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Breast Surgery Procedures - Augmentation, Lift, Reduction

Oct 30, 2007
Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure to enhance the size and shape of a woman's breasts. Some candidates may feel that their breast size is too small. Breast augmentation is also a procedure to restore the volume of a woman's breasts following pregnancy.

Breast augmentation can also be performed to correct for differences in a woman's right and left breast size. Some patients have different surgical goals for example, a more natural breast shape in proportion to a woman's figure. Others prefer a more rounded shape in the upper pole of their breast somewhat larger than their proportionate figure.

These goals can be achieved by using larger or smaller saline breast implants, and by adjusting the fill volume for each of the implants. In the breast augmentation procedure, short incisions are placed in the inframammary fold, around the lower portion of the areola (pigmented portion of the nipple) or through the axilla.

Breast lift surgery restores a more youthful appearance to a woman's breasts. Over years breasts can lose their shape and firmness due to weight changes, pregnancy, and nursing with loss of skin elasticity causing them to sag. A mastopexy or breast lift, will raise and reshape the breasts slowing the effects of aging and gravity.

This procedure can also reduce the size of the areola, the darker pigmented skin around the nipple. Mastopexies are commonly performed in conjunction with breast augmentation to increase superior pole fullness, breast firmness, and size. This may appeal to a woman who has lost breast volume after pregnancy.

Incisions are placed around the areola in an effort to slide it into its proper position followed by removal of excess sagging breast tissue and skin. Sometimes the incision may be limited to just around the areola. Other times it may involve an incision in the shape of an upside down T or anchor extending from the areola down the center portion of the breast and then into the inframammary fold. The amount of incisions are determined by the amount of lifting that is required.

Patients who undergo breast reduction surgery frequently are seeking relief from physical symptoms caused by the excessive weight of large breasts. Breast reduction usually can solve these problems as well as improve the size and shape of your breasts. Following breast reduction, your breasts will be more proportional to the rest of your body, and clothes will fit you better.

Am I a good candidate for breast reduction? You may be a good candidate for breast reduction if you have one or more of the following conditions:

Breasts that are too large in proportion to your body frame. Heavy, pendulous breasts with nipples and areolas that point downward. One breast is much larger than the other. Back, neck or shoulder pain caused by the weight of your breasts. Skin irritation beneath your breasts. Indentations in your shoulders from tight bra straps. Restriction of physical activity due to the size and weight of your breasts.
Dissatisfaction or self-consciousness about the largeness of your breasts.

Breast reduction can be performed at any age, but plastic surgeons usually recommend waiting until breast development has stopped. Childbirth and breast-feeding may have significant and unpredictable effects on the size and shape of your breasts. Nevertheless, many women decide to undergo breast reduction before having children and feel that they can address any subsequent changes later. If you plan to breast-feed in the future, you should discuss this with your plastic surgeon.
About the Author
Dave Stringham is the President of LookingYourBest.com an online resource for plastic surgery procedures. Learn more about breast augmentation and other plastic surgery procedures.
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