BREAST COSMETIC PROCEDURES
Breast augmentation surgery is the most common and popular cosmetic procedure in the country. This procedure can provide an extremely satisfying and rewarding transformation for a woman.
Breast augmentation can be performed using saline implants, silicone implants or, in some selected cases, using fat. Saline implants are implants made of a silicone shell filled with salt water solution. Silicone implants are also made of a silicone shell, but are filled with a silicone gel. Using a patient's own fat to augment the breasts is a relatively new procedure. This is accomplished by harvesting fat from one area of the body and grafting it into the breasts.
The surface of an implant can vary. The surface can feel smooth or they can have a textured feel. Textured implants may decrease the risk of capsular contracture, but this has not been conclusively proven. Smooth implants are the type of implant most commonly used.
Implants also come in a variety of profiles. These include low or moderate, moderate plus, high and extra high profile options. Each option was designed for specific reasons and for specific kinds of results.
In addition, implants may be either round or shaped. Round implants are the most common type of implant used. These implants can create a very beautiful and natural looking breast. Shaped implants were designed to create a natural tear drop shape to the breast.
Lastly, each type of implant comes in a very wide range of volumes, or sizes. This allows for great variation in total size, and potential bra cup size.
Other considerations are the location of the incision used to insert the implant, and the position of the implant over or under the muscle. Every potential choice of augmentation procedure, implant type, implant size, incision location and implant position has its own specific advantages and disadvantages.
During a consultation, your plastic surgeon will review all of these options and will help you decide which procedure and which implant size and type is best for you.
BREAST AUGMENTATION AND LIFT (MASTOPEXY)
There are many women who, in addition to lacking breast fullness, also have loose and saggy breast skin. These women benefit from having an augmentation done with a breast lift (mastopexy).
An augmentation done with a breast lift combines an increase in breast size with an improvement in breast shape. The type of implant and size of the implant used is determined using the same principles used to perform a breast augmentation. To learn more about this, read about "Breast Augmentation." The breast lift is used to remove loose skin and improve the appearance of the "saggy" breast.
The breast lift can be performed using a variety of techniques. These include performing a lift through incisions around the areola only. This is called a circumareolar mastopexy. If there is more loose skin and sagginess of the breast, a "vertical" mastopexy may be needed. This involves making an incision around the areola and adding an incision that runs from the areola down to the bottom of the breast in a vertical orientation. This is also commonly referred to as a "lollipop" lift. If there is substantial loose skin and extensive sagginess of the breast, a full mastopexy will be needed. This is similar to a vertical or "lollipop" lift but adds an additional incision along the bottom of the breast along the crease where the breast meets the chest wall. This crease is called the "inframammary fold."
An augmentation mastopexy can dramatically improve the appearance of breasts. Many women, especially women after pregnancy and/ or weight loss, benefit tremendously from having an augmentation done with a breast lift.
Your surgeon will discuss all of your options, risks, benefits, alternatives and recovery during your consultation.
BREAST LIFT (MASTOPEXY) ONLY, NO IMPLANT
There are some women who have full breasts, but are dissatisfied with the shape of the breasts. They may not want an augmentation. These women are perfect candidates for a breast lift alone, without an implant.
As mentioned under "Breast Augmentation and Lift" there are a variety of techniques available to remove loose skin and improve the shape of the breasts. These include performing a lift through incisions around the areola only. This is called a circumareolar mastopexy. If there is more loose skin and sagginess of the breast, a "vertical" mastopexy may be needed. This involves making an incision around the areola and adding an incision that runs from the areola down to the bottom of the breast in a vertical orientation. This is also commonly referred to as a "lollipop" lift. If there is substantial loose skin and extensive sagginess of the breast, a full mastopexy will be needed. This is similar to a vertical or "lollipop" lift but adds an additional incision along the bottom of the breast along the crease where the breast meets the chest wall. This crease is called the "inframammary fold."
You should consult with a Board Certifed Plastic Surgeon in order to review your options, the advantages and disadvantages of each, and the recovery after this procedure.
There are many women who have undergone breast surgery but are unhappy about their results. This may be due to the formation of capsular contracture, dissatisfaction with size, asymmetry of the breasts, increased "sageness" or unsightly scarring. For these woman, a breast revision may be needed.
A breast revision may require a combination of techniques to achieve the desired result. This includes removal of implants, replacement with new implants, removal of capsular contracture scar tissue, use of acellular dermal matrix, use of synthetic biological resorbable scaffold, and revision of scars. The exact combination of techniques you need can only be determined after a full consultation.
Your surgeon will need to get a detailed description of previous surgeries in order to formulate a specific plan. During your consultation, you learn about all available options and you will discuss your surgery and recovery in detail.
Some woman have symptoms of back pain and neck pain due to the large size of their breasts. These patients will benefit greatly from a breast reduction.
A breast reduction is a procedure designed to remove excess breast fat and breast gland tissue to alleviate pain and discomfort. The incisions needed to perform a breast reduction are very similar to the incisions used during a breast lift (as described above). This enables the surgeon to accomplish several goals. First, it allows for the removal of excess tissue. Second, it allows the surgeon to reshape the breast. The breast can be lifted and given a more aesthetically pleasing shape. Third, the size of the areola can be reduced. The areolas are often enlarged in women with very large breasts. Overall, the effect is a smaller breast with an improved shape.
For women whose breasts are extremely large and exceed certain measurements, additional techniques may be needed to ensure proper healing. During your consultation, your surgeon will review all of this information with you.