10 common boob job questions answered

The breast augmentation remains the UK's most popular cosmetic surgery procedure, but there's still lots of misinformation and some confusion surrounding the boob job. Here are answers to the 10 most common boob job questions we're asked in our Central London cosmetic surgery clinic:

Why are breast implants inserted below the muscle?

While breast implant procedures would be less complicated – with a less uncomfortable recovery – it’s a fact that breast implants look more natural and feel better if placed below the muscle. Also, there is evidence that the implants stay softer for much longer, and they don’t obscure mammogram tests, either.

Why are saline implants always filled to the max?

Underfilling a saline implant is never a good idea, as it creates a higher chance of deflation or rupture.

Why should I have a ruptured silicone gel implant replaced?

Because in the long term, a ruptured silicone implant could cause small masses in the breast which could that can disseminate throughout the area. It is optimal to remove the implant with the capsule and attempt to replace with a new implant below the muscle.

How long should my implant last?

This is a how-long-is-a-piece-of-string question, but providing nothing has happened to rupture the implant, or you haven’t decided to change the size or shape of your breasts, it is recommended that all implants – be they silicone or saline – should be considered for removal between the 10 and 15-year mark.

Does a bigger implant mean a bigger cup size?

Not usually, as the result depends upon the initial size of the breast that you are beginning with. The goal with most breast implant procedures is to make the new breast shape and size them proportionate to the client's chest wall diameter, the amount of breast tissue the patient has and the size and shape.

Why can’t I go from small breasts to very large right away?

If the practitioner you have chosen is in the least bit professional, they will be dead against taking you from, say, an A-cup to a DD-cup in one step. Your skin and your body will need time to adjust to the changes that an increased breast size will bring on, so you will be recommended to move up no more than a couple of cup sizes at first, and then – if you still want a larger size – moving up a few years later.  

I have a ruptured silicone implant. How long can I safely wait before I need it to be replaced?

While the replacement of implants that have ruptured is not an emergency operation, it should definitely be undertaken within several months from the diagnosis. The reason for this is that ruptured implants tend to leak, which could cause more scar tissue.

What happens during an implant replacement procedure?

The procedure requires removing the implants, along with any scar tissue around the implant. You will be fitted with a drain when the new implant is fitted, but this time the recovery is shorter – about 3 to 5 days.

How can one breast be hard and the other breast be soft after an implant procedure?

This is known as capsular contracture (breast implant hardness), and is a rare side-effect – but if it does happen, it will take place sooner after the procedure rather than later, and if they get hard, they will get harder over time. Aggressive breast massaging for perhaps 6-8 weeks can help get rid of this condition, but a simple procedure known as an inferior capsulotomy (where any scar tissue is released) may solve the problem, especially with saline implants.

How do you increase cleavage with breast implants?

The idea that breast implants automatically create a significant cleavage is a myth, as the implant actually pushes the breasts to the side. The cleavage results will depend more on the shape and diameter of your breasts before the procedure preoperatively, as well as the degree of breast augmentation and the amount of breast tissue that you have. If you have an average chest wall size, your chances of an improved cleavage are higher, but there’s no guarantee. As before, certain bras will help.