Last updated date: 14-Jun-2023
Originally Written in English
Having gorgeous and beautiful breasts is not always about having large or small breasts. Instead, it’s all about the overall shape of the breast and the proportion. Unfortunately, not all women are lucky enough to have proportional breasts. In such situations, mammaplasty is the best corrective approach to consider.
Mammaplasty, also known as mammoplasty, is a procedure to modify the appearance and shape of the breast. Depending on your objectives and requirements, mammaplasty can be done to change the initial form and texture of the breast. Alternatively, it can aim at increasing or reducing the breast size.
Types of Mammaplasty Procedure
There are two main types of mammaplasty that aim at modifying the shape and size of the breast. They include;
- Breast augmentation (augmentation mammaplasty)
Breast augmentation is a surgical approach to increase the size of the breast, change the shape or contour and texture. Usually, women opt for breast augmentation due to various reasons. While some feel that their breasts are relatively small, others consider the procedure due to breast changes following pregnancy. On the other hand, others opt for breast augmentation to correct or modify asymmetry in the size of the breast.
Augmentation mammaplasty involves placing implants beneath or over the muscle of the chest. This is done through an incision made on the armpit (axilla), lower breast fold, or areola. The breast implants are made of a silicone shell filled with silicone gel or salt water solution (saline).
Overall, breast augmentation is a minimally invasive type of procedure that involves creating incisions of three centimeters in length. When it comes to performing the surgery via the incisions made on the armpits, the surgeon can use an endoscope. An endoscope is a small tube attached to a camera and a light source at the tip.
- Reduction mammaplasty
Reduction mammaplasty is suitable for women with big and heavy breasts that cause significant discomfort. It can be back pain, neck pain, numbness, and overall body weakness as a result of excessive breast weight. Therefore, the procedure involves the removal of excess breast skin, tissue, and fat.
Although reduction mammaplasty is an effective procedure, it can sometimes affect breast nerves. This could result in breast sensation changes and breastfeeding problems. As such, you should consider postponing the operation, especially if you want to have children.
Other types of mammaplasty procedure include the following;
- Breast Reconstruction
This procedure is mainly designed for women who have undergone a mastectomy. This is a surgical treatment to address breast cancer. Breast reconstruction aims at reconstructing the breast according to the desired volume, contour, and overall appearance. It also involves the reconstruction of the areola and nipple.
However, the normal breast functionality and sensation cannot be reconstructed as with nursing. This is especially when the milk glands or the sensory nerves and ducts have been extracted or significantly damaged.
The surgeon can either use implants or the patient’s tissue to modify the volume, contour, and overall appearance during the procedure. When using an implant, the surgeon will resize it such that it matches the other breast. If possible, the implant can be inserted under the muscle of the chest. The breast can also be reconstructed using the patient’s tissue or sometimes a section of the lower abdomen wall. Alternatively, the surgeon can use back muscle or fat and skin muscle extracted from the buttock.
Regardless of the time you’ve had a mastectomy, breast reconstruction surgery can be performed at any time. Besides, the operation doesn’t carry any effect regarding the return of cancer nor the surveillance of the condition.
- Breast lifts (mastopexy)
For some women, the breast skin is not sturdy or robust enough to withstand the breast weight. This makes the breasts to sag, a condition known as breast ptosis. This occurs due to the presence of excess skin relative to the breast tissue. Breast lift thus involves the adjustment of excess skin by raising the breast.
Basically, breast lifts involve three main procedures, including;
- Wise pattern: Involves creating an incision in an anchor shape around the chest cavity and downwards.
- Donut or peri-areolar: Involves making an incision around the areola region only
- LeJeour: Involves making an incision around the areola downwards
What to Expect from Mammaplasty Procedure
Before undergoing augmentation mammaplasty, breast reduction, or reconstruction procedure, the surgeon will first conduct the following;
- Measuring the breast size: This helps determine the amount of breast tissue to remove or the implant size to insert in the breast.
