Breast augmentation enhances breast size and shape and is appropriate if one desires to enhance the size of small or asymmetrical breasts, or to restore volume and lift to the breasts after weight loss or pregnancy.
There are several different breast augmentation procedures and different types of implants including saline and gel. At your initial consultation our doctors will discuss your breast augmentation desires in depth with you and will explain the advantages and disadvantages of each of your cosmetic options.
A breast lift, also known as mastopexy, surgically lifts and reshapes the breast in order to look more youthful, shapely and firm. A breast lift results in more youthful looking breasts and may restore the shape of flat or pendulous breasts after weight loss or pregnancy. Sometimes the areola becomes enlarged over time, and a breast lift will reduce this as well. A breast lift can rejuvenate your figure with a breast profile that is youthful and uplifted.
Breast repair surgically improves a previous breast procedure. The reasons for which you may desire or have a breast repair recommended include:
- Outcomes of prior procedures did not meet your expectations.
- Complications have arisen such as excess scar tissue (capsular contracture), rippling, a double bubble (breast tissue is sagging around the implant), bottoming out of an implant, or malposition of implants such as too far apart, too high, too low, or too close together (symmastia).
- Your body has changed and you desire changes in shape, size or appearance of breasts.
Male breast reduction, also known as correction of gynecomastia, surgically reduces the size of the male breast. Male breast reduction can achieve a firmer, flatter more masculine chest by reducing unwanted fat and excess glandular tissue that contribute to an enlarged male breast.
Nipple correction surgically improves the size, shape or projection of the nipple whether the result of the natural appearance or due to changes resulting from pregnancy or aging.
When a woman discovers she has breast cancer there are so many emotions to overcome, information to research and decisions to make that it can become overwhelming. It is important that each woman gain as much knowledge about the treatments, surgical interventions and reconstruction options available.
The number of women on the Eastern Shore opting for breast reconstruction has risen steadily over the past few years. The reasons for this increase are varied but they are directly related to the collective efforts of the entire breast cancer team. The breast cancer political lobby succeeded in passing a federal law which mandates all insurance carriers cover both reconstruction of the affected breast, as well as, the other breast in an effort to achieve symmetry. Plastic surgeons have contributed by refining their techniques and dramatically improving the quality of the reconstruction. In addition the general surgeons have been instrumental in providing access and information regarding treatment options to all newly diagnosed breast cancer patients.
Any woman with a diagnosis of breast cancer that is medically cleared for surgery is a candidate for breast reconstruction. While most reconstruction involves recently diagnosed women who are undergoing a mastectomy, they are not the only ones. Women who have had a lumpectomy and radiation in the past are eligible today. If they are unhappy with the appearance of the breast related to their previous treatment there are options available to correct this.
Breast reconstruction involves two basic types of techniques. One approach involves replacing the breast with a saline implant. In order to make up for the loss of skin during the mastectomy a two step process is utilized called tissue expansion. First a special expander is placed under the skin and pectoralis muscles. Then slowly, over a period of weeks, this implant is filled with salt water (saline) until the desired size is obtained. The expanding device is then replaced with a softer, permanent implant. These implants are identical to the ones used in breast enhancement surgery.
The second technique involves using skin from somewhere else on the body to replace tissue lost in the mastectomy. This approach is called a TRAM flap in which skin from the lower abdominal area or occasionally from the back is transferred to the chest. A procedure similar to a tummy tuck is performed and instead of discarding the additional tissue, it is rotated in the chest area to take the place of the breast.
When is the best time for breast reconstruction? There are two timing options available, immediate and delayed. Immediate involves reconstructing the breast or at least starting the process at the time of the mastectomy. Delayed reconstruction could be six months or six years after the mastectomy or lumpectomy depending on the personal choice of the patient.
There are as many different reasons for undergoing breast reconstruction as there are different women being diagnosed with breast cancer. It is a personal decision unique to that individual. The basic goal however is to restore both form and function.
Women sometimes develop breasts that are uncomfortably large, or too large in proportion to the rest of their bodies. Heavy breasts can cause neck and back strain and emotional discomfort. In a breast reduction, also known as reduction mammoplasty, excess skin and breast tissue are removed, providing smaller, firmer breasts. A contour that more closely matches your body type can be achieved.