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Ivan Foo

Consultant Plastic Surgeon

MBBS (London), FRCS (Eng), FRCS (Ed), FRCS(Plast).

Information on Hospitals, Bookings and Private Consultations in a relaxing atmosphere with a highly reputable medical and surgical consultant.

This section contains details of procedures available within Mr Foo's practice..



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Breast Enlargement



cosmetic breast surgery

What are the aims and benefits of performing Breast Enlargement (Augmentation) surgery?

Breast Enlargement surgery is the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery operation. It also improves the shape of the breasts, enhances confidence and a sense of femininity. It is the top procedure for women undergoing cosmetic surgery and in 2007, members of the BAAPS (British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) performed 26,497 breast augmentations. Between 2002 and 2007, there has been a 275% increase in the numbers of patients choosing this surgery. It is suitable for women with naturally small breasts, after pregnancy where there is loss of volume and shape and in women where their breasts have not developed fully during puberty.


How is Breast Enlargement Surgery performed?

A breast implant can either be placed over the Pectoralis muscle (Subglandular) or behind the muscle (submuscular). This will depend on the amount of breast tissue present and the shape of your breasts. Increasingly, a "dual - plane" technique is used by Mr Foo to allow better enhancement of the lower part of the breast.

During your consultation, you will be advised the type implant and placement that is most suitable to your breast and body shape.

This procedure is performed under general anaesthetic and generally takes around an hour to perform. Most patients are discharged the next day, also some may choose to go home on the same day. This will depend on a number of considerations, such as where you live, your support at home and how comfortable you are after your surgery.

Breast Implants

Breast implants are made of an outer shell of silicone and can be filled with silicone gel or salt water (saline). A textured surface cohesive silicone gel implant is most commonly used. Texturing reduces the incidence of capsular contracture, and a better result is achieved with cohesive gel implants. Most of the time a pleasing cosmetic result is obtained by using round implants but in some circumstances an anatomical shaped implant may be recommended.

Expandable Implants

In situations where there has been lack of breast development during puberty (breast hypoplasia or tuberous breast deformity), this is can be corrected by using an expandable implant, which is a silicone implant with an inner pocket that can be gradually inflated to slowly increase volume and to stretch the deficient breast envelope. This "expansion" technique can also be very successful in young women with extremely small or underdeveloped breasts.

Safety of silicone

The safety of silicone has been established after extensive investigation over the last 10 -15 years. Research has concluded that there is no scientific evidence to link silicone breast implants to conditions such as auto-immune disease. This has been confirmed by the Independent Review Group on Silicone Breast Implants (UK) in 1998 and the FDA in the United States in 2005.

Mammography and breast cancer

Women with breast implants are NOT at a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Breast implants do interfere with the view of the breast tissue in a mammogram and you must inform the radiographer so that additional X-ray views may be taken to minimise this.

Ptotic (droopy) breasts

A small degree of "uplift" does occur after breast enlargement but in patients who have experienced stretching of the breast tissue because of weight gain and loss or pregnancy, additional surgery to tighten the breast envelope and reposition the nipple (Mastopexy) may be necessary.

Bra Size

Traditionally bra sizes have been determined by measuring the circumference of the chest wall (back) and the circumference of your chest over the breast. The difference then determines the cup size. Now, in many bra specialists, only the back is measured and cup sizes are tried for best fit. This will vary enormously between individuals. It is therefore not possible to achieve a "cup size" with breast implants. Mr Foo advises prospective patients to experiment at home using bags of rice in order to determine the ideal size and type of implant. At your consultation, measurements are also taken for the Allergan BioDynamic System which may be used as a further guide to sizing.

Important advice to follow before surgery

Are there any risks or complications associated with Breast Enlargement surgery?

Although every care is taken to minimise complications, these can occur. This list is not exhaustive and will be discussed in more detail at your consultation.

Minor complications:

More serious complications:

The capsule is a natural layer of tissue, which surrounds an implant. In approximately 5% of cases, this capsule can thicken and contract around the breast implant. If this happens it makes the implant feel firmer and in extreme cases, it can alter the shape and make the implant feel hard. Modern implants with texturing of the implant shell have significantly reduced the incidence of capsular contracture. However, the risk of this happening is higher in smokers.


In women with very small breasts, some folds of the surface of the implant may be visible as rippling on the skin surface. This risk is reduced by using cohesive gel implants which contain firmer gel. This risk can be further reduced by placing the implant under the Pectoralis muscle.


An incision (approximately 5 cm.) is made in the crease below the breast. In most cases after insertion of the implant, the scar will be lifted onto the lower part of the breast. This incision allows accurate placement of the implant to provide a natural cleavage.

Guide to recovery after a Breast Enlargement:

                            Activity                                 Timescale  

                   Wearing a wired bra                          6 weeks  

                      Return to work                              2 weeks  

                            Driving                                   2 weeks  

                     Aerobics & sport                             6 weeks  

                          Swimming                                 6 weeks  

                      Massage Scars                            2-3 weeks  

                           Flights                                    6 weeks  

All sutures are dissolvable and you will be seen again in two weeks and three months after your operation. You will be seen earlier if you have any concerns.

Special note to all patients considering Breast Enlargement surgery

This is a general description of Breast Enlargement surgery and its typical recovery.

However, recovery times and risks will vary between individuals and Mr Foo will discuss this in more detail with you at consultation.

For further information or to book a consultation, click here.