Breast augmentation (enlargement)
Operation | Follow-up care | Frequently asked questions
Breast augmentation is one of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures in aesthetic surgery. Breast augmentation is sought by many women of all different ages. For all these women, the main objective is generally not to develop a huge, or unnaturally large “dream bust”, but to enhance the natural contours of their breasts in a way that harmonises with their figure.
Consultation with 3D simulation
A 3D simulation is an excellent tool to visualise your preferences and ideas during your consultation for a breast augmentation with implants. With a detailed medical examination, the doctor can work together with you to develop an appropriate individual treatment method.
On the day of your breast augmentation you will arrive at the Pyramid Clinic one and a half to two hours before your scheduled surgery. Our nursing staff and your specialist will prepare you for the operation ahead. This includes taking the “before” photos and marking the new breast contours on your skin. An experienced anaesthetist will explain the details of the general anaesthetic planned.
For breast augmentation, we use only the very latest, high-quality breast implants made of cohesive silicone gel. These cannot leak and give the breast more volume and firmness. The procedure itself requires a skin incision either in the crease beneath the breast, around the areola or in the armpit. The implant is then inserted and, depending on the condition of your soft tissue, positioned above or below the chest muscles.
Breast augmentation is normally performed under a general anaesthetic and takes about an hour and a half. For comfort reasons, we recommend an overnight stay at the Pyramid Clinic following surgery.
On the day after the breast augmentation, the tubes used to drain blood and fluid from the wound will be removed. Then you will be able to leave the clinic. You will have to wear a firmly fitting support bandage around your bust until the fourth day, when this is replaced by a sports bra. You must wear this for three further weeks both day and night. After six to eight weeks, all signs of the operation should have substantially healed.
Situation before surgery
The implant is inserted through an incision in the crease of the breast, under the arm or around the areola.
Placement of the implant above the breast muscle.
Placement of the implant below the breast muscle
Will breast augmentation leave any permanent scarring?
The four and a half to five centimetre long scar will either be under the crease of your breast, around the areola or in the armpit. After the full healing period has passed it is normally scarcely visible. The pros and cons of each technique will be discussed with you beforehand.
Do the implants have to be replaced after a certain time?
As in the case of any procedure involving the introduction of foreign objects or implants, further surgery some years after the original breast augmentation procedure cannot be ruled out. The reason why a replacement might become necessary has nothing to do with the durability of the implants themselves, but depends on any changes occurring in your own body. For instance, the likelihood of requiring a replacement increases with age. However, routine replacement every ten years, as is sometimes recommended, is not necessary. Based on our experience with the latest silicone implants, you can expect them to last a long time.
Which implants are the most commonly used?
There is a basic distinction made between implants filled with saline, hyrdrogel or silicone. We use only the very latest, high-quality implants, made from cohesive silicone gel. The advantage of using this particular type of implant is that they cannot leak and they also produce very attractive, natural results.
For more information, see: The ABC of breast implants, Swiss Federal Office of Public Health.
Will I be able to feel the implant after the breast augmentation?
Initially you will feel a slight pressure sensation. Implants positioned under the muscle may cause slightly more pain in the first two weeks. For a few weeks, rarely somewhat longer, sensation in the area may be lacking or changed. This normalises over time in most cases. In rare cases, a patient may complain during the first six weeks of feeling that there is a foreign object in the area. Very slim patients with little underlying fatty tissue may experience some sensitivity. However, the implant is not usually noticeable from the outside.
What are the risks associated with breast augmentation?
As a general rule, any operation carries with it certain risks (e.g. intolerance of certain medication, bruising, delayed healing, inflammation, scar problems or loss of normal sensation). This all depends on the individual’s general state of health.
Capsular contracture is one specific risk related to implants. This is a natural reaction to a foreign object, whereby the body forms a sheath of connective tissue around the implant. As this layer of tissue contracts, the implant becomes tighter and the breast will feel harder. In severe cases, corrective surgery may be required to remove the scar tissue. This often goes hand in hand with an implant replacement.
Your specialist will discuss any potential risks with you as part of the consultation process and preparation for surgery.
Is it possible to breastfeed after breast augmentation?
Breast augmentation does not affect your ability to breastfeed, as the implant is positioned behind the milk ducts.
Do implants lead to a greater risk of breast cancer?
No. Extensive studies show that breast implants do not pose any increased risk of breast cancer.
Do I need to tell you about any medication I am taking?
It is extremely important in every case that you advise the specialist treating you of any illnesses and any medication you may be taking. For two weeks before surgery you must not take any medication containing aspirin (e.g. Aspirin, Aspégic etc.). These medications may lead to excessive bleeding during the operation and delay the post-operative healing process. The specialist may decline to go ahead with the breast augmentation at any time if an increased risk is posed as a result of medication taken before the operation.
How long will I be off work?
Depending on your occupation, you should allow for at least four days off work.
When will I be able to play sport again?
After six to eight weeks most of the signs of the operation will have healed, so you can slowly return to playing sport. You may like to begin with some light exercise, such as walking or cycling, about four weeks after the operation. Weight training, golf, tennis and swimming are not advisable until about six weeks after surgery.
How much does breast augmentation cost?
The cost for breast augmentation depends on the type and scope of the surgical procedure involved and can only be determined as part of a private consultation and medical examination. In total you can expect to pay around 12,000 to 16,000 Swiss francs. A preliminary consultation is 200 Swiss francs.
Are the costs covered by health insurance?
Breast augmentation is not covered by health insurance.
Our doctors have many years of experience. We guarantee rapid, expert investigation and advice. Treatment is provided using the most up-to-date equipment and facilities. You are also welcome to ask us for a second opinion.
Facts and figures
About 1.5 hours, under general anaesthetic
Length of stay at the clinic
Procedure carried out on an outpatient basis or with an optional overnight stay
3 to 5 days with bandage and 3 weeks with sports bra worn day and night
Time off work
About one week, depending on the type of work
Light exercise after 4 weeks, no tennis, swimming, jogging, etc. for 6 to 8 weeks