Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: Breast Surgery

Breast Augmentation | Breast Lift | Breast Reconstruction | Breast Reduction

Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation is the art of enhancing the size and curvature of a woman's breasts.

Performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia, the breast augmentation procedure itself takes about an hour to complete. The surgeon carefully makes an incision under the crease of the breast (inframammary) or near the armpit (transaxillary), and inserts a saline or silicone-filled implant under or over the pectoral muscle. After the implant has been properly placed, the incision is closed. Breast implants are usually placed under the chest muscles because doing so gives a more natural look and feel to the breast and the muscles help hold the breast implants in place, as well as potentially limiting capsular contracture.

Breast augmentation patients can expect recovery side effects that include sensitive and swollen breasts, pain, and a possible, temporary period of decreased nipple sensation. Typically, patients may return to work within one week, but may need to limit their activity for up to four weeks after surgery.

Breast Lift

The rigors of pregnancy and nursing, gaining or losing an excessive amount of weight, and over time gravity, can all result in breasts that droop or sag.

A breast lift is a subtle improvement of your natural breast tissue. The procedure involves removing excess skin and tissue, then lifting and tightening the breast tissue, and finally, a careful repositioning of the nipples. Breast lift or mastopexy is a safe and effective way to enhance your own natural breasts. The procedure can be combined with breast augmentation for more dramatic results.

Patients undergoing breast lift may experience bruising, swollen and sensitive breasts, the possibility of scarring, and temporarily, decreased feeling in the nipples.

Breast Reduction

A breast reduction procedure results in smaller, more proportionate breasts that are more natural looking and more comfortable. This procedure alleviates neck and back pain, shoulder pain and grooving and intertriginous rashes (rashes underneath the breast).

In the breast reduction procedure, an incision is carefully made around the areola (the darker skin surrounding the nipple) and underneath the curve of the breast; then excess skin, tissue and fat are removed, and finally, the new breast takes shape when the remaining skin is tightened and the incisions are closed. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis under anesthesia and takes about four hours.

Common side effects of breast reduction include swollen breasts, temporary bruising, and some pain. As breasts heal over the next three to six weeks, these side effects will diminish.