Breast augmentation vs breast uplift

The breast augmentation operation is the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure, both in the UK and worldwide. Using breast implants, we can enhance the size and shape of the breasts, also enhancing the cleavage.

At my Warwickshire breast augmentation clinic, I have operated on a wide age range of women, although there are two distinct groups in which demand for a breast enhancement procedure is very high.

The first are young women who have always been dissatisfied with the size or shape of their breasts, either because they are very small or they suffer from breast hypoplasia where there is minimal or no development of the breast tissue. These young women are very keen to have a breast enhancement procedure, but it is always important to bear in mind that your breasts are not thought to stop maturing until your early twenties.

Also, my philosophy as a plastic surgeon is to consider not only the immediate results, but also to think about changes that can occur during the lifespan of the implant. Will the size and placement suit them in ten, twenty, or thirty years’ time. Ultimately, it is the choice of the patient but it is my role to present these considerations, so they are armed with all the necessary facts.

Is a breast augmentation or breast uplift suitable for older women?

The second distinct group of women who present at my Leamington breast augmentation consultations are those who have undergone childbirth and breast feeding or those whose weight has fluctuated. As a result of these body changes, they may have lost fullness, particularly in the upper pole of the breast. Many of these women just wish to restore what they once had, rather than go much bigger in size.

During the physical examination I always assess the degree of ptosis or sagging of the skin and breast tissues. This is achieved by comparing the position of the nipple in relation to your inframammary fold, underneath the breast. If you nipple is at the level of the fold or below, then a breast uplift or mastopexy is required. In these cases, a breast augmentation alone will just make the drooping worse and will not achieve more youthful-looking breasts which is usually the aim.

For women who have a degree of sagging, but also wish to restore volume in the upper pole of the breasts, then a breast uplift followed by the insertion of an implant can produce a really lovely result.

All breast augmentation and breast uplift options will be discussed in full at the consultation I offer at some of the leading private hospitals in the Warwickshire area. If patients wish to return for a follow-up consultation to ask more questions then I am always happy to provide this.

It pays to check your cosmetic surgeon credentials

Choosing the right practitioner is the most important decision you’ll make when embarking on a cosmetic surgery procedure and the eventual success of the procedure often depends on that choice. So it really does pay to research your cosmetic surgeon fully.

I find that many of the patients who present at my Leamington cosmetic surgery clinic have done their practitioner research in advance of their consultation. However, if they still have questions about my experience and qualifications, then these are the key points I cover with them and these can be a valuable guide to what you should look out for:

Are they are on the specialist register for plastic surgery?

There are seven specialist surgical registries recognised by the General Medical Council (GMC). By choosing a practitioner on the plastic surgery register you are choosing a surgeon that has over six years of training in the NHS, undergoing regular assessments and examinations, covering a wide range of aesthetic and reconstructive procedures under the guidance of experienced senior surgeons.

It is not against the law for cosmetic surgery procedures to be carried out by other medical practitioners in the UK, which is why some practitioners may call themselves ‘aesthetic surgeons’ or, indeed, ‘cosmetic surgeons’ without having had the necessary experience.

Also, the line between surgical and non-surgical procedures is not necessarily distinct; many non-surgical procedures carry serious potential complications and should really be administered by a highly experienced and qualified practitioner.

Are they a member of an independent plastic surgery organisation?

This can be a great indication of both the experience and qualifications of your surgeon. Leading independent plastic surgery organisations in the UK include the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) and the British Association of Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgeons (BAPRAS). I am a member of both.

Members of these organisations have to be fully trained plastic surgeons, registered on the GMC specialist plastic surgery register and eligible to, or have taken up, consultant-level positions as a plastic surgeon in the NHS.

Do they work/provide treatment at reputable hospitals and clinics?

Often your cosmetic surgeon will not have a standalone clinic per se, but instead work from private hospitals in the local area. This means that your consultation, procedure and aftercare will all be carried out at a private hospital chain such as the Spire, Nuffield or BMI. Or you may receive treatment at the private wing of your local NHS hospital.

It is possible to check this provider is registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) by going to the CQC website. This is the independent regulator of health services in England and you should not sign up for any cosmetic surgery procedure if the hospital or clinic cannot provide evidence it is registered with the CQC.