a little longer to settle with fluid. I almost exclusively use silicon gel for aesthetic reasons.”
Spire Washington Hospital also offers saline implants for women who particularly want this type of procedure. Saline became popular in the US in the 1990s due to unfounded concerns about the safety of silicon implants.
Emma Talbot-Browne from Sunderland had her breasts enlarged by Mr Collin in October last year. It was something she spent a number of years considering before deciding to go for the procedure.
She said: “I had two children and things weren’t the same. I was quite big busted when I was younger, and I wanted my shape back to boost my confidence. I hated not being able to wear low cut tops any more. It took me five or six years of feeling depressed to make the decision to investigate further.
“After the first consultation, Mr Collin told me to go away and think about it. I had just had a baby two months earlier, so he wanted me to take my time. When I went back he told me about the pros and cons. There was a lot to take in.”
Emma tried different sized implants and, with Mr Collin’s agreement, she opted for the biggest ones, which has taken her to a size DD-EE.
She said: “I had the operation at 2.30pm on the Thursday and I was home at 11am the next morning. I wasn’t allowed to do very much, my husband had to do everything because they hurt even just getting up.
“After about a week, I started to feel OK and within a couple of weeks, things were back to normal.
“They look great. I am now much more confident and I can’t wait to wear a bikini. The team at Spire Washington Hospital was very professional and I got top rate care. I would recommend it to anyone.”