Breast enlargement is one the most popular cosmetic surgeries the world. For many women, the way they feel about their bodies and their femininity is directly linked to the size and shape of their breasts, and their personal body image can be dramatically altered following breast lift enhancement surgery.

Breast Augmentation

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Breast enlargement is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries in the world. For many women, the way they feel about their bodies and their femininity is directly linked to the size and shape of their breasts, and their personal body image can be dramatically altered following breast lift enhancement surgery – be it in the form of augmentation, lift or reduction. If you are requiring an extremely natural augmented result then structural fat grafting should be considered.

In South Africa, breast augmentation and enlargement procedures are just as popular as anywhere in the world and they are certainly the most common surgeries at our practice. Here, most patients are looking for a very natural breast enhancement. It is not really about the size, but more importantly about improving the shape of the breasts.

The actual procedure is usually very straightforward, but obtaining information on the details of the operation is often a daunting process for patients. The primary reasons for the confusion is because many different approaches and placements are offered by different surgeons and that there are a large variety of implant shapes available.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Breast Augmentation?

Breast Augmentation, technically known as Augmentation Mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure done to enhance the size and shape of a woman’s breast for many reasons: to enhance the body contour of a woman who, for personal reasons, feels her breast size is too small, to correct a reduction in breast volume after pregnancy, to balance a difference in breast size and as a reconstructive technique following breast surgery. 

By inserting breast implants behind each breast, surgeons can increase a woman’s bust by one or more bra cup sizes. If you’re considering breast implants, this will give you a basic understanding of the procedure, when it can help, how it’s performed, and what results you can expect. It can’t answer all your questions, since a lot depends on your individual circumstances. 

How Is Breast Implant Surgery Performed?

The method of inserting and positioning your breast implants will depend on your anatomy and Dr. Wilkinson’s recommendation. The incision will be made in the crease where the breast meets the chest.  Every effort will be made to ensure that the incision is placed so that resulting scars will be as inconspicuous as possible. Working through the incision, Dr. Wilkinson will lift your breast tissue and skin to create a space for the implant, either directly behind the breast tissue or underneath your chest wall muscle (the pectoral muscle). The breast implants are then centred beneath your nipples.

The surgery usually takes two hours to complete. Dissolving stitches are used to close the incisions, which may also be taped for greater support. Drainage tubes will be used for several days following surgery. An Elastoplast bandage will be applied over your breasts to help with healing which will be removed when the drains are removed.

How Do I Choose The Right Breast Implants?

A breast implant is a silicone shell filled with either silicone gel or a salt-water solution known as saline. Dr Wilkinson only uses a silicone filled implant. There are different shapes: Round or Anatomical (tear drop) and depending on your expectations of the procedure Dr Wilkinson will advise you on the ideal profile for you at the time of consultation.

Who Would Benefit From A Breast Augmentation?

If you feel as though your bust line is too small, it’s lost volume after pregnancy, or simply disappeared after significant weight loss, you’re an ideal candidate for breast implants. Breast augmentations can also rectify the shape should they have a lack of symmetry.

Often, those who undergo this procedure are those who’ve struggled with smaller breasts for most of their life. So the relief these patients report feeling is immeasurable.

How Long Do Breast Implants Last?

Although breast implants don’t actually expire, they aren’t guaranteed to last a lifetime. The average implants can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years.

How Long Is The Recovery After Breast Implant Surgery?

You’re likely to feel tired and sore for a few days following your surgery, but you’ll be up and about within 12 to 24 hours. Most of your discomfort can be controlled by medication prescribed by your doctor. Within 2 – 4 days, the Elastoplast dressings and drainage pipes will be removed, and you will start to wear a surgical bra supplied by us; you should wear it 24 hours a day for 6 weeks.

You may also experience a burning sensation in your nipples for about two weeks, but this will subside as bruising fades. Although the stitches are dissolving there will be 4 little knots to come out 10 – 14 days after surgery, but the swelling in your breasts may take three to six weeks to disappear. The final shape will only be determined after 3 months.

How Do I Choose The Best Breast Implant Procedure For Me?

To see if breast implants is the best cosmetic surgery procedure for you, always start with a professional consultation with qualified and experienced cosmetic surgeon for an in-depth analysis of your body features and to reach a good understanding of your concerns and goals.

Dr Nerina Wilkinson’s unique and comprehensive surgical consultation is available for you to discuss and analyse your concerns and goals and for her (together with her team of specialists) to provide bespoke advice.

Schedule your cosmetic surgery consultation today! 



It’s important for you to be honest with Dr Nerina Wilkinson during your first consultation as far as your medical history, chronic medications and expectations of the procedure are concerned.

She  will do a physical examination, take measurements, and if necessary photographs to assess your breasts for surgery. She will take into account the size and shape of your breasts, skin quality, and the placement of the nipple and areola. In addition, she will need to be told of any plans (if applicable) to lose a significant amount of weight in the future. Many women find their breasts sag or shrink with weight loss. In this instance, she may recommend that you schedule surgery for once your target weight has been achieved.

