Breast Implants or Reduction
Breast implants are one of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures in the UK. In 2006 over 26 000 women had their breasts surgically altered. Most of these were unhappy with the size of their breasts and wanted to have them enhanced, but some women had the opposite problem, and opted to have theirs reduced.
Breast ImplantsWhat is Involved?
Breast implants involve silicone being inserted into your breasts to boost their size and shape. The surgeon cuts into the breasts to do this, as well as making cuts in and around your armpits so that the silicone can be inserted right across the full width of your chest area. Because of this, you could be left with a few scars, but techniques have advanced enough to make this less likely.
How Much Does it Cost?
Most implants done in the UK start from around £3400, and can go up to £5000.
What are the Risks?
With any surgery, there is always a chance that the procedure will go wrong. A famous example is Tara Reid, who ended up with uneven breasts after her breast implant surgery. The actress openly admits that she didn't do her homework before selecting a surgeon, and urged other women not to make the same mistake as her. She had to have another operation to correct the previous one.
The Cheeky Girls had a similar experience in their native Romania, and had to call in their plastic surgeon father to correct the procedure. Before you start panicking though, remember that only a small minority of breast implants tend to be "botched". It might seem as though the press is full of real life horror stories from women whose breast surgery has gone wrong, but in reality, most of these women would have been far better off arranging a consultation with a trained professional cosmetic surgeon.
Look at our Cosmetic Surgery: Contacts article for advice on finding a reputable surgeon.
There are many possible side effects associated with breast implants. These include bleeding and infection shortly after the surgery, reaction to the anaesthetic, small sores on and around the nipples (these can be treated using antibiotic creams, the possibility of your nipples being re-positioned in the wrong place and being unable to breastfeed in the future. More extreme risks include loss of feeling in your nipples and general breast area and painful abnormal breast tissue, but these are rare and only affect a very small minority of women.
There is also a chance that the implants will rupture (burst) at a later date. Research from the US shows that a staggering 69% of implants fitted in the US rupture within a decade. This can be significant for women in the UK, as many British women prefer to have their implants fitted abroad. This is not always the best move, as some countries (the USA aside) don't have the same health and safety guidelines that the UK have, and this increases the chances of a "botched" breast enhancement. This is one of the most common ways of picking up a post-surgery infection.
At the end of the day, you only get what you pay for, and this is worth keeping in mind if you've been thinking about going abroad for your implants. There is no such thing as a bargain where your health is concerned.
Breast ReductionsWhat is Involved?
Breast reductions involve removing excess glandular tissue, fat and skin to reduce the size of your breasts.
How Much Does it Cost?
Breast reductions costs slightly more than breast implants, with prices generally ranging from £3700 to £5500.
What are the Risks?
Possible complications are very similar to those associated with breast implants, as the breasts are still being opened up in the same fashion.
If you're thinking about having breast implants or a breast reduction, book a consultation with a cosmetic surgeon. He or she can offer you more information on the procedure and the risks involved. It's not set in stone, but you can generally be sure that risks and complications will be a lot less likely if you choose a reputable cosmetic surgeon to carry out your surgery. He or she should be a trained professional who is experienced in carrying out breast enhancements or reductions. You're going to be placing a huge amount of trust in your surgeon, so it's essential to meet him or her in person if at all possible. Most of the less than scrupulous surgeons don't offer prior consultations.