Breast augmentation surgery and your options

Breast augmentation surgery and your options

Choice is good! It allows us to show our own individual personality and uniqueness where we have a choice. Breast enlargement surgery isn't any different. There are several areas where you can make choices which will influence the look, size, feel and shape of your breasts after surgery. Note that some of these options may or may not be available to you depending upon the cosmetic surgery clinic that you choose.

You should discuss each of these choices and your preferences with the surgeon at your breast enlargement consultation.


Be prepared to listen to what the surgeon and medical staff advise, even if you have strong preferences.


Breast implant size


Obviously the size of your breast implants is one of the major choices and decisions that you will need to make.

A simple test that you can try at home to help you choose your breast implant size is the rice test. This easy to do test will help you experiment with how you might look and feel with various sized breast implants. By varying the volume of rice you use, it will give you an indication of what breast implant size (volume) and what cup size and may be suitable for you.

Please remember though, that the most important factor when deciding on implant size, should be through discussion with your surgeon at your clinic consultation.

See also our breast enlargement before and after guide. This contains pictures of breast implants before and after surgery and some further help with choosing your breast implant size.


Breast implant type: silicone, polyurethane and saline


There are three main choices of breast implant types i.e. the material that they are made from. These are silicone, polyurethane and saline. Our guide on saline and silicone breast implants describes two of these main implant types in more detail and lists the advantages and disadvantages of each. Our guide on polyurethane implants describes the third.

Silicone implants are more common than saline implants in cosmetic surgery in the UK today.


Breast implant shapes: round or contoured


The shape of a breast implant is either round or contoured. Contoured implants are also called anatomical implants and are often colloquially referred to as teardrop shaped. Your choice here will affect the shape of your breasts after surgery. Our guide on round, anatomical (teardrop) breast implants provides more information.


Breast implant profile


Breast implant profiles are typically high, moderate or low. High profile implants protrude more (side on view) than low profile implants of the same volume. Your choice here will affect the shape of your breasts after surgery. Our guide on breast implant profiles provides more information.


Breast implant textures


Both saline and silicone implants can be either smooth or textured. Textured implants are more common as they are believed to reduce the risk of capsular contracture. See our smooth and textured breast implants guide for further information.


Breast implant surgical incisions


The are several options here:

  • Inframammary - below the breast fold
  • Periareolar - areolar border
  • Transaxillary - armpit
  • Transumbilical (TUBA) - navel
  • Transabdominoplasty (TABA) - navel
  • Areolar Vertical Approach (AVA) - areolar border

Further information can be found in our breast enlargement surgical incisions guide.


Breast implant placement


Saline or silicone implants may be positioned inside the body as follows:

  • Subglandular breast implant placement: Over the muscle or overs
  • Submuscular breast implant placement: Under the muscle or full unders
  • Partial submuscular breast implant placement: Partial unders

For a more detailed explanation of each of these and the advantages and disadvantages of each, please read our breast implant placement guide.


The cosmetic surgery clinic


There are many cosmetic surgery clinics and it pays to look around and compare cosmetic surgery prices and clinics and other details such as the overall package, reputation and aftercare cover etc.

You should book a consultation at a few different clinics on your shortlist and use the consultation as one of the tools to help you decide. Most of them are free and impose no obligation. Read our guide for further information on how you might go about choosing a cosmetic surgery clinic. See also our consultation checklist and an information guide on what to expect at the consultation and how to get the most out of it.


Choosing A Plastic (Cosmetic) Surgeon


Nearly all of the plastic surgeons in the UK are extremely competent, well qualified and experienced. Your confidence in the skills of the plastic surgeon will be a key factor in deciding which plastic surgeon to choose. This decision will go hand in hand with your choice of breast enlargement clinic.

The British Association Of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) register, plastic surgery forums and your clinic consultation are your key resources to help you research and decide. For more details, see our guide on choosing a plastic surgeon.