How much time do I need to take out for my breast augmentation?

For women whose small breasts have always been a source of self-consciousness, or who miss the fuller, shapelier bust they enjoyed before having a family, a breast augmentation can be a very rewarding experience. It is not uncommon, however, for women considering such a step to say yes, they want the results, but taking lots of time out ‘just for me’ is not so easy in their busy lives. So just what does it entail, and how much ‘me time’ will you need to take?

What does a breast augmentation involve?

The first step is a consultation at which Cambridge cosmetic surgeon Mr Tariq Ahmad will take your medical history, conduct a physical examination and assess your frame before discussing your goals. Mr Ahmad will guide you to the implants that are most suited to your particular frame and requirements, advising on the choice of shape, size, technique and material that will best achieve your desired outcome. He will explain the potential risks and complications and ensure you understand the limitations of breast augmentation surgery.

The procedure itself is relatively straightforward and is performed under a general anaesthetic in one of Cambridge’s top hospitals, the Nuffield or the Spires. You will be required to stay in hospital for at least one night, before being discharged with comprehensive instructions on breast augmentation aftercare and follow up appointments scheduled.

How long does recovery take?

You will be advised to book at least a week off work, and many people opt for a fortnight. After this, you will be able to resume most normal activities but should avoid strenuous exercise for at least six weeks in order not to compromise your healing. It is important to allow yourself plenty of time to recover after your breast augmentation, and planning ahead and organising post-op support with your daily responsibilities will help you get back onto your feet as soon as is possible.

Should I be worried about capsular contracture after my breast augmentation?

When undergoing any cosmetic surgery it is important to understand the potential risks. While breast augmentations are the most popular procedure with more than 11,000 performed in 2014 and relatively routine for many cosmetic surgeons, it remains just as essential to be aware of what can go wrong. One of the most common complications is that of capsular contracture, the treatment of which is likely to require repeat surgery.

What is capsular contracture?

When a foreign material, be it a breast implant, artificial hip or pacemaker, is implanted into the body, a thin layer of healthy fibrous tissue forms a capsule around the implant to assimilate it into your body. Over time, this tissue will thicken; in some, it can then shrink and harden, making the breast feel hard and uncomfortable and even painful, and it can change the appearance of the breast making it look abnormal. This is called capsular contracture.

Is there anything I can do to decrease the risk?

Being in the care of a highly experienced surgeon will ensure effective management of the risks related to breast augmentation surgery, lessening the chances of infection or haematoma, both factors in capsular contraction.

Cambridge surgeon Mr Tariq Ahmad is a member of the prestigious professional body British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS); this should reassure his patients his skills are up-to-the-minute and that he adheres to stringent safety standards.

Furthermore, Mr Ahmad only offers the highest quality, thicker-walled implants to his Cambridge patients to help avoid the risks of contracture; he will gladly explain his implant choices at your consultation. Finally, smokers are twice as likely to experience capsular contracture after their breast augmentation. This provides a most compelling reason to kick the cigarette habit before embarking on your breast augmentation journey.