Using breast sizers, we will make a decision on the correct size and shape implant for your body. Depending on your breasts and skin tone, Dr Nerina Wilkinson may also recommend a breast lift in conjunction with an augmentation. Be sure to discuss your expectations frankly so that both of you are on exactly the same page.

What Types of Implants Can You Choose From?

There are many incredible choices and Dr Nerina Wilkinson is able to advise on the correct “designer implant” shape that will fit perfectly with your specific breast and chest wall shape.

The choices range from silicone to saline and from rough to smooth textures. Round and anatomically (teardrop) shaped implants are also an option. She has experience in inserting all the type of implants and will take your body type into account before assisting you in the final implant decision.

Is the Implant Placed Under or Above the Muscle?

Dr Nerina Wilkinson’s aim is to give patients the most natural result. Small-breasted women who are very thin are usually advised to have the implant inserted under the muscle to cover the implant. In her view, the advantage of a prepectoral implant (in front of the muscle) is to give the breast tissue a mild lift and is, therefore, the procedure of choice in patients with more sagging breasts. Medical evidence does, however, show that by placing the implants behind the muscle, the potential for the development of capsular contracture is reduced. It is also easier to perform a breast examination and mammography in patients with implants placed behind the muscle. The disadvantage of lifting the chest wall muscle, however, is a longer recovery period. It is therefore of extreme importance that you discuss these pros and cons with her before the procedure.

Once a shape and size has been decided, you’ll book your surgery date.

The procedure will be performed at the Surgical Clinic. Depending on your procedure, you’ll either be admitted as a day patient an inpatient, in which case you’ll be monitored at the Renaissance facilities.

The surgery lasts approximately 2 hours and is performed while you’re under conscious sedation. which will make you feel drowsy and relaxed, however, you’ll sleep through the entire operation and not be aware of the procedure. Occasionally, Dr Nerina Wilkinson may use general anaesthesia, but in all cases, a certified anaesthetist will be responsible for your well being.

The breast augmentation procedure involves:

  • Incisions – The most common site for scars is in the crease under the breast. Other, less common incisions are in the armpit and around the areola. Scars will vary depending on the severity of the natural droop and if any breast tissue needs to be removed. The look of the scars will improve over the course of two years following surgery. As far as the placement of the nipple is concerned, It is usually not necessary that the nipple be transposed higher on the breast. However, in patients where there is sagging of the nipple, a simultaneous breast lift ensures a natural look, while the sensation and functions of the nipple are maintained.
  • Insertion – The placement of the implant will depend on your anatomy and our preoperative discussion. Dr Wilkinson will create a pocket by lifting the breast tissue, either in front or behind the pectoral muscle, and insert the desired implant.
  • Finishing touches – Once the implants are in position, she closes the incisions with sutures and reinforced with tape and a gauze dressing to help with healing. The area is then cleaned and you’re placed in the care of our recovery team. Drainage tubes may also be used for several days following surgery.

Once the breast augmentation surgery has been completed, you can expect to be in some pain for up to 3 days, but you’re encouraged to get out of bed for short periods of time after surgery. It’s also imperative that for two weeks post-op, you don’t raise your arms above your waist, drive or partake in any strenuous activities. If you’ve had drains inserted after your procedure, they’ll be removed in a few days and your dressings will be checked and changed or removed entirely.  You’re also advised to handle the breasts gently for the following weeks of your recovery.

To keep pressure off of your breasts, you should sleep on your back. It’s also advisable for you to wear a support bra for a few weeks post-surgery until all swelling and bruising has subsided.

You can expect your stitches to be removed on the 10th day of your recovery and should not be alarmed if your breasts take some time to assume a natural shape and for scarring to fade.

Complete recovery can take anywhere up to 12 months. If you are at all concerned about anything during the post-op period, always contact us for advice and support.

In most cases, it is possible for patients to resume work within a week of breast augmentation surgery unless the nature of the work is excessively strenuous. You can also resume exercise, starting slowly, within a few weeks.

It’s normal for you to experience mild discomfort periodically but severe pain must be reported immediately. Sexual activity may also be resumed after around 2 weeks.

Allowing Dr Nerina Wilkinson to perform your breast augmentation places you in the capable hands of a surgeon who has been practising for over 18 years.

Contact our practice today to find out how Dr Nerina Wilkinson’s breast augmentation can greatly enhance your life.



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The Cosmetic Surgery Team

She specialises in Facial & Breast Rejuvenation & Restoration

Dr Nerina Wilkinson combines her more than 2 decades of surgical precision in Cosmetic plastic surgery, in depth understanding of anatomy, detailed understanding of aesthetic concepts and the newest innovations in technology to deliver a unique breast aesthetic couture experience.

About Dr Nerina Wilkinson FCS (Plast SA)

Dr Wilkinson has pioneered highly effective, science driven techniques. By integrating the most cutting edge technologies, state of the art equipment and sound scientific research she designs game changing protocols that redefine skin care, aesthetic medicine, and plastic surgery.

“Hi Nerina, just wanted to say thank you! I could not have expected or wished for more, I have not stopped getting comments of admiration for your handy work. Really huge THANK YOU!”

K Miller, Breast Augmentation

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