Cosmetic surgery has advanced exponentially over the years to a point where people 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 to treat breast cancer.
With the breast augmentation technique, a woman can increase her breasts’ size, and with reduction, women can reduce the size of their breasts. With all these breast cosmetic surgery options, you don’t have to worry about your breast problems anymore.
Breast Cosmetic Surgery Options
Reconstruction, Augmentation, and Reduction are three primary surgical techniques used to mold the shape of breasts. Each method is used for a different purpose and has different uses. With the consultation of a surgeon, women can select the treatment best suited for them; however, it all depends on a person’s needs and requirements.
The following are the three basic surgical procedures 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 placed under breasts or chest. Before going ahead with the surgery, one should consult with their doctor to understand the risks and complications involved in the surgery.
Reasons for Breast Augmentation
- To adjust the reduced breast size caused by pregnancy.
- To improve self-confidence.
- To enhance the appearance of breasts by enlarging them.
- To balance 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.
The surgeon will describe specific types of implants to you before surgery, such as saline, silicone, textured, smooth, round, or teardrop-shaped. The surgeon will also discuss the types of surgical techniques required for the procedure. You should consider the following things 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 a 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 yourself prepared to handle surgery expenses.
- 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 of the rupture of the implant.
- In case you decide to remove the implant, you will need additional surgery. You will also need a breast lift or corrective surgery to improve the appearance of your breasts.
Before the surgery, your surgeon will suggest certain types of medications while restricting you from others so that you could prepare for your surgery. Any drug that increases bleeding will be prohibited, such as Aspirin. The surgeon will also tell you to stop smoking during the surgery.
What to expect during surgery?
The surgery is sometimes performed in a surgical center while some time in a hospital. Patients can 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 times, 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.
- There is a chance that the implant might leak or rupture after the procedure.
- The procedure might cause pain in the breasts, but it is usually temporary.
- 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 needs 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, and scars are expected that will fade over time. During your recovery time, you will need to wear the compassion bandages to support your implant positioning. 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, you will need another appointment after the surgery for their removal.
Breast augmentation will alter your body’s shape and improve your body image and self-esteem. Don’t expect perfection because you can’t always get your desired results. Even after the surgery, your breasts’ shape will continuously change due to weight fluctuation and aging. If you are not satisfied with the results, you might need another surgery for correction.
Breast Reduction Surgery
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 breasts creating difficulties for you, you should consider breast reduction surgery.
The surgery will help you in improving your self-confidence and well your physical attribute. If you are thinking about breast reduction surgery, consult with a board-certified surgeon so that he or she could tell you about the possible risks and complications associated with the procedure.
Reasons for Breast Reduction Surgery
There are specific problems related to more massive breasts which can be tackled with breast reduction surgery like:
- Back, shoulders and neck pain require pain medication
- Irritation under the breasts
- Problem fitting into specific types of bras and clothing
- Improve self-image
- Nerve pain
- Restriction in activities due to large breasts
The surgery is not recommended to people who smoke, want no scars on their breasts, have a substantial amount of fats in their bodies, and suffer from diabetes or heart problems.
The surgery is not recommended for people who have planned:
Weight loss: If you are planning to lose your weight through dieting and exercise, you should wait till you get your desired weight and then go for breast reduction surgery. Fluctuations in your weight can change the size of your breasts.
Pregnancy: If you are planning on getting pregnant, wait till it is not an issue. Pregnancy can affect the shape of your breasts. Breast reduction surgery might make breastfeeding difficult, but several surgical techniques 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, the surgeon will measure your breasts.
- The surgeon will also take photographs of your breasts for a medical record so you can have an idea about the looks of your breasts before and after surgery.
- The surgeon will explain the type of anesthesia that you need during the surgery.
- The surgeon will discuss the expectations that you have from your surgery and 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.
During the Procedure
The technique used for different procedures varies from person to person. However, some necessary steps are the same for all of these techniques, such as:
- Liposuction is used to remove the excess fat from your breasts.
- The incision is made through which the implant is placed, and surgery is performed.
- The incision is made around the areola down to the fat inside the breasts.
- Excess fat, skin, and tissues are removed to reduce breasts’ size and correct its contours.
- Breasts are reshaped, and nipple and areola are repositioned and corrected.
- The areola and nipple usually remain attached to the breasts; however, they are removed and are reattached to a higher position on breasts in some cases. It only happens if the breasts are huge.
The surgeon will try to balance your breasts so that both could have the same size, but there is a chance of variation between the size of two breasts and the areola. The scar made during the incision will fade away with time but won’t completely disappear.
Post Breast Reduction Surgery
- Immediately after the surgery, your breast will completely be covered in gauze and bandages.
- Pain medicines would be given to minimize the discomfort and reduce pain. Antibiotics will be given to minimize 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.
- A compression bra will be placed upon your breast to protect them and avoid any complications.
- Your breasts will become more tender and sensitive to the touch.
- The surgeon might suggest you avoid wearing an underwire bra a couple of 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 major surgery, and like any other surgery, there are risks involved in the procedure such as infection, bleeding, or reaction to anesthesia.
- It 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 the 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 activities than ever before. The surgery results will be immediately visible, but it will take some time for swelling to fade away completely. The final result that you get after the swelling fades will be permanent.
Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Mastectomy is a procedure in which one or both breasts of a woman are removed to prevent breast cancer. It can be excruciating for a woman to lose her breasts, and many women will think that their life is over, but with breast reconstruction, a woman can regain her breasts after cancer treatment.
What is breast reconstruction surgery?
The goal of this surgery is to reconstruct the breasts after lumpectomy or mastectomy. During a mastectomy, the breast of a woman, along with the nipple and areola, is surgically removed, preventing breast cancer. Lumpectomy is a procedure in which small tumors are removed along with small parts of the breast.
Depending on a patient’s condition, there are many factors to determine the type of breast reconstruction best suited for a woman.
Types of Breast Reconstruction
There are two main types of breast reconstruction surgery.
Skin flap or autologous surgery: In this procedure, tissues from another part of the body are harvested and planted into the breasts.
Prosthetics or Implants: In this type of surgery, silicone or saline implants are used to reconstruct the breasts.
Both techniques can also be used alone or together for better and more natural results. The nipple area is also reconstructed through some techniques if it has been removed during the surgery.
What to do?
The question is which type of breast reconstruction surgery should be chosen – skin flap surgery or implant?
Skin Flap Surgery
For this type of surgery, tissues are taken from another part of the body and are used to make breasts. Usually, the tissues used in the procedure are taken from the abdomen, but they can also be taken from other parts such as the back, buttocks, and thighs.
Skin flap surgery is very complicated. In this type of surgery, tissues are taken from one part of the body and are implanted into other parts of the body. One of the two methods known for skin flap surgery is Pedicle Flap surgery and Free flap surgery.
Pedicle Flap Surgery
In this type of surgery, the tissue being used is not entirely 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 the back or abdomen.
Free Flap Surgery
In this type of surgery, tissues are removed along with the surrounding blood vessels to 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. It acts as a temporary implant and gradually stretches the skin of a person. Sterile saline or saltwater is injected into the expander daily. This procedure is repeated until the woman is satisfied with the size.
When the tissue of breasts is healed and enough saline water is added to the expander, a second surgery is performed. In the second surgery, a 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.
Post-Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Breast reconstruction is major surgery, and like any other major surgery, there are risks involved in the surgery. The receiver of the 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 standard 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. 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
- Anesthesia problem
- Accumulation of fluid in the breast or donor area
- Changes in the sensation of nipples
- The unevenness of breasts
- The 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 additional 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 you can overcome it with the help of breast reconstruction surgery.
The Bottom Line
The three treatments, Augmentation, Reduction, Reconstruction described above, are different in many ways. Their procedures are different, their results are different, and finally, their needs are different. If you want to have any of these procedures, consult with a qualified breast surgeon, and opt for a procedure with his/her guidance. You can visit Dubai Cosmetic Surgery Clinic to know more about breast surgery options.