Cosmetic surgery has advanced exponentially over the years to a point where a person can get any shape they desire and breasts are no exception. Many procedures have been developed for the enhancement of breast. The breast reconstruction technique can even reconstruct breasts that have been severed from the body for the treatment of breast cancer.
With augmentation technique, a person can increase the size of her breast and with reduction women with larger breast can reduce the size of their breasts. Now people don’t need to worry about keeping the same breast for their entire life.
Reconstruction, Augmentation, and Reduction are three basic surgical technique used to mold the shape of breasts. The uses of these techniques are different and each technique is used for a different purpose. With the consultation of a surgeon, women can select the treatment best suited for them however it all depends on needs and wants of a person.
Following are the three basic surgical procedure with three different uses.
Breast augmentation is also known as augmentation mammoplasty and it is a surgery done to increase a person’s breasts. In this procedure implants are either place under breasts or chest. Before going ahead with the surgery one should consult with their doctor to understand the risks and complication involved in the surgery.
Adjust the reduction of breast size caused by pregnancy.
To improve the self-confidence.
To enhance the appearance of breasts by enlarging them.
Balancing the size of two breasts if one is smaller than the other.
If there is another surgery performed on breasts then breast augmentation is performed to correct any unevenness.
Before surgery, the patients will describe a specific types implants to you such as saline, silicone, textured, smooth, round or teardrop shape. The surgeon will also discuss the types of surgical techniques required for the procedure. You should consider the following thing before deciding to go ahead with the surgery.
The breast implant will not prevent sagging in breasts. It is only used to enlarge the size of the breast and correct its contours for sagging you will need the breast lift to get your desired results.
Unless it is medically necessary, the breast implant isn’t covered by medical insurance because it is considered medically unnecessary so keep your self-prepared to handle the expenses of surgery.
A breast implant can create difficulty in breastfeeding however it is not always the case and most women can breastfeed even after the surgery.
A breast implant is not a permanent procedure and will not last forever. The average lifetime of an implant is 10 years. There is also a possibility in the rapture of the implant.
In case you decide to remove the implant you will be needing an additional surgery. You will also need a breast lift or a corrective surgery to improve the appearance of your breasts.
Before the surgery, your surgeon will suggest a certain type of medications while restricting you from others so that you could prepare for your surgery. Any medication that increases bleeding will be restricted such as Aspirin. The surgeon will also tell you to stop smoking during the surgery.
The surgery is sometimes performed in a surgical center while some time in a hospital. The patient is allowed to go home on the day of the procedure and it is rarely required for a patient to stay in the hospital overnight.
Breast augmentation is sometimes done through local anesthesia while other time it is done through general anesthesia.
There are various risks involved in the procedure such as:
Like any other surgery, there is a chance of infection involved in the procedure.
There is a chance that the implant might leak or rapture after the procedure.
The procedure might cause pain in the breasts but it is usually temporarily.
The sensation in the nipple might change due to the procedure.
The scars created due to the procedure might deform the shape of your breast implant.
During the procedure, the surgeon will make an incision and the incision will depend upon your need and wants. After making the incision the surgeon will insert an implant behind the nipple of your chest. Saline implants are inserted empty and once they are in place they are filled with sterile salt water. Silicone implants are already filled with silicone gel. After the implant is placed the surgeon will close the incision.
Soreness and swelling are expected to last for a couple of weeks after the surgery. There will be bruising, scars are expected and will fade over time. During your recovery time, you will need to wear the compassion bandages to support the positioning of your implant. Your surgeon will also prescribe pain medication to you to avoid any discomfort.
If your job is not a physically demanding one then you are expected to return to your work within a few weeks. During your recovery time, your breasts will be sensitive to physical contact as well as irregular movements. If drainage tubes are inserted near your breasts then you will be needing another appointment after the surgery for their removal.
Breast augmentation will alter the shape of your body and will improve your body image as well as self-esteem. Don’t always expect perfection because you can’t always get your desired results. Even after the surgery, the shape of your breasts will constantly change due to weight fluctuation as well as aging. If you are not satisfied with the results then you might need another surgery for correction.
