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Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure to make your breasts larger. The procedure is generally performed through small incisions placed either around your areolae or under the fold of each breast through which either a saline or silicone implant is inserted. The goal is to provide more volume, projection (degree to which the breasts project out on side view), and cleavage (fullness and gentle curvature in the upper-inner aspect of the breasts as seen in a bra or in clothes). The degree to which each of these occurs depends on your anatomy, breast measurements, and desire for size enhancement.
A woman with naturally large breasts may experience sagging, upper back, neck or shoulder pain, and marks left from her bra. A breast reduction removes the excess breast tissue, tightens the skin, and repositions the nipple-areolar complex to a more youthful and comfortable position. Patients with symptoms related to large breasts usually have a great sense of satisfaction after undergoing a breast reduction. You and your surgeon will discuss the best options for you.
Mastopexy / Breast Lift
Aging, weight changes, and pregnancy can often cause the breasts to hang or sag, with the nipple-areola resting below the natural fold of the breast. A mastopexy, or “breast lift,” tightens the skin and repositions the nipple-areola to a more youthful position while preserving the volume of the breast. This procedure is sometimes combined with breast implants if more volume or fullness is desired. You and your surgeon will discuss the best options for you.
An augmentation mastopexy combines a breast lift with a breast augmentation to create a fuller, more lifted breast. The amount of lift needed determines the location of your scars as well as the implant size possibilities. The implants are commonly placed behind the pectoralis muscle. You and your surgeon will discuss the best options for you.
Surgery may be necessary for benign as well as malignant disorders of the breast. In these cases, tissue may be removed from one or both breasts by a breast surgeon leaving a possible deformity or residual defect. Breast reconstruction encompasses any number of plastic surgery procedures to restore the original form, shape, and symmetry between the breasts. These techniques include: breast rearrangement or breast reduction-type reconstruction after lumpectomy or partial mastectomy; tissue expander or implant-based reconstruction; autologous “flaps” using tissue from the back or abdomen; fat grafting; nipple-areolar reconstruction; and nipple-areolar tattooing. Breast reconstruction often includes any procedures on the unaffected breast which are done to restore symmetry between the two breasts. You and your surgeon will discuss the best options for you.
Revisional Cosmetic Surgery of the Breast
Even in the best hands, prior surgery can lead to external or internal scarring and deformities that create a less-than-desirable appearance. In these cases, there may be a role for removing scar tissue or releasing the scar capsule, exchanging implants, or further revising the original procedure to improve the appearance of the breasts. Talk to your surgeon about concerns you may have from prior surgeries to see what options may work best for you.