Breast procedures are one of the most common types of plastic surgery performed in the United States. Dr. Stein performs breast augmentation, reduction and uplift at Somerset