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Many women today decide to have some form of breast surgery. Some women want to balance their figure by increasing or reducing the size of their breasts, by way of breast augmentation or reduction. Others want to restore the look they had before having children, which may involve a breast lift. Everyone is different, and there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Whatever your reason, Dr. Warnock will counsel you on the best procedure or combination of procedures to help address your concerns.
Breast Augmentation is a surgical procedure to increase the size and/or alter the shape of a woman’s breasts through the use of an artificial implant. Women may choose to have this operation either as a reconstructive technique following breast surgery, to balance different sized breasts, or to enhance the contours of the body. Whatever the specific purpose, women who undergo breast augmentation can expect larger, firmer, and more visually satisfying breasts.
The breast augmentation surgery begins with an incision, made either in the crease of the breast, the armpit, or the perimeter of the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple). The placement of the incision will vary according to body type and the specifics of each procedure. The surgeon enters through the incision and creates a pocket; either underneath the breast tissue or under the chest wall muscle. The implant is placed in either location, centered directly behind the nipple. Finally, the original incision is sutured.
Once the incisions have been closed and taped, the breasts are wrapped and supported by a bandage. Patients are fitted with a surgical bra or support strap that provides support for up to several weeks. Fatigue, soreness, and discomfort are postoperative conditions that are greatly reduced through medication. Swelling gradually subsides and becomes undetectable in a month’s time. Stitches are removed within seven to ten days.
As with any surgical procedure, complications- although rare, do exist. The biggest fear is a leak in the surgical implant. The FDA currently prohibits the use of silicone filled implants for women under the age of 22. Capsular contraction (a tightening of the scar or capsule surrounding the implant) can occur following a breast augmentation procedure. If this happens, the surgeon either “scores” the scar tissue, or removes the implant and re-inserts another. Other complications include excessive bleeding and infection in the area surrounding the implant. Scars may be evident for several months, but gradually fade. In some cases, the nipples may become hypersensitive or under sensitive for a period after the surgery. In rare instances, the breasts may produce milk for several days after the surgery. To maximize the success of surgery and minimize the risk of complication, always follow your doctor’s instructions for surgical preparation and postoperative care. Schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Warnock to discuss these issues and any other questions you may have about breast augmentation.
Breast ReductionBreast reduction, or reduction mammoplasty, is designed for women who experience medical problems and discomfort due to excessively large breasts. Problems may include back and neck pain, skin irritation, skeletal deformities, and breathing problems. Although the procedure is typically used to alleviate medical problems, it can also help women who feel self-conscious about the size of their breasts.
The most common procedure involves the surgeon making an anchor-shaped incision around the dark area of the nipple (areola). This incision is then extended downward, following the natural curve of the crease beneath the breast. The surgeon removes excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin, and adjusts the nipple to its new position. The skin from each side is pulled down and around the areola, thereby reshaping the breast. The surgeon then stitches the incision, always aiming for the least amount of scarring. In certain cases, the vertical part of the scar can be eliminated. It should be noted that smoking prior to or following surgery increases the visibility of scarring. Stitches are usually removed in one to three week’s time. A breast reduction is performed in a hospital, usually requiring a two to three day stay. The procedure itself takes between two and four hours and is done under a general anesthetic.
Once the surgery is complete, an elastic bandage or surgical bra wraps the breasts to provide comfort and support. The bandage is removed within a few days while the surgical bra stays on until the bruising and swelling subsides (up to several weeks). A small tube may be placed in each breast to drain excessive fluids. Patients may experience minor pain in the days following the surgery, although this subsides in seven to ten days. Most women can return to work after two weeks.
As with any cosmetic surgical procedure, complications are rare, but can include bleeding, infection, a reaction to the anesthesia, and small sores around the nipple (usually immediately following the surgery). Some women temporarily lose feeling in their nipples, a condition that almost always fades over time. Patients may also experience some discomfort in the breast area for up to a year. Occasionally, the surgery removes milk ducts leading to the nipples, impairing a woman’s breast-feeding ability. To maximize the success of surgery and to minimize the risk of complication, always follow doctors’ instructions for surgical preparation and postoperative care.
Breast lift surgery, or mastopexy is a surgical procedure that raises and firms the breasts to a more youthful shape and position. This is done by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to support the new shape and contour of your breasts. It is also possible to reduce the size of the areola (the darker skin surrounding your nipple) at the time of your mastopexy. A breast lift won’t significantly change the size of your breasts or the upper fullness . If you desire a fuller more rounded upper appearance of your breasts, consider inserting breast implants during your breast lift. This will help with size, firmness, and a more rounded appearance.
Weight gain, weight loss, pregnancy, age, and genetics are all factors that can affect ptosis (sagging) of the breasts. Women seek mastopexy for many different reasons, but whatever the specific reason, women can expect perkier breasts that are lifted without the constant use of a support bra.
Before your surgery, you and your surgeon will decide which breast lift is appropriate for you. The three common incisions are: 1)around the areola, 2)around the areola and vertically down from the areola to the crease of the breast, 3)around the areola with a vertical incision from the areola to the crease of the breast and a horizontal incision at the breast crease.
Once the incisions are made, the breast tissue can be reshaped, excess skin removed and surrounding skin tightened. Closure with dissolvable sutures in a subcuticular technique follows. Incision lines made during your surgery are permanent and will leave permanent scars. These scars will fade and improve over time.
After surgery, your incisions will be taped and you will be fitted with a compression bra and an elastic support strap that will provide support for several weeks. Your breast will probably be bruised, with some swelling. Pain medication will be prescribed by your surgeon to help relieve any discomfort. Within a month’s time, a noticeable new shape and position to your breasts will be visible and more aesthetically appealing.
As with any surgical procedure, complications, although rare, do exist. Some of these include: Bleeding, infection, poor healing of incisions, and blood clots. Be sure to talk to your surgeon about these and other risks. It is important that you follow your surgeons pre and post operative instructions to optimize your healing and recovery.