There are two classifications of breast augmentation: Reconstructive (following mastectomy or lumpectomy) or cosmetic (enhance the size or shape of the breast)
The average price of a boob job in Ireland is €4,210. Insurance will only cover a breast augmentation if it is on medical grounds: If you need reconstruction after a mastectomy or lumpectomy or if your breasts are so large that they cause back pain, neck pain or rashes under the breast.
Types of implants
The types of implants commonly used in Ireland are silicone gel implants or saline implants, the HSE says.
Here are the advantages of silicone gel implants:
- Long history of safe use
- Less likely to wrinkle in comparison to other types of implants
- Available in round or breast-shaped shapes
- Gives a natural feel because they are pliable and soft
- They have a textured surface which makes problems like hardening less likely to occur
Some advantages of saline implants are:
- Long history of safe use
- Soft texture and natural feel
- Because the saline solution is similar to your body fluids, it can be safely absorbed or gotten rid of by the body if the implant ruptures
Disadvantages of saline implants include:
According to the HSE, you cannot get the surgery if you fall under any of the following categories:
- You are under 18
- You are pregnant
- You have malignant or pre-malignant breast cancer that hasn’t been fully treated
- You have a medical condition that could increase your risk from surgery or the general anaesthetic, or increase your risk of infection
- You have an infection anywhere in your body
What to consider before opting for surgery
It is important to consult your GP if you’re considering going under the knife because they’ll be able to advise you based on your medical history.
The HSE recommend you find out the following when you find a surgeon to perform the surgery:
- the number of successful breast implant operations they have carried out over the past two years
- how many breast implant operations they have performed where there have been complications
- whether or not they are a member of a recognised surgical association
Will they need to be replaced?
Yes, implants have a life expectancy of about 10-15 years, after which they might need replacing.
This section isn’t for the faint hearted. The surgery starts by the surgeon making an incision – a cut – based on the type of implant, the size of your breast and where you want the scar.
The HSE say these are the three different types of incision:
- inframammary fold: This is the most common type of incision. It is a small cut is made in the fold underneath each breast
- periareolar incision: The incision is made around the nipple and usually causes minimal scarring, but sensation in the nipple may be affected
- axillary incision: the incision is made in your armpit area and might result in more obvious scarring
For reconstructive breast surgery, muscles, tissue and skin are taken from other parts of the body like your stomach, back, thigh or bum.
Most breast surgeries are done as day surgeries so you’ll be able to go home after.
Immediately after surgery you will experience pain, swelling and bruising and a tighter chest. Your breathing may feel restricted. This will improve over a few weeks.
You should avoid excessive use of your arms and chest area.
The HSE say these rules should be followed post-surgery:
- getting your wounds wet for one week
- sleeping face down for s month
- physical exercise for a month
- heavy lifting for three to four weeks
- driving for at least one week or until you can perform an emergency stop without discomfort