The procedure is also known as reduction mammoplasty and it is a procedure used to remove excess fat, skin, and tissue from the breasts. If you have large breast and they are creating difficulties for you then you should consider breast reduction surgery.
The surgery will help you in improving your self-confidence and well as your physical attribute. If you are thinking about breast reduction surgery then consult with a board certified surgeon so that he or she could tell you possible risks and complications associated with the procedure.
There are certain problems related to larger breasts and the breasts sometimes need reduction to tackle that problem such as:
Back, shoulders and neck pain which requires pain medication.
Irritation under the breasts.
Problems fitting into certain types of bras and clothing.
Improve the self-image.
Restriction in activities due to large breasts.
The surgery is not recommended to people who want no scar on their breasts, smokes, have a very large amount of fat on their bodies, have diabetes and heart problem.
The surgery is not recommended for people who have planned:
Weight loss: if you are planning on losing your weight through dieting and exercise then you should wait till you get your desired body and then go for the breast reduction surgery. Fluctuations in your weight can change the size of your breasts.
Pregnancy: If you are planning on getting pregnant then wait till it is not an issue. Pregnancy can affect the shape of your breasts. Breast reduction surgery might make breastfeeding difficult but there are several surgical techniques which can prevent it.
There are a couple of steps that the surgeon will take before going ahead with the surgery.
The surgeon will go through your medical history.
Before the surgery surgeon will measure your breasts.
The surgeon will also take photographs of your breasts for a medical record so that you could have an idea about the looks of your breasts before and after the surgery.
The surgeon will explain the type of anesthesia that you will be needing during the surgery.
The surgeon will discuss the expectation that you have from your surgery as well as your desired breast size.
Various tests will be conducted to determine whether you are ready for the treatment or not.
You will be advised to stop taking any anti-inflammatory or blood-thinning medicines to avoid bleeding during the procedure.
You will be told to get a baseline mammogram before the surgery.
You will also be advised to stop smoking for some time before the surgery.
The surgery is usually performed in a surgical center or hospital under general anesthesia.
The technique used for different procedures vary from person to person, however, there are some basic steps which are the same for all of these techniques such as:
Liposuction used to remove the excess fat from your breasts.
The incision made through which implant is placed and surgery is performed.
The incision is made around the areola down to the fat inside of the breasts.
Excess fat, skin, and tissue are removed to reduce the size of breasts and correct its contours.
Breasts are reshaped and position of nipple and areola is repositioned and corrected.
The areola and nipple usually remain attached to the breasts however in some cases they are removed and are reattached to a higher position on breasts. This only happens if the breasts are very large.
The surgeon with try to balance your breast so that both could have the same size but there is a chance of variation between the size of two breasts as well as the areola. The scar made during the incision will fade away with time but won’t completely disappear.
Immediately after the surgery, your breast will completely be covered in gauze and bandages.
Medicines for pain would be given to minimize the discomfort and reduce pain. Antibiotics will be given to reduce any chance of infection.
If there are excess blood and fluids underneath the breasts tubes might be placed under each arm to drain them.
During the first few days of surgery, your breasts might be swollen and bruised.
Compression bra will be placed upon your breast to protect the breasts and avoid any complication.
Your breast will become more tender and sensitive to the touch.
The surgeon might suggest to you that you should avoid wearing underwire bra a couple months after the surgery.
The surgeon will tell you to limit your physical activity during the first two to four weeks of your recovery.
Breast reduction is a major surgery and like another surgery, there are risks involved in the procedure such as infection, bleeding or reaction to anesthesia.
I might become difficult for you to breastfeed after the surgery or you might lose the ability to breastfeed altogether.
Scaring can also occur.
Bruising might also occur as a result of the procedure but this is usually temporary.
You might lose sensation in nipples or area around the nipples.
The imbalance between the size and shape might occur which will then need additional surgery for correction.
