NL | FR | EN

Treatments / Breast enlargement

Breast enlargement

Lots of women today, dream of having full, beautiful breasts.  Commonly after pregnancy, substantial weight loss and age, breasts lose their firmness and often become empty or smaller. This may also be the case for women whose breasts have not fully developed and a breast enlargement may offer a solution.  Your confidence will be boosted if you can flaunt firmer and younger looking breasts with one or more cup sizes.

A successful breast enlargement is one that is natural looking with an almost invisible scar.

How are the implants inserted?

Via the breast crease, nipple or armpit

The implants can be inserted through the infra-mammary fold, nipple or axillary (under the armpit); an incision of approximately 3cm will be necessary.
The axillary approach is slightly more difficult and the risk of post-op haematoma is higher, this is due to the longer distance between the incision and the breast. If the nipples have a diameter of one inch or more the implant may be inserted via the nipple. A lot of women however prefer the access via the breast fold below (inframammary fold).

Behind the muscle or behind the gland?

It is always preferable to place the implant as deep as possible, which means: retro-muscular or retro-pectoral. This means behind the muscle and it is the standard position.

In some cases it is preferable to place the implant in a more superficial way. In other words: retro-glandular or behind the gland.  We use this position in cases of ptosis (sagging breasts). An implant behind the muscle should result in those cases with a very artificial look giving a double bubble effect.

Choice of Implant

Choosing the right implant is important. Your surgeon is the person who will be able to guide you in your choice.  There are four factors to be taken into consideration:

1.    The size of the implant
2.    The shape of the implant
3.    The filling contained by the implant
4.    The manufacturer of the implant

1. The size of the implant

Most women want adequate volume thus resulting in a natural look.  We talk about implants in terms of volume, between 250 and 350 cc.  Implants increase in size by a volume of 20cc.  For women who prefer a deep decollete, they would be better choosing a volume between 350 and 500 cc. but larger volumes are also possible.

Within a certain volume you can choose the profile of the implant. There are three different profiles to choose from: high profile, medium profile and low profile. The high profile implants, for example, will give you more projection and they are smaller in diameter compared to a low profile implant. This helps women with a narrow chest. These high profile implants are a more rounded, so that they emphasize the round or even the fake look, in so far as this is the desirable look. On the contrary low profile implants are broader and flatter. They lend more towards the natural look. The medium profile implants provide a compromise between both. Your plastic surgeon will be able to help you make the right choice.

2. The shape of the implant

There are two different shapes of implant: Round and anatomical (teardrop shaped).  Each one having its advantages, in certain shaped breasts.

Round implants

The round implants are filled with a somewhat more supple gel and can be inserted through a smallincision. Often this type of implant is placed behind the pectoral muscle; the effect is almost anatomic, given the pressure of the muscle over the top half of the implant.  Round implants are cheaper than anatomical implants and they give the breast a nice round shape. Moreover they provide extra filling at the top of the breast especially when this upper pole is rather flat.

Anatomical implants

This implant is teardrop shaped. The lower part of the implant is thicker than the upper part.  It guarantees a highly natural result.
The teardrop shaped implant is filled up with a firmer gel. So as not to damage the implant when being inserted the incision has to be slightly longer.  Therefore this type of implant is not normally inserted via the nipple.

Round implants are the most frequently used. Your plastic surgeon will again help you pick the right ones for your body.

3. The filling contained within the implant

The implants are filled with a silicone cohesive gel or a saline solution.   The outer surface of the implant is slightly rough; this is to help avoid a capsule formation.

Silicone implants

These are the most popular implants; they have no seams, and are manufactured in one whole piece. The silicone is a cohesive gel. The new generation implants are guaranteed against rupture and if a rupture should appear the cohesive gel is of such a consistency that the silicone is unable to leak away. Silicone implants are the best implants that exist in order to imitate real breast tissue. It is for these reasons that they are so popular.

Saline implants

During the surgical procedure the surgeon fills the pocket of the implant with a salty water solution. This is done through a valve in the implant; the valve stops the saline from leaking out. A saline implant feels less natural. Moreover due to the presence of this valve, leaking may occur if the valve is inadequate. Saline implants feel less natural, on the other hand they can be inserted endoscopically, through the belly button; thus without leaving a scar. Nowadays this type of implant has is not so popular.

We do not use new, experimental fillings because of the unknown long term side effects.

