The breasts are a symbol of femininity, beauty, and a nurturing spirit. Such an empowering feature of a woman’s body need not be any particular size or shape, but only the size and shape that she alone desires.
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Breast augmentation involves placing an implant beneath the breast to restore volume lost to age or after breast feeding, or to provide increased volume for those who simply desire larger breasts. A variety of styles, shapes, projections, and textures of implants are available to help you achieve the look and feel you desire. Breast augmentation often helps women fit better in today’s clothing styles and can provide a renewed self-confidence for women who are self-conscious about their smaller or deflated breasts. The decision to get breast implants is a very personal one, but can be extremely rewarding, and is why breast augmentation remains one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries worldwide.
A breast lift (also called mastopexy) involves removing skin and reshaping the sagging breast into a more youthful contour. This change in position can also be combined with an implant for added volume as well but is often performed as a standalone procedure for women who area happy with their size. This is one of the most common procedures performed in a “mommy makeover” along with abdominoplasty and liposuction.
Although the vast majority of patients who have breast implants are extremely happy, sometimes changes in the body or implant happen that lead to dissatisfaction down the road. This can be shifting or stretching of the implant pocket, tightening of the scar tissue (capsular contracture), implant rupture, or thinning of the breast tissue leading to palpability and rippling. All of these can lead to asymmetries and the effects can sometimes even be painful. Depending on your personal decision, there are options to revise your augmentation, change your implant style, or remove your implants altogether.
Large breasts can have a significant strain on the upper back, neck, and shoulder areas leading to pain, poor posture, and occasionally loss of productivity. Some women even suffer from intertrigo and recurrent infections under the breast. A breast reduction removes skin and breast tissue while helping to lift the nipple back up to its normal position on the breast. This is usually accomplished as an outpatient surgery and can make a significant difference in the quality of life of the person undergoing the reduction. If you meet all the requirements, your insurance may even cover the cost of your surgery.
The 21st century has seen many advances in the battle against breast cancer. This has lead to earlier diagnoses and many more women beating their cancer. The surgical treatment of breast cancer often involves removing some or all of the breast tissue and the nipple which can be very distressing for the patient. Studies prove that breast reconstruction improves the quality of life for women that have undergone mastectomies. There are often multiple options for breast reconstruction including using implants or the patient’s own tissue. One of these options may be preferred depending on what treatments are recommended by your cancer doctor after surgery. The cancer surgery is (and should be) first and foremost, but getting all the options explained to you for reconstruction is very important for your future wellbeing. This was recognized by Congress when they passed the “U.S. Women’s Health and Cancer Right Act,” requiring insurance companies to pay for mastectomy reconstruction.
If nipple sparing breast cancer surgery is not an option, a new nipple can be made after your implant or tissue based reconstruction is complete. This is usually an in-office procedure performed under local anesthesia (the area usually has limited feeling for some time after the reconstruction). A tattoo can also be performed to add color to the nipple and simulate an areola.
When most people hear about removing excess breast tissue, fat, and skin from the breast they automatically think about women. However, gynecomastia is enlargement of the male breast tissue, that commonly occurs in boys during puberty. Not only can gynecomastia have a poor cosmetic appearance, it can cause psychological issues as well. Although this is usually considered a cosmetic procedure, there are some cases in which this procedure might be covered by insurance.