In the beginning, plastic surgery on the breasts was mostly performed for reconstructive purposes. Patients required it after major trauma to the breasts caused by accidents and breast cancer. But nowadays, many of the cosmetic interventions performed on the breasts are for purely aesthetic purposes.
The breasts are one of the most important physical assets of a woman. At the same time, there are many factors that influence the aspect of the breasts, starting with birth and all throughout the woman’s life. These factors are the natural aging process, genetic inheritance, pregnancy and breastfeeding, hormonal and weight fluctuations, to name just a few. As a result, many women are confronted with the sagginess of the breasts and imperfections such as asymmetries and breasts that are too small or too big for the woman’s anatomy. Cosmetic surgery aims to correct these imperfections or improve the aspect of the breasts.
Breast surgery has plenty of advantages but also some disadvantages worth mentioning.
Breast surgery procedures
When it comes to plastic surgery for the breasts, we have different procedures that are recommended for patients confronted with different issues.
- Breast lift surgery
This procedure is often requested by women in their senior years or after having multiple pregnancies. The breasts tend to sag with the passing of time as the skin loses elasticity and tonus. Moreover, the weight fluctuations of the breasts can also cause sagginess. Breasts that are overly large tend to sag earlier in life than small breasts, but there is also the issue of genetics.
The breast lift surgery is performed to elevate breasts that are too low on the chest wall and make their appearance perkier. The procedure entails one and up to three incisions, depending on how severe the sagginess is. Despite the necessity of considerably lengthy scars, the procedure boasts impressive success rates and patients are satisfied with the overall results in a vast majority of cases.
- Breast augmentation surgery
This is one of the most commonly requested and performed plastic surgery interventions in the United States and all over the world. The intervention comes to correct breasts that are too small. Even the breast lift surgery can be performed in association with a breast augmentation to increase the size of the breasts and give them more volume. The breast augmentation can be performed in two ways: either by using breast implants or by means of fat transfer. The breast implants come in different sizes, shapes and surface texture. There is no such thing as customized breasts implants; however, the wide variety of implants and the different surgical methods that can be used ensure for a customized result for each patient undergoing the procedure.
A breast augmentation with implants will leave behind scars either on the areola, the axilla or the inframammary fold. The fat transfer to the breasts is performed after a liposuction on the donor areas. The scars are no longer than 3 to 4 mm, and they also occur on the areas where liposuction is performed. Implants and fat can be combined to achieve a superior result.
- Breast reduction surgery
This procedure is recommended for patients whose extreme breast volume cause back, neck and shoulder pain. If the breasts are overly large compared to the rest of the patient’s anatomy, the repercussions can be experienced on the spine. It is not uncommon for patients with large breasts to have an improper body posture, hence, the necessity to undergo breast surgery to correct this issue.
When the increased size of the breasts is no longer a blessing but a day-to-day struggle, breast reduction surgery can help the patient regain functionality and a more harmonious aspect of the body.
During the breast reduction intervention, the plastic surgeon will remove a part of the mammary gland and also the skin and fat tissue to reduce the volume of the breasts. The amount of tissue to be excised will be determined and discussed during the pre-operative consultation. Breast reduction will leave behind scars, and their placement and length are correlated to the quantity of tissue to be removed.
Advantages of breast surgery
When considering plastic surgery, the patients should have in mind the advantages that they can achieve, such as:
- Permanent results
An increase in the size of the breasts can be achieved with the use of push-up bras, but the results achieved after a breast augmentation are permanent. The same goes for a breast lift and breast reduction. In a matter of a few hours, the patient can have breasts with the size and the shape she desires. This is not possible in any other way.
- Beautiful breasts at any age
Perky, full breasts are considered a sign of youth, but with the help of plastic surgery, they can be maintained or achieved at any age. One of the advantages of getting plastic surgery is having breasts that look younger in your 50s or after having multiple pregnancies. There is no maximum age to undergo breast surgery; the only limitation comes with the health condition of the patient.
- Relief from emotional or physical discomfort
As the breasts are a sign of femininity, having underdeveloped breasts can be quite traumatic for some women. The development of the breasts should be completed by the time the woman is 18 years old. This means that after this age, the patient can get breast surgery to get rid of emotional complexes. In the case of breast augmentation with silicone implants, the age is of 22 years old, as per FDA’s recommendations.
Physical discomfort is a real thing for women with overly large breasts. They often limit their physical activities to a minimum as the large volume of the breasts make things difficult for them. Also, women with overly large breasts can experience difficulty in breathing. Breast reduction surgery will provide relief from both emotional and physical discomfort.
- Impressive results achieved in a matter of hours
Trying to improve the appearance of the breasts using other methods such as diet, exercise, creams, or pills will turn out to be a big disappointment and often a waste of money and time. Plastic surgery delivers fast and impressive results that last. Breast procedures often take no longer than one or two hours to be performed. Naturally, the recovery period will require you to take about a week or two off work. But in most cases, the patient can see the initial results immediately after the surgery with the final results to be assessed in a year’s time.
Disadvantages of breast surgery
Even though cosmetic surgery is constantly modernizing and the techniques currently used incorporate the latest research findings, it is not yet completely free from risks and possible complications. Moreover, the rules of professional ethics oblige surgeons to inform the patients of possible side effects that could be experienced after the procedure, although they are minimal.
When discussing the disadvantages of breast surgery, we need to mention the scars. Your dream breasts come at a price, and this is paid through scars. The length and visibility of the scars after the first year depend on the plastic surgeon’s skill, but also your tendency to develop beautiful scars or abnormal ones.
Then, there are the risks and complications we already mentioned. No matter how experienced the plastic surgeon is, these risks can’t be completely eliminated. These include infections, seroma, and hematoma, delayed wound healing, and even capsular contracture in the case of using breast implants. However, you should keep in mind that these risks are much reduced today compared to how it was years ago and the incidence rate is quite small.
Aside from the risks, there is also the chance of achieving unsatisfactory results after the procedure. Plastic surgery is about aesthetics, and the aesthetic sense is different for each and every one of us. What one patient might consider the dream breasts can be unsatisfactory for another.
Breast surgery allows reshaping of the breasts that are too small, too big or affected by imperfections or asymmetries. In women, breast surgery is performed to correct hypoplasia, hypertrophy or ptosis. Hence we have three main types of interventions: breast augmentation, reduction and lift. They each come associated with certain advantages and what could be considered turn-offs for some patients.