How big is too big? Everything you need to know about getting a boob job


If you’ve been thinking about getting a breast augmentation it can be hard to know where to start.

How do you know what size and shape to go for? And do you stay overnight or go home the same day? What about placement over or under the muscle? The options can seem limitless – and daunting.  

And of course another big dilemma is choosing the clinic and surgeon which is right for you. How do you decide? 

Together they decided that moderate profile 270cc implants, sub-glandular, would be best

Deni trying on 250cc implants

Together they decided that moderate profile 270cc implants, sub-glandular, would be best

Deni's before and imagined after  via virtual 3D scan at The Private Clinic (Aurora)

Deni’s before and imagined after via virtual 3D scan at The Private Clinic (Aurora)

I have recently lost 20lbs due to a diet and lifestyle overhaul, and am delighted with my new figure.

However, as any woman in a similar situation will know, an unfortunate downside to losing weight is a corresponding reduction in the size of your breasts.

I’ve dropped from a DD to a small B, and it’s the one area of my body with which I am now less happy.

I have lost volume in the top of my breasts and, while they still sit nicely on my chest and are a nice shape, they feel small for my frame and I would prefer them bigger. 

Deni visited four London clinics for a consultation, to see what different sizes and shapes she would be recommended and reports on her experiences at each one in this article

Deni visited four London clinics for a consultation, to see what different sizes and shapes she would be recommended and reports on her experiences at each one in this article

So I visited four London clinics for a consultation, to see what sizes and shapes I would be recommended, and to report on the experiences at each one.

And, more importantly, to see if I would decide to go for a boob job myself.

THE PRIVATE CLINIC

'The Crisalix 3D scan showed my breasts before and simulated them after with various sizes'

‘The Crisalix 3D scan showed my breasts before and simulated them after with various sizes’

Clinic: Aurora (now part of The Private Clinic) Aylesbury Rd, Princes Risborough. Aurora Clinics, founded by Adrian Richards, is now part of The Private Clinic group, which has clinics nationwide.

Met with: Adrian Richards, Consultant Plastic Surgeon and Medical Director at The Private Clinic on Harley Street.

Was recommended: Nagor moderate profile 270cc implants fitted above the muscle (subglandular). Mr Richards and I felt this size was suitable and proportionate to my figure and would look ample and natural.

Consultation cost: Free. Follow-up consultations are also free.

Breast augmentation cost quoted: £5,030 without overnight stay.

Experience: Mr Richards and his team made me feel at ease and like I was in safe, experienced, professional hands from the onset. 

'I finally tried on breast implants in a bra to just imagine them physically'

‘I finally tried on breast implants in a bra to just imagine them physically’

Of all the clinics I found Mr Richards and his team most careful with causing offence using terms like ‘bust’ and with me showing clinic lead Aggie Oakley my breasts first before Mr Richards, which is a nice gesture. 

I really loved the Crisalix 3D scan – which showed my breasts before and simulated them after with various sizes and shapes. 

The new web-based technology delivers patients anatomically accurate images giving the best approximation of how they will look post-surgery.

Deni tried implants and also took away an Enhance Breast Boost Pack to try implants at home

Deni tried implants and also took away an Enhance Breast Boost Pack to try implants at home

Patient coordinator Melissa Corstorphine scanned my body with an iPad in about 15 seconds, the 3D image came up very quickly and we were then able to imagine my body with various size implants. 

I was emailed a link to my Crisalix 3D images which I could then forward to friends and family if I wanted them to help me decide

I was emailed a link to my 3D images (which helpfully rotate) which I could then forward to friends and family if I wanted them to help me decide or give me their opinion. 

I finally tried on breast implants in a bra to just imagine them physically, and took away an Enhance Breast Boost Pack (£120) to try the 300cc – which took my bra size to roughly a DD – at home before coming back for a second consultation. 

SURGEON BIO: ADRIAN RICHARDS 

Mr Adrian Richards, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at The Private Clinic

Mr Adrian Richards, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at The Private Clinic

Mr Adrian Richards is Consultant Plastic Surgeon at The Private Clinic of Harley Street and also Medical Director.