A successful breast reduction surgery will relieve you from your back, neck and upper shoulder pain. Your self-confidence will rise and you will be able to participate in more activates than ever before. The results of surgery will be immediately visible but it will take some time for swelling to completely fade away. The final result that you get after the fading of swelling will be permanent.
Mastectomy is a procedure in which one or both breast of a woman is removed to prevent breast cancer. It can be very painful emotionally for a woman to lose her breast and most women will think that their life is over but with breast reconstruction, a person can regain her breast after the cancer treatment. Reconstruction can help a person in getting back to her former self.
The goal of this surgery is to reconstruct the breasts after lumpectomy or mastectomy. During a mastectomy, the breast of a woman along with nipple and areola is surgically removed to prevent breast cancer. Lumpectomy is a procedure in which small tumors are removed along with a small part of breasts.
Depending on the condition of a patient a patient there are many factors to determine the breast reconstruction best suited for a woman.
There are two main types of breast reconstruction surgery.
Skin flap or autologous surgery: In this procedure tissue from another part of the body is harvested and then they are planted into the breasts.
Prosthetics or Implants: In this type of surgery implants of silicone or saline are used to reconstruct the breasts.
Both techniques can also be used alone or together for better and more natural results. Nipple area is also reconstructed through some techniques if it has been removed during the surgery.
Now the question is which type of implant should I use? Which type of breast reconstruction should I choose skin flap surgery or implant?
For this type of surgery, tissues are taken from another part of the body and then they are used to make breasts. Usually, the tissues used in the procedure are taken from the abdomen but it can be also taken from other parts such as the back, buttocks, and thighs.
Skin flap surgery is very complex because in this type of surgery tissues are taken from one part of the body and then they are implanted into other parts of the body. One of the two methods known as Pedicle flap surgery and free flap surgery is used in the surgery.
In this type of surgery, the tissue being used is not completely cut off from all of its blood vessels before the transplant. The tissue remains attached to the body and it is rotated to a new angle to create the breast. This procedure is done when tissue is being taken from back or abdomen.
In this type of surgery, tissues are removed along with surrounding blood vessel so that it could be placed in the target location. These blood vessels are then sewed to the blood vessel of the target location. A microscope is used for sewing the blood vessel and the procedure is a long one.
In breast reconstruction, the implant used is made up of silicone and saline. This implant is inserted below the skin where the breast was located.
Mostly the procedure is done in two steps. The first step of the procedure involves placing a tissue expander below the breasts. Which acts as a temporary implant and gradually stretches the skin of a person. Sterile saline or saltwater is injected into the expander on daily basis. This procedure is repeated until the woman is satisfied with the size.
When the tissue of breasts are healed and enough saline water is added to the expander then a second surgery is done. In the second surgery tissue expander is removed and saline or silicone breast implants are added. For this second surgery, the original scar is reopened and no new scars are created.
Breast reconstruction is a major surgery and like any other major surgery, there are risks involved in the surgery. The receiver of operation is usually expected to spend a couple of days in the hospital. More than one surgery might be needed for the desired results. Usually, it takes more time to recover from a skin flap than an implant.
The normal full recovery time is two months but it might take longer than that in some cases. During this time of recovery, the patient may experience: Restriction in the movement to some extent, You may also experience fatigue, soreness, bruising and swelling might also occur in the location from which tissue has been taken in a skin flip and pain might also occur in breasts.
There some risks involved in the procedure although most of these risks are common in most of the major surgeries such as:
Problems with the healing of the wound
Formation of blood clots.
Accumulation of fluid in breast or donor area.
Changes in the sensation of nipples.
The unevenness of breasts.
Muscle in the donor area might lose strength.
Issues with the implant such as leakage, rupture or formation of scar tissue might occur.
Necrosis (death of tissue) might occur which affects the tissue flap and fat.
In case of any problem, you might need an extra treatment.
After the surgery, your self-confidence will rise and you will feel more liberated. Losing your breast could be painful and will get you in severe depression but with the help of breast reconstruction surgery all that is in the past.
The three treatments Augmentation, Reduction, Reconstruction described above are different in many ways their procedure is different, their results are different and finally, their needs are totally different from each other.
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