Breast augmentation is the most frequently performed cosmetic surgery procedure in the U.S. It can give women with small or unevenly-sized breasts a fuller, firmer, better-proportioned look through the placement of implants in the breast. Women may elect to undergo breast augmentation for many different medical and aesthetic motivations, including balancing breast size and compensating for reduced breast mass after pregnancy or surgery. The procedure may be combined with others such as a breast lift for more satisfying results.
Implants are silicone shells filled with saline (salt water) and are placed behind each breast, underneath either breast tissue or the chest wall muscle. The procedure lasts one to two hours and is typically performed with general anesthesia. After surgery the patient’s bustline may be increased by one or more cup sizes.
A breast lift, or mastopexy, is performed to return youthful shape and lift to breasts that have sagged as a result of weight loss, pregnancy, loss of the skin’s natural elasticity or simply the effects of aging and gravity. The procedure can also reduce areolar size (the dark skin surrounding the nipple), and it can be combined with breast augmentation for added volume and firmness. It is usually done under general anesthesia, and lasts from one to three hours.
Large breasts can cause pain, improper posture, rashes, breathing problems, skeletal deformities, and low self-esteem. Breast reduction surgery is usually done to provide relief from these symptoms. Performed under general anesthesia, the two- to four-hour procedure removes fat and glandular tissue and tightens skin to produce smaller, lighter breasts that are in a healthier proportion to the rest of the body. Breast reduction surgery is not recommended for women who intend to breast-feed, since many of the milk ducts leading to the nipples are removed.
Modern surgical technology makes it possible to construct a natural-looking breast after mastectomy (breast removal) for cancer or other diseases. The procedure is commonly begun and sometimes completed immediately following mastectomy, so that the patient wakes with a new breast mound. Alternatively, reconstruction may begin years after mastectomy. There are several ways to reconstruct the breast, both with and without implants; your surgeon(s) should work together with you in deciding which is the best for you. Breast reconstruction has not been proven to affect the recurrence of cancer or other diseases, chemotherapy or radiation treatment.
Enlarged male breasts (gynecomastia) affects nearly 40-60% of men, often with no known cause. This condition can be highly embarrassing as well as physically uncomfortable.
Men who feel self-conscious about enlarged breasts may seek breast reduction surgery. The procedure removes fat and/or glandular tissue from the breasts, and in some cases excess skin as well. The result is a flatter, firmer chest.