Breast augmentation surgery involves using implants to increase the size of your breasts or restore breast volume that has been lost after weight reduction or pregnancy. Breast augmentation can:
- Increase fullness and projection of your breasts.
- Improve the balance of your figure.
- Enhance your self-image and self-confidence.
Breast augmentation is a very personal procedure and you should do it for yourself, not for someone else. Breast augmentation is a good option if:
- You are physically healthy
- You have realistic expectations
- Your breasts are fully developed
- You are bothered by the feeling that your breasts are too small
- You are dissatisfied with your breasts losing shape and volume after pregnancy, weight loss, or with aging
- You are unhappy with the upper part of your breast appearing "empty"
- Your breasts are asymmetrical
- One or both breasts failed to develop normally or have an elongated shape
What it won't do
Breast augmentation does not correct severely drooping breasts. If you want your breasts to look fuller and to be lifted due to sagging, a breast lift may be required in conjunction with breast augmentation.
Breast lifting can often be done at the same time as your augmentation or may require a separate operation. Your plastic surgeon will assist you in making this decision.
Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water. Should the implant shell leak, a saline implant will collapse and the saline will be absorbed and naturally expelled by the body. They provide a uniform shape, firmness and feel. Saline implants are FDA-approved for augmentation in women age 18 or older.
Silicone implants are filled with silicone gel. The gel feels a bit more like natural breast tissue. If the implant leaks, the gel may remain within the implant shell, or may escape into the breast implant pocket. A leaking implant filled with silicone gel will not collapse. If you choose these implants, you may need to visit your plastic surgeon regularly to make sure the implants are functioning properly. An ultrasound or MRI screening can assess the condition of breast implants. Silicone implants are FDA-approved for augmentation in women age 22 or older.
Textured breast implants develop scar tissue to stick to the implant, making them less likely to move around inside of the breast and get repositioned. Texturing offers some advantage in diminishing the risk of a tight scar capsule.
Fat grafting A fat transfer breast augmentation essentially uses liposuction to take fat from other parts of your body and inject it into your breasts. This is an option for women who are looking for a relatively small increase in breast size and would prefer natural results. Risks include cysts, infection, microcalcification, necrosis (death) of fat cells and the possibility that some of the transferred fat cells will leave the breast area. Your plastic surgeon may also have you use a tissue expansion system during the weeks before your surgery to improve your results. You may have to have touch-up injections to retain your improved shape if you choose this surgery.
Your plastic surgeon will take into account your wishes and concerns and will choose the right breast augmentation option for you.
Implant manufacturers occasionally introduce new styles and types of implants, so there may be additional options available. Whether you choose saline or silicone implants, it is important for you to monitor your breast implants and follow-up with your plastic surgeon for appropriate checkups.
The goal of breast implant removal surgery is to remove breast implants from breast augmentation or breast reconstruction patients. During these procedures, the surgeon may also remove silicone material from implant leaks and the breast capsule, which is the scar tissue that formes after the placement of a breast implant.
Often, the scar tissue that forms after the placement of an implant is soft and does not need to be removed, but it may harden, causing pain and discomfort. This is often a reason to have the implants and scar tissue removed.
Breast implants are not lifelong devices and it is important to have them exchanged or removed approximately every 10-15 years. This decision is typically based on the individual and the patient's needs and desires.
In some cases, the outside shell of the implant breaks down causing silicone to leak and the scar tissue around the implant to harden. It is important to understand that your implants should be removed for this reason.
Breast implant removal surgery is a highly individualized procedure. It should be performed if you have capsular contracture (hardening of the breast), pain with implants, imaging has shown a leak of the capsule and/or if you no longer desire implants or wish to exchange them.
In general, you may be a good candidate for breast implant removal if:
- You are physically healthy and at a stable weight
- You have realistic expectations
- You are a nonsmoker
- You are bothered by the appearance of your implants
- You have experienced discomfort or pain
- You feel your breasts are too heavy
- You are starting to feel your breast scar tissue is getting harder or tighter
- Imaging suggests a leak or rupture of implants
- You have experienced a rupture or leak of implants
If you're considering surgery, spend some time reviewing before and after photos and learning about what to expect during recovery. Preparation ahead of time helps patients have reasonable expectations and a smoother recovery.
Also known as mastopexy, a breast lift raises the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour. Sometimes the areola becomes enlarged over time, and a breast lift will reduce this as well. A breast lift can rejuvenate your figure with a breast profile that is more youthful and uplifted.
A woman's breasts often change over time, losing their youthful shape and firmness. These changes and loss of skin elasticity can result from:
- Weight fluctuations
Is it right for me?
Breast lift surgery is a highly individualized procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else's desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image. A breast lift is a good option for you if:
- You are physically healthy and maintain a stable weight
- You do not smoke
- You are bothered by the feeling that your breasts sag or have lost shape and volume
- Your breasts have a flatter, elongated shape or are pendulous
- When unsupported, your nipples fall below the breast crease
- Your nipples and areolas point downward
- You have stretched skin and enlarged areolas
- One breast is lower than the other
Overly large breasts can cause health and emotional problems. In addition to self image issues, you may also experience physical pain and discomfort. The weight of excess breast tissue can impair your ability to lead an active life. The emotional discomfort and self-consciousness often associated with having large pendulous breasts can be as important an issue as the physical discomfort and pain.
Breast reduction, also known as reduction mammaplasty, is a procedure to remove excess breast fat, glandular tissue, and skin to achieve a breast size in proportion with your body and to alleviate the discomfort associated with overly
Breast reduction is a good option for you if you:
- Are physically healthy
- Have realistic expectations
- Don't smoke
- Are bothered by feeling that your breasts are too large
- Have breasts that limit your physical activity
- Experience back, neck, and shoulder pain caused by the weight of your breasts
- Have shoulder indentations from bra straps
- Have skin irritation beneath the breast crease
Gynecomastia is a condition of over-developed or enlarged breasts in men that can occur at any age. The condition can be the result of hormonal changes, heredity, obesity, or the use of certain drugs. Gynecomastia can cause emotional discomfort and impair your self confidence. Some men may even avoid certain physical activities and intimacy simply to hide their condition.
Gynecomastia is characterized by:
- Excess localized fat
- Excess glandular tissue development
- Sometimes excess breast skin
- Presence unilaterally (one breast) or bilaterally (both breasts)
What is Male Breast Reduction?
Plastic surgery to correct gynecomastia is technically called reduction mammaplasty. The procedure reduces breast size, flattening and enhancing the chest contours. In severe cases of gynecomastia, the weight of excess breast tissue may cause the breasts to sag and stretch the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple). In these cases the position and size of the areola can be surgically improved and excess skin may be reduced.
Is it right for me?
- You are physically healthy and of relatively normal weight
- You have realistic expectations
- Your breast development has stabilized
- You are bothered by the feeling that your breasts are too large
Adolescents may benefit from surgery, although secondary procedures may be needed in the future should breast development continue.
Surgical correction of gynecomastia is best performed on:
- Men whose condition cannot be corrected through alternative medical treatments
- Healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing
- Non-smokers and non-drug users
- Men with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for improving the physical symptoms of gynecomastia