Cosmetic breast surgery
Breast enhancement or augmentation is one of the most frequently performed cosmetic procedures in the United States today. It can dramatically improve the appearance of a woman's breasts. Our doctor performs breast surgery for patients in our region to enlarge small breasts, underdeveloped breasts, or breasts that have decreased in size after a woman has had children.
For many women, the size, shape, or contour of their breasts do not fit their self image. Our doctor also performs a remarkable procedure called a breast lift, or mastopexy, to elevate and reshape the breast providing a youthful appearance. A breast lift is often performed in conjunction with breast augmentation.
For others, large, sagging or uneven breasts are the source of their dissatisfaction. Some experience pain from the sheer weight of their breasts, while others find their physical activities restricted or have difficulty finding clothes that fit properly. For these women, our doctor performs a breast reduction or reduction mammoplasty.
Is breast surgery for you?
During your conference with Dr. Ward, discuss your goals and expectations of the surgery. Your surgeon will assess the nature of your breasts, your expectations, and explain the probable outcome of your procedure.
You will be shown several before and after treatment photographs of patients having similar breasts, and your surgeon will explain the treatment you can expect to receive. Often a mammography (X-Ray) will be required.
Breast augmentation and breast lift are performed on an outpatient basis using a general or local anesthesia. Breast reduction procedures are usually performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia.
Breast augmentation usually takes about 2 hours. One of the more frequent techniques used requires an incision under the lower portion of the breast near the chest wall or under the lower portion of the areola (the darker area around your nipple). A less frequently used incision site is the armpit. After the incision is made, a pocket is created in the breast tissue or beneath the chest wall muscle. The implant is securely positioned in the pocket, and small sutures are used to close the incision. When inflatable implants are used, your surgeon can adjust the amount of inflation.
Some of the new, inflatable, saline-filled implants make it possible to insert the implant using a tiny instrument called an endoscope through a single, small incision.
A breast lift may take 2 hours depending on the complexity. One of the more frequent methods utilizes three incisions: one on each side of the breast which connect to a keyhole-shaped incision above the nipple. Working through the incisions, excess skin is removed from the lower portion of the breast. The breast tissue is lifted into the higher position, and the nipple placed in the keyhole incision. Sutures are used to connect the skin on both sides of the breast and around the nipple.
A breast reduction can take from 3 - 4 hours depending on its complexity. Frequently, incisions are placed on each side of the breast which connect to a keyhole-shaped incision above the nipple. Working through the incisions, excess skin, fat and tissue are removed from the breast. The breast and the nipple are relocated in the keyhole incision. Sutures are used to connect the skin on both sides of the breast and around the nipple. When breasts are extremely large, the nipple may be completely detached and relocated after excess tissue is removed.
What is recovery from breast surgery like?
For the first few days after our doctor performs breast surgery, you will wear surgical dressings or a special post-surgical garment. A post-surgical bra is usually worn for several weeks. Most discomfort associated with breast surgery can be controlled with oral medication prescribed by your surgeon. Antibiotics may also be prescribed. Most women experience some degree of swelling, bruising and tenderness. These symptoms should subside in a short time. All sutures are removed within 1 - 2 weeks. Dr. Ward will advise you on a proper schedule for returning to your normal activities. Most patients are back to work within the first week. Recovery takes a little longer for patients undergoing breast reduction surgery.
Following your cosmetic breast surgery, you will enjoy a new, more pleasing shape, with more comfortable breasts that are in better proportion to your physique.