Surgery of the Breast
Women may decide to undergo plastic surgery to enlarge or reduce their breasts, to achieve a balance in size or shape for their breasts, or to reconstruct one or both breasts after mastectomy. Whatever the motivation, breast surgery is safer and easier now than ever before. Please review the list of services we provide to help you make an informed decision and achieve the most satisfying results.
Breast augmentation is one of the most frequently performed cosmetic surgery procedures in the U.S. It can give women with small or unevenly-sized breasts a fuller, firmer, better-proportioned look through the placement of implants in the breast. Women may elect to undergo breast augmentation for many different medical and aesthetic motivations, including balancing breast size and compensating for reduced breast mass after pregnancy or surgery. The procedure may be combined with others such as a breast lift for more satisfying results.
Breast implants are silicone shells filled with either saline (salt water) or silicone gel (recently approved by the FDA). They are placed behind each breast, underneath either breast tissue or the chest wall muscle. The procedure lasts one to two hours and is typically performed with general anesthesia. After surgery the patient’s bustline may be increased by one or more cup sizes.
Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
A woman’s breasts may droop as a result of the natural effects of aging, heredity, gravity, pregnancy, breastfeeding, or weight loss. A breast lift, also called a mastopexy, is performed to return youthful shape and lift to breasts that have sagged or lost volume and firmness.
Breast lifts rejuvenate the breasts by trimming excess skin and tightening supporting tissues to achieve an uplifted, youthful contour. After a mastopexy, the breasts are higher on the chest and firmer to the touch. Breast lifts can also reposition and reduce the size of the areola-the dark skin surrounding the nipple – which may have stretched or drooped.
Mastopexy is usually performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia and lasts from 1 to 3 hours. Most patients are immediately satisfied with their new breasts and can typically return to work one to two weeks following the procedure.
Large breasts can negatively impact a woman both physically and emotionally, causing symptoms such as chronic back pain, rashes, poor posture, low self-esteem and restricted activity. Many women seek treatment to reduce the painful effects of their large breasts, while also improving their self-confidence and overall quality of life. Also known as reduction mammaplasty, breast reduction surgery reduces the size of large, disproportionate breasts by removing excess fat, tissue and skin for a more desirable appearance and relief of physical and emotional symptoms.
The results of a breast reduction are visible right away and will continue to improve as swelling and bruising subside. Scars will continue to fade over time, becoming less and less noticeable.
Breast reconstruction restores a natural, symmetrical appearance to the bosom, maintains body proportion, allows clothes to fit better, and most important of all, boosts self-confidence for women who have lost one or both breasts to mastectomy or who lack breasts due to a congenital or developmental abnormality. Reconstructive surgeons strive to create a new breast and nipple that resemble the woman’s natural breast as closely as possible in shape, size and position.
The reconstruction itself consists of multiple operations, the first of which involves creation of the breast mound and is performed during or after mastectomy in a hospital under general anesthesia. Later surgeries, if necessary, may be done in the hospital or an outpatient facility, with either general or local anesthesia.
There are several ways to reconstruct the breast, both with and without implants; Dr. Birndorf will work together with you in deciding which is best for you.