The term “boob job” really refers to having one’s breasts enlarged or reduced for cosmetic reasons rather than having them built up after necessary surgery. If a woman has to have a mastectomy (breast removal) because she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and this is the only way that the cancer can be contained, then in nearly all cases, the woman should be able to receive surgery to replace her breasts with artificial ones using a NHS surgeon. This type of breast surgery is almost the only way that a woman can get her breasts enlarged for “free.”
As most breast surgery is regarded as a cosmetic procedure, the NHS will not allow it except in a very limited number of circumstances as will be explained further on below. Nearly all women who go on to have “boob jobs” turn to the private sector and pay anywhere between £3,000 to £6,500 for the privilege of having their breasts enlarged, reduced or modified in some way.
Cosmetic surgery on breasts is quite popular and there are enough women who are prepared to pay the cost of being treated to provide an income for a large number of breast enlargement clinics all over the country. Most women opt for breast enlargement because they feel that their breasts are too small or undeveloped. Some women also opt to have their breasts reduced in size, either because they are causing them back pain or because they think they look unnatural.
Cosmetic breast enlargement under the NHS
To get a “free boob job”, i.e. a cosmetic enlargement or reduction of one or both breasts, you must turn to the NHS. Usually this is quite a difficult task and takes a long time to happen. Basically, the NHS will only contemplate the possibility of operating on a woman’s breasts for free if she can convince them that the size of her breasts are causing her mental anguish or she is significantly depressed because of their size or the pain from having too large breasts is too much to bear.
In the case of breast enlargement on the NHS, typically the first move is to visit one’s GP and discuss the mental or psychological problems that you are experiencing if you feel that your breasts are too small and it is affecting your mental health. Normally, your doctor will not refer you for surgery straight away but will monitor the situation over a period of time. If he or she thinks that you are genuinely experiencing mental stress because of your breast size you may be referred to a counsellor.
The counsellor will probably spend some time trying to solve your mental stress without you having to have your breasts operated on. There may be ways that the counsellor can suggest you modify your lifestyle which will take your mind off your breast size.
If you continue to suffer from depression, anxiety or stress, then you may be referred to a meeting with a team of doctors and psychologists who will discuss your feelings about your breast size with you. If they decide that your mental anguish is likely to improve if your breasts are operated on and there doesn’t appear to be any other easy solution then you may then be scheduled to have surgery. This is unlikely to happen straight away and it is likely that you will be put on a waiting list for surgery.
When your breasts are too large
Some women experience continual or periodic back pain because of the size of their breasts and hope to have them surgically reduced so that they can be relieved of pain. Again, you would normally discuss your pain with your doctor who would be able to determine that your back pain was in fact caused by the weight of your breasts. He or she may then refer you to a surgeon who will perform breast reduction to help reduce the size and weight of your breasts.