Breast Surgery Types: What Cosmetic Breast Surgery Should I Choose?

Breast Surgery Types by Dr Shahram Salemy in Seattle

Breast plastic surgery is by far the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure women around the world. According to the latest facts and figures from the ASPS 2020 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report, breast augmentation, revision and lifting were the top three plastic surgery procedures that year. This was closely followed by breast reductions for both men and women.

There are many different types of plastic breast surgeries available today, which can be confusing for patients who want to find out more about the procedures. Below is a simple guide to understanding which breast surgery will suit you best.

What is Cosmetic Breast Surgery?

Cosmetic breast surgery refers to breast augmentation, mastopexy or breast lift, fat transfer to the breasts and breast reduction procedures that can be performed by a plastic surgeon to alter the shape, size, and projection of breasts.

Why Do People Get Breast Surgery?

Women may choose to get breast procedures performed for a variety of reasons. In many cases, the patient is unhappy with their breast size, shape or silhouette and wishes to make adjustments so the appearance of their breasts that align with their aesthetic tastes.

There are also medical reasons to opt for surgery, such as reconstruction after mastectomy and breast reduction for a better quality of life.

What Types of Different Surgery Are Commonly Done for Breasts?

There are several types of breast procedures, and the right one depends on the shape and health of your body as well as your aesthetic and other goals.

Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation is the most popular type of breast surgery. It can be done with fat grafts from other areas of the body, but breast augmentation is most commonly achieved with artificial breast implants.

These breast implants can be made from saline, a sterile saltwater solution that can be safely absorbed by the body, or medical-grade silicone gel. Both can offer a natural feel and are FDA-approved.

Both silicone and saline breast implants come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and projections, all of which create unique breast profiles. Round and teardrop are the two most common implant shapes, but it’s important to discuss all options with your breast augmentation surgeon to decide what will help you look your best.

Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

A breast lift involves simply raising sagging breasts to restore a firmer, more pronounced contour. This is done by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to create a more youthful, flattering contour.

Breast Augmentation with Lift

Many patients choose to combine a breast lift with breast augmentation for a complete rejuvenation. This procedure involves lifting and firming the natural breast contour while also receiving breast implants to alter the shape and size of the breasts.

Breast Revision Surgery

In some cases, patients are unhappy with the results of a previous breast augmentation procedure. Most often, the goal of breast revision is to update old implants with new ones.

This surgery can also change or improve the appearance of the breasts during the replacement procedure. Patients can opt for larger, smaller, or differently shaped implants at this time to alter how their breasts look, or in rare cases, even removal of the implant altogether.

Breast Reduction

Disproportionately large breasts can cause medical and mental health issues for women, so breast reduction is used to remove excess fat, skin, and tissue to create a more proportionate, comfortable body shape. If needed, the plastic surgeon may also alter, lift, or replace the nipple and areola as well to better fit a patient’s new breasts.

Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia)

Male breast reduction is used to flatten the chest and create a more traditionally masculine chest contour. Often, excess breast tissue can cause noticeably enlarged or sagging breasts, which is undesirable for many men. This surgery removes the excess tissue via liposuction, excision, or both, depending on the types of tissue present. Seattle Breast Surgery Types

How Do I Know Which Procedure Is Right for Me?

While it’s helpful to do basic research online to understand your options, the best way to determine which procedure is right for you is to schedule a consultation with a qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon. They will be able to assess your unique body type, medical history and aesthetic goals and recommend the surgery that will best achieve those goals.

How Are Breast Procedures Done?

For breast implants, an incision is made either in the armpit, areola or under the breast. The implant is then placed either over or under the muscle to achieve the desired effect.

Breast reduction incisions are typically made around the areola, vertically toward the breast crease and in the fold of the breast so the surgeon can easily remove excess fat, skin and tissue. Afterward, the remaining tissue is lifted and shaped into smaller breasts.

These breast surgeries take place either at the surgical center or at a hospital, and the majority of patients are under general anesthesia during the surgical procedure.

How Long Does Breast Surgery Take?

Breast reduction, lift, revision, and augmentation are considered outpatient procedures, so you can expect to go home the same day. These procedures generally last 1-3 hours. Your plastic surgeon will advise you about your specific case during the consultation.

How Long Does Surgery Last?

For breast implants, the average results last anywhere from 10-20 years, but this varies widely and is something to discuss with your surgeon.

Breast lifts and reductions are generally considered permanent. Serious weight fluctuations, hormonal shifts, pregnancy, and deviation from your post-procedure care plan can affect your overall results.

Are Breast Procedures Safe?

All surgeries are invasive procedures, which means there are inherent risks. However, breast procedures are generally considered safe and effective when performed by a qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon.

How Do I Choose the Right Plastic Surgeon?

Choosing the right plastic surgeon is a combination of personal preference and appropriate qualifications. All potential surgeons should be ABMS board-certified and extensively experienced with performing breast plastic surgery specifically. This will ensure that you get the best, highest-quality care through every step of the procedure.

It’s also important to choose a surgeon whose style aligns with your cosmetic goals as these procedures can involve a certain amount of artistry and you may notice that different surgeons have a recognizable “style.” It’s best to look at patient galleries to see if the surgeon has experience achieving the results you want with “before” bodies that look like yours.

Finally, pay attention to how you feel during each consultation. Achieving a good rapport, comfort level and trust with your Surgeon can help make for a much more successful process.

Get More Than a New Look

Whether you want fuller breasts, a more proportionate silhouette or a more youthful aesthetic figure, cosmetic surgery can be an excellent option for achieving your personal goals.

Plastic surgery patients often feel happier and more confident post-procedure, which can improve every aspect of their lives.