The most frequently performed cosmetic surgery procedure in the U.S., Breast Augmentation 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 or weight loss. The procedure may be combined with others such as a breast lift for more satisfying results. There are several choices in the location of the incision for breast augmentation. The underarm (axillary) incision, which Dr. Downey prefers, gives the most inconspicuous scar with no markings on the breasts.
Implants are silicone shells filled with saline (salt water) and 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 as an outpatient. After surgery the patient’s bustline may be increased by one or more cup sizes.
A Breast Lift, or Mastopexy, is performed to return youthful shape and lift to breasts that have sagged as a result of weight loss, pregnancy, loss of the skin’s natural elasticity or simply the effects of gravity. The procedure can also reduce areola size (the dark skin surrounding the nipple), and can be combined with breast augmentation for added volume and firmness. More recent technique used by Dr. Kim results in a shorter scar. Mastopexy is performed in an outpatient surgery center. It is usually done under general anesthesia, and lasts from two to three hours.
Large breasts can result in self-consciousness, improper posture, pain in the back and neck, indentations from bra straps, skin rashes, and skeletal deformities. Breast reduction surgery is usually done to provide physical relief from these symptoms. Performed under general anesthesia, the procedure removes fat and glandular tissue, and trims excess skin to produce smaller, lighter breasts that are in a healthier proportion to the rest of the body. Since breast feeding and pregnancies exaggerate the large breasts, Breast Reduction Surgery is not recommended for women who intend to have more children. The total length of the scar has become much shorter thanks to the new techniques. Breast reduction surgery requires about three to four hours of general anesthesia as an outpatient.