Breast augmentation surgery claims guide by Mike Saul

Breast augmentation (breast enlargement) is the most popular cosmetic surgery in the UK, with over 25,000 women having undergone the surgery in the past year. Despite its popularity however, the surgery is not always a simple procedure. Serious, life-threatening complications can occur because of cosmetic surgery negligence.

Because of this risk, we’ve compiled a list of must-know questions and answers to make sure you have a clear understanding of the breast enlargement procedure, including the associated negligence risks.

What does breast implant surgery involve?

Breast augmentation surgery involves being given a general anaesthetic. You will be in the hospital for a number of hours. An incision is made in order to fit the implant, which is then inserted and repositioned accordingly, and the stitches are then closed.

Are there multiple techniques to this type of surgery?

Yes. Breast enlargement can be performed using one of three techniques: an inframmamary breast augmentation, a transaxillary breast augmentation or a transumbillical breast augmentation (TUBA).

What happens during each different surgery type?

TUBA Breast Augmentation

An incision is made in the umbilicus (the navel), before an implant is inserted through the incision and repositioned under the breast tissue.

Once you’ve received a general anaesthetic, your surgeon will make an incision around your umbilicus and insert the implant. It’s then transferred into its correct positioning underneath the pectoral tissue and the incision is closed.

What risks or signs of negligence do I need to be aware of?

Positioning the implant is a lot harder with this technique, increasing the risk of complications. There’s also an increased risk of the breast tissue being damaged.

Inframmamary Breast Augmentation

An incision is made underneath the breast, along the fold as the tissue meets the chest wall. The tissue is lifted and either a silicone or saline implant is inserted.

After you’ve been given anaesthetic, the incision is made. Then, the breast tissue and in some cases, the pectoral muscle, is lifted so the implant can be inserted beneath both the nipples, before the incision is stitched closed.

What risks or negligence signs do I need to be aware of?

Be mindful of infection in the breast area, and / or leaking from the implant – this may mean that the implant has to be taken out.

Transaxillary Breast Augmentation

This technique often results in less scarring due to the incision being made in a different place – the incisions are made in the upper outer chest area, very close to the armpit.

After the general anaesthetic has set in, a small incision is made close to the armpits in the outer region of the breasts. The implant is then inserted and repositioned below the pectoral muscle, before the stitches are closed.

What risks or negligence signs should I be aware of?

Ripples from the implant itself can occasionally be seen underneath the skin. This occurs more often in women who had very small breasts to begin with. In rare cases an abnormal scar tissue can form around the implant itself (known as ‘capsular contracture’). It is a painful complication and you may need another operation to rectify the issue.

Your surgeon will inform you of the technique best suited to you. Make sure you are entirely happy with this decision before the surgery goes ahead.

When will I be able to go home?

Providing the surgery process goes according to plan, you should be able to go home the same day or the day after your surgery.

What happens if I think I’ve been a victim of negligent cosmetic surgery?

If, after the surgery is completed, you are concerned that you’ve suffered at the hand of a negligent cosmetic surgeon, arrange a call with a cosmetic negligence solicitor at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors, who will gladly assist you with any queries you may have.

Michael Saul
Head of Cosmetic Negligence at TJL Solicitors LLP

Freephone: 0808 256 1667