4. The manufacturer of the implant

We only use very high quality implants, the so called A-brands.  We do not try to cut costs as far as the implants are concerned; we want what is best for you and your body. For this reason we only work with manufacturers that give a minimum of 15 years guarantee and often a life time guarantee.


To obtain an almost invisible scar, we use absorbable sub-cutaneous sutures, with glue on the skin.  There are no stitches to be removed.

When the implants are inserted in the natural fold below, you will have a very fine scar. Implants that are inserted through the nipple result in an almost invisible scar.


Thanks to improved surgical techniques, and advanced technology in anaesthetics, breast enlargement can be carried out under local anaesthetic accompanied by sedation. You do not have the side effects of a general anaesthetic and recuperate much faster and are therefore not hospitalised overnight.


Pain is at its worst during the first two days following surgery.  You will receive anti-inflammatory tablets (ibuprofen) and analgesic tablets (paracetamol), which will control the post-operative pain. Your breast will be covered by a small dressing which you can remove 1 week following surgery.  Having removed the dressing you will be able to shower normally. It is recommended that you wear a special support bra for 6 weeks following surgery, during the day.

You can return to work one week following surgery.

Sporting activities that involve using the pectoral muscles (fitness, power-training, tennis) should be avoided for one month post-op.

The implants need two months before they are firmly anchored in place.


Breast augmentation is one of the safest surgical procedures.  It involves only the outermost superficial part of the body. Rejection of implants due to infection, and the formation of a capsule around the implant are very rare.  Moreover we administer antibiotics.
The risk of capsular contracture has been greatly reduced thanks to the rough textured surface of the implants and the fact that they are placed retro-pectoral (behind the muscle). In case of capsular contracture, the problem can be treated.
Bleeding is rare; it is avoided by a meticulous laser coagulation of possible bleeding small vessels.


All our surgical procedures are carried out under the safest conditions by a plastic surgeon and surrounded by a team of highly qualified professionals.

Even though breast enlargement is carried out under local anaesthetic, you are continually monitored (blood pressure, electro-cardiogram, and oxygen saturation measure in the blood) by an anaesthetist and one or two fully qualified nurses. It is only by working in such an optimal environment that we can guarantee patient security.

The objective of a local anaesthetic is not only to eliminate pain, but also to reduce bruising, and ensuring minimal blood loss.

If you are on any sort of anti-coagulant treatment (acetylsalicyl acid, aspirin, cardio-aspirin, asaflow, dipiridamole, plavix, sintrom, marevan, etc…) could you please inform the plastic surgeon and anaesthetist.

Following surgery, the plastic surgeon will give you his personal mobile number, in case of urgent questions

Frequently asked questions

How do I choose the right volume for me?

You will be able to try different sized implants in your bra during your consultation with the surgeon.

Will I still be able to breast-feed afterwards?

Yes, you can breast-feed.  The lactic ducts are not involved or touched during this procedure. And the gland itself remains completely intact.

Will I keep sensitivity in my nipple?


Will the implants need to be changed?

Normally the implants should last for 15-25 years. No single plastic surgeon can determine exactly in advance when they may need to be changed. We only work with manufacturers that have a lifetime guarantee on their implants against rupture and leakage.

Are silicone implants risk free?

Yes, scientific studies have proven that silicone is not harmful. So far there has been no evidence or links between silicone and breast cancer, or auto-immune diseases, or rheumatoid disease.
With the latest technology it is almost impossible for the implant to deflate.  The outer layer is completely impermeable and the silicone contained within the implant has a more solid consistency than in the past. This is the cohesive gel filling.

Is it necessary to have an annual check-up?

No, it is not necessary.

How to detect breast cancer?

You will have to undergo an ultra-sound of the breasts. Implants do not interfere in the detection of breast cancer, as the implants are placed under the breast tissue or under the pectoral muscle. A mammogram (X-ray) however is not possible anymore because implants block X-rays. Moreover a mammogram may damage the implant because the breast is pressed between two plates in order to flatten the tissue.

Is behind the muscle more painful?

No, some claim that this is the case, but it is incorrect. During the surgery both gland and muscle are anaesthetised.

Related treatments

breast reduction
breast uplift
breast uplift with implants
nipple reduction
male chest reduction


Surgery and consultations (after appointment)
A.Z. Jan Portaels
Gendarmeriestraat 65
B-1800 Vilvoorde
T: +32 (0)2 257 59 74

A.Z. Lokeren
Lepelstraat 2
9160 Lokeren
+32 (0)9 340 85 30

We consult in the UK and in Ireland
See more photos