He qualified as a doctor in 1988 and has been in plastic surgery for more than 12 years.

He has been a so-called ‘super-specialist’ in breast augmentations for the past 7-8 years and performs 5-600 operations a year including uplifts, nipple correction and reductions.  

Aurora is now part of The Private Clinic, who specialise in non- and minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures, and Mr Richards is Medical Director.

Mr Richards has been seen on Channel 4’s How Not to Get Old and Bodyshockers.

THE HARLEY MEDICAL GROUP

Leanne Booker, Patient Advisor and Aesthetic Practitioner at The Harley Medical Group

Leanne Booker, Patient Advisor and Aesthetic Practitioner at The Harley Medical Group

Clinic: The Harley Medical Group, 6 Harley Street, London.

Met with: Leanne Booker, Patient Advisor and Aesthetic Practitioner.

Was recommended: Mentor moderate profile round 270cc implants, sub-glandular.

Consultation cost: Free. Second consultation with the surgeon costs £500 and the amount is taken off the surgery cost if patient decides to go ahead. 

Breast augmentation cost quoted: £3,995. Teardrop implants cost an extra £500 and an overnight stay is £705.

Experience: Meeting with Leanne may have been the most informative consultation in terms of facts and information regarding surgery. 

Deni met with Leanne Booker, Patient Advisor and Aesthetic Practitioner at The Harley Medical Group

Deni met with Leanne Booker, Patient Advisor and Aesthetic Practitioner at The Harley Medical Group

I was told that the stitches would take seven days to dissolve and that I can use Bio Oil on the scar from 2-6 weeks post-op, depending on recovery. She said the implants should last 10-12 years (although estimates varied up to 15 years at other clinics).

Leanne said the clinic only use Mentor implants which are more expensive than Nagor, and they believe they are the best.

I was amazed at the cost – £1,000 less than everywhere else and they use Mentor implants which are more expensive

I was told about the consistency of the ‘cohesive silicone gel’ implants, which is ‘like a stress ball’. You can dig your nails into them and nothing will happen. If you cut them open, they will stay solid like a jelly baby, not spilling out. 

To be fair, the same is the case with Nagor, but they are not FDA approved. Bear in mind though Mentor are American and Nagor are British, and made in the UK. 

I was told nurses would be on call 24/7 should I need them and that all Harley Medical Group clinics were CQC approved, which sounds good. I was amazed at the cost – more than £1,000 less than everywhere else and they use Mentor implants which clinics told me are more expensive.

COSMETIC SURGERY PARTNERS  

Clinic: London Welbeck Hospital.

Met with: Miles G. Berry MS FRCS (Plast), Plastic & Aesthetic Surgeon, leading consultant Plastic Surgeon for Cosmetic Surgery Partners.

Was recommended: Nagor moderate profile 240-270cc implants fitted below the muscle (subpectoral/submuscular/dual-plane).  

Consultation cost: £100 for 45 minutes. The second consultation would be free.  

Breast augmentation cost quoted: £5,655 for a day case. £395 extra for overnight stay.

Experience: Miles was extremely chatty and animated and made me feel comfortable. He was very knowledgeable and I felt like I was in a science lesson during our consultation. Unfortunately for me, a lot of the information I was given contradicted with what I thought I wanted to do.

Deni was recommended Nagor moderate profile 240-270cc implants fitted below the muscle 

Deni was recommended Nagor moderate profile 240-270cc implants fitted below the muscle 

Miles mentioned, among other things, the tiny associated risk of getting an immune system cell cancer called Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma. 

He said I had very nice natural breasts but not enough padding to support sub-glandular (over the muscle) placement. He was adamant that I should get breast implants under the muscle and even said he would not operate on me if I wanted them over.

I was taken aback by this, because I was so set on going sub-glandular by this stage.

He said sub-muscular (or dual plane) is better for breastfeeding, mammograms and retaining nipple sensitivity.

Miles normally uses a range going from 210-270

'He said he would have liked to get away with 210-240cc with me'

‘Miles said he would have liked to get away with 210-240cc implant size with me’

He said this method is also better in terms of retaining natural breast tissue and risk of capsular contracture. This is the scar tissue that can form around breast implants which may cause the breasts to harden, to look or feel different, and may cause tightness and discomfort.

Miles was adamant that I should get breast implants under the muscle and even said he would not operate on me if I wanted them over

He said that going over the muscle (sub-glandular) can leave women with a risk of the breasts drooping. However Mr Richards said sub-muscular is more invasive because of the cutting of the pectoralis major muscle.

Downsides to going under the muscle though, Miles said, include that the breasts will sit slightly further apart. Mr Richards told me about how strong pectoral muscles and exercising the chest can make implants move around comically, which could upset some patients.

I was left very confused about what to do. 

SURGEON BIO: MILES BERRY 

Miles Berry MS, FRCS (Plast)

Miles Berry MS, FRCS (Plast)

Mr Miles Berry MS, FRCS (Plast) of Cosmetic Surgery Partners, consults and operates in cutting edge clinics at the London Welbeck Hospital, LycaHealth Canary Wharf, and St Joseph’s Hospital Newport.

With over 60 scientific articles, he maintains a strong interest in research and evidence-based practice. He is a full member of BAPRAS (British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgeons) and has co-authored 2 textbooks (Oncoplastic Breast Surgery and Adverse Capsular Contracture).

In 2013 alongside Dai Davies he co-authored and published ‘The Good Boob Bible’: a comprehensive guide for women considering breast augmentation. 

He has also made several TV appearances as the surgeon to ITV TOWIE’s Chloe Sims (breast augmentation) and more recently to MTV’s Lateysha Grace of The Valleys. New for 2016, Miles Berry also uses Crisalix virtual aesthetics. 

MYA

Clinic: MYA, Fitzroy Square, London.

Met with: Cloe Jordan, Patient Co-ordinator.

Was recommended: Round Mentor implants. No size recommendation. Placement to be sub-pectoral or partial (dual-plane).

Consultation cost: Free. The second consultation with the surgeon is also free. 

Breast augmentation cost quoted: £4995 day case. £400 extra for overnight stay.

Experience: Cloe was very nice and friendly. I took my top off and looked at myself in the mirror, discussing with her what I saw and how I felt about my chest with Cloe as instructed. This was nice and therapeutic.

Deni met with MYA Patient Co-ordinator Cloe Jordan who decided she should go sub-pectoral

Deni met with MYA Patient Co-ordinator Cloe Jordan who decided she should go sub-pectoral

Cloe told me about the scar I should expect (4cm) and that I should wear a good surgical bra post-op such as those by Macom, which they sell through MYA.

I was a little disappointed to not discuss sizes at all during this initial stage. 

I ended up coming back in to meet with Dr Linda Fiumara with whom I discussed sizes and implant pocket options. This reassured me greatly.

She said I could go as big as 325cc and look good – and was quite surprised when I expressed preference towards the 275cc Mentors.

She said she wished more patients chose smaller like I am, because the end result looks more natural, lasts longer and there is less risk of any complications.

Also, in terms of going in front or behind the muscle, she said I can go in front but she prefers behind. However, she said due to my heavy weight training I might in fact be better going in front.

I came away happy with my MYA consultation after meeting Dr Fiumara. If you’re going to this clinic make sure you have your two consultations for a full experience.

VERDICT

In the end I decided to go with Dr Adrian Richards at The Private Clinic. I felt so comfortable with him and his staff.

I figure my ideal size would be 270-300cc (taking me to a cup size D/DD) moderate to moderate plus profile, Nagor or Mentor.

The brand choice will depend on various factors including the longevity guarantee and also in terms of adverse capsular contracture and the like. 

In the end, the very final decision lies with my surgeon while I’m under general anaesthetic – so I’ll find out when I wake up… 

 



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