There are three general categories of cosmetic surgery performed on the breasts (also called mammoplasty): breast augmentation, breast reduction, and breast reconstruction.
Breast augmentation is performed to enhance the appearance, size, and contour of a woman’s breasts. Women consider breast augmentation for many different reasons. Some women feel their breasts are too small. Some desire augmentation after their breasts change after pregnancy. Others desire to correct an asymmetry in breast size.
Breast augmentation is performed with implants that can be placed under or over a chest muscle. The incision can be placed in the armpit, areola (the area surrounding the nipple), or under the breast fold. In general, all breast augmentations are minimally invasive procedures.
Breast implants are made of silicone filled with saline (salt water solution). A woman determines her desired size using our digital imaging.
Breast reduction surgery is for women with large, heavy breasts who experience significant discomfort including neck pain, back pain, and numbness or weakness due to the weight of the breasts. During this procedure, excess skin, fat, and breast tissue are removed.
After surgery, breast reduction can cause a change in breast sensation as well as the inability to breastfeed however most women report relief from the symptoms caused by having over-sized breasts.
Breast reconstruction surgery is often performed on women who undergo mastectomy as a treatment for breast cancer.
The procedure recreates a breast with the desired appearance, contour, and volume. The nipple and areola also are recreated. Normal breast sensation and normal breast function, as with nursing, do not usually return when the sensory nerves or milk glands and ducts have been removed or significantly injured.
The appearance, contour, and volume of the breast can be recreated with implants or with a woman’s own tissue. If an implant is used, the implant is sized to match the opposite breast. When possible, the implant is placed beneath a chest muscle. A breast also can be recreated using a woman’s own tissue.
Breast reconstruction can be done at any time after you have had a mastectomy. The procedure has no known effect on the recurrence of cancer.
In some women, the skin is not strong or resilient enough to support the weight of the breast, causing the breasts to sag. With this condition, there is too much skin compared to breast tissue. To give the breast a lift, the excess skin must be removed.