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What to consider

Summary

What to consider

There are several issues to consider before deciding to have breast implants and pre-surgery counselling is strongly recommended as women should know every available fact on breast implant surgery and the possible risks (see our section on side effects/potential risks). 

To begin with a patient needs to decide which implant filler to have (saline or silicone), whether to have textured or smooth implants, their breast implant shape - round or breast shaped, breast implant size - large breast implants or small, for example, and which breast implant manufacturer to use.  Once a patient has visited their GP they are referred to a surgeon.  Patients may wish to verify details about a particular hospital with the Care Quality Commission and check that their surgeon is properly accredited by checking the list of accredited cosmetic surgeons on the Specialist Register held by the General Medical Council.

The Medicine and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has published a booklet available from their website (originally developed by the Department of Health) to give the facts on breast implants to women who are considering having this procedure, and will investigate and issue advice to the health service if safety concerns arise.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) has devised a safety acronym, S.U.R.E. for people considering any type of cosmetic surgery:  S is for checking the cosmetic surgeon’s credentials and qualifications, for example, a surgeon should be a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) and have further specialised studies in plastic surgery as well as be on the GMC’s Specialist Register and a member of a professional organisation such as BAAPS.  U is to understand what’s involved and where the breast implant procedure will take place, as well as be informed about the potential risks.  R is for being clear about the process of recovery and what the long-term implications are of any cosmetic treatment and E is to manage your expectations and to be sure that these are compatible with what can actually be achieved.

The Breast Implant Information Society (BIIS) also has some useful information for women considering breast implants.

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