The Different Kinds of Breast Surgery

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When women think of cosmetic breast surgery, breast augmentation immediately comes to mind. However, there are many different types of breast surgery, each suited to correcting a specific issue. By consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon, you will be able to find out exactly which surgery, or combination of surgeries, will give you the results you desire. Here’s a rundown of the most common cosmetic breast surgeries and the problems they address:

Breast Augmentation with Implants – A breast augmentation with breast implants is a surgery that increases the breast size and improves the breast shape. This procedure is ideal for those seeking a larger bust but who do not have significant breast droop or ptosis. At Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery, we utilize VECTRA 3D Imaging, which allows patients to “try on” different sizes of implants BEFORE surgery, so that a patient is able to choose the implant size that will give her the look she wants.

Breast Lift or Mastopexy – Many women find that after breastfeeding or weight loss, their breasts are drooping. A breast lift, also called a mastopexy, restores the shape and position of sagging breasts. During a breast lift, the nipples are re-positioned and excess skin is removed. However, a breast lift does not increase breast volume. Women who want to increase their breast size and have drooping breasts will benefit from a breast lift with augmentation.

Breast Lift with Augmentation Using Implants – A breast augmentation with mastopexy (lift) is one of the most common breast surgery combinations. Together, these procedures restore the shape and volume of the breasts.

Breast Augmentation by Fat Transfer – A breast augmentation can also be performed via fat transfer. While this results in a modest increase in breast volume (usually one-to-two cup sizes) this is an option for women who don’t want to use breast implants to increase breast volume. Fat is removed from the patient’s body using liposuction. The area/areas treated by liposuction depend on the individual patient’s body shape. The usual donor sites are the thighs, hips and/or abdomen. The fat is collected through liposuction, “cleaned” in a special process and then carefully injected into the breast area. Once the injected fat establishes a blood supply, it is permanent and will act like fat in any other area of the body, meaning it will expand or shrink based on a patient’s weight fluctuations. About 60% of the fat volume survives over time. It could take more than one surgery to achieve the desired results.

Breast Reduction – Some women find that their breasts are too large. Excessively large breasts can cause many health issues for women, including back and shoulder pain. Some insurance companies will cover breast reduction surgery. A breast reduction removes excess breast tissue and lifts the breasts to the appropriate position on the body. Women that have breast reductions rate the surgery as “life changing”. By reducing the breasts to a size that is proportionate to her body, a patient is able to buy clothing that fits without alterations, participate in sports and activities, and live without back pain.

Websites are a tremendous source of information but the only way to determine the best breast surgery or surgeries for you is to schedule a personal consultation with one of our award-winning, board-certified plastic surgeons at Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery, Dr. Peter Butler, Dr. Jocelyn Leveque and Dr. Nathan Patterson.


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