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Breast augmentation is one of the most frequently performed cosmetic surgery procedures 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, surgery, or weight loss. The procedure may be combined with others such as a breast lift for more satisfying results.
Breast implants are silicone shells filled with either saline (salt water) or silicone gel (approved by the FDA). They 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.
Breast Implant Removal & Replacement
Breast implants are usually long lasting, but they are not considered lifetime devices. Removal, replacement and visits to the physician are commonly required. An implant can be taken out and not replaced if desired. Many will choose to lift the breast if they are sagging after removal of the implant.
Sometimes women decide years after having a breast augmentation procedure that they would prefer a larger or smaller implant. In other cases, women opted for saline implants before they could be assured of the safety of using silicone implants and are now considering making the switch. All of these options are available now, enabling women to get exactly the size, shape and fullness that she is seeking for her breasts.
Patients undergo breast implant removal and replacement for many different medical and aesthetic reasons. Any wrinkles, imbalances or folds a woman is experiencing can be corrected, as well as poor positioning of the implant. Oftentimes, the patient can benefit from the much wider variety of profiles, shapes, textures and sizes that are available today.
A woman's breasts may droop as a result of the natural effects of aging, heredity, gravity, pregnancy, breastfeeding, or weight loss. A breast lift, also called a mastopexy, is performed to return youthful shape and lift to breasts that have sagged or lost volume and firmness.
Breast lifts rejuvenate the breasts by trimming excess skin and tightening supporting tissues to achieve an uplifted, youthful contour. After a mastopexy, the breasts are higher on the chest and firmer to the touch. Breast lifts can also reposition and reduce the size of the areola-the dark skin surrounding the nipple - which may have stretched or drooped.
Mastopexy is usually performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia and lasts from 1 to 3 hours.
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 best for you.
Large breasts can negatively impact a woman both physically and emotionally, causing symptoms such as chronic back pain, rashes, poor posture, low self-esteem and restricted activity. Many women seek treatment to reduce the painful effects of their large breasts, while also improving their self-confidence and overall quality of life. Also known as reduction mammaplasty, breast reduction surgery reduces the size of large, disproportionate breasts by removing excess fat, tissue and skin for a more desirable appearance and relief of physical and emotional symptoms.
During the breast reduction procedure, the surgeon makes either two circular incisions around the nipple or an anchor incision that circles the nipple and extends down the breast and along the breast crease. Fat and glandular tissue is then removed, while excess skin is tightened to produce a smaller, natural-looking breast. In some cases, the nipple and areola may need to be removed and then repositioned higher on the breast.
Gynecomastia (enlarged male breasts) is a common condition resulting in localized fat and/or glandular tissue in the breasts. Many men are embarrassed by this condition and seek treatment to achieve a smooth, contoured chest through male breast reduction.
Some patients choose to pursue liposuction, surgery or a combination of the two, depending on the amount and type of tissue found in the breasts. If the breasts consist of mostly fatty tissue, liposuction may be used to suction out fat from an incision in the nipple or underarm areas. For breasts with an excessive amount of glandular tissue, excision surgery may be performed, which requires cutting away the excess fat, skin and tissue through a larger incision. This is done as an out-patient procedure.