- Taking pictures: This is done to record the initial size of the breasts before the procedure and after the surgery.
The duration of the mammaplasty procedure usually varies depending on the type of surgery. For instance, reduction mammaplasty usually takes approximately 3 to 5 hours.
Generally, mammaplasty or breast surgical procedures tend to be quite complex. It also involves varying methods based on the patient’s objectives and needs. When undergoing a breast augmentation procedure, you should expect the following;
Administration of anesthesia: Depending on the degree of the surgery, the surgeon can use general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. This is to make you unconscious and prevent you from experiencing any pain during the procedure.
Creation of the incision: The exact location of the incision usually depends on the breast implant, the size, and the recommendation of the surgeon. For instance, the incision can be created alongside the areola, armpit, or the fold beneath the breast.
Insertion and placement of the implant: When it comes to implant placement, the surgeon will first discuss with you the available options. They will also help you choose a suitable one according to your overall goals. They can either insert the implant beneath the pectoral muscle or directly behind the breast tissues located above the pectoral muscle.
Closure of the incisions: After the procedure, the surgeon can close the incision wound with layered sutures in the breast tissues. On the other hand, skin adhesive (glue) or surgical tape can be used to connect the breast skin.
Results: Immediately the anesthesia wears off, and you wake, you will notice the outcome of the mammaplasty procedure. In short, the results of this operation are immediate.
During reduction mammaplasty or breast reduction surgery, you should expect the following;
Administration of anesthesia: In most cases, the surgeon will administer general anesthesia since breast reduction surgery is a major operation. Thus, the anesthesia will make you unconscious during the entire procedure and prevent you from experiencing pain or discomfort.
Creation of incision: In this procedure, the surgeon will create incisions around the nipple and downwards under the chest.
Extraction: Basically, reduction mammaplasty aims at reducing the size and structure of the breast. Therefore, the surgeon will remove extra tissue, fat, and skin from the breast through the incision.
Relocation: Once the extra skin, fat, or tissue is taken out, the surgeon will relocate the nipple to a more suitable location.
Closure of the incision: If necessary, the surgeon can install a drainage tube in the surgical or incision areas. Also, dressing is essential to facilitate healing and prevent infections on the wound.
The recovery duration of a mammaplasty procedure usually varies from one person to another, depending on the type of breast surgery. But generally, it can range from one week to five weeks or sometimes longer.
If you are undergoing augmentation mammaplasty or breast reduction, then you can resume work or daily activities after a week. On the other hand, breast reconstruction, especially after mastectomy, might take an extended period of four or more weeks.
During the recovery period, you are likely to experience soreness and pain around the breast for the first few days. While this can vary, it’s essential to talk about the recovery process with the medical provider before undergoing the procedure.
Risks of Mammaplasty Procedure
As with any other surgery, mammaplasty also carries several risks of complications depending on the type of operation. Therefore, some of the possible dangers that might arise during or after the procedure include;
- Bleeding on the surgical site
- Negative reaction to anesthesia
- Infection on the surgical wound
- Changes in the breast or nipple sensation
- Pain around the breast
- Rupture or leakage of the implant
- The need for a revision surgery
If you are undergoing an augmentation mammoplasty procedure, you should note that breast implants can sometimes hinder cancer detection. Besides, breast cancer is a chronic health condition that might result in serious complications if not diagnosed sooner. You should also note that sometimes, the breast implants are no permanent. Hence, another surgical procedure might be necessary to maintain the desired breast shape and size. Lastly, life aspects such as pregnancy, menopause, and weight loss can as well alter the shape of the breasts.
Mammaplasty is a surgical procedure that aims at modifying the breasts due to various reasons. Some people opt for surgery for cosmetic reasons like breast reconstruction to make them look youthful and larger. However, others such as breast reduction are done due to medical reasons, including relieving back pain.
For the best successful mammaplasty procedure, you can always consider the CloudHospital medical platform. Here, you will get a chance to receive surgical treatment from skilled and reliable surgeons, depending on the overall goals you want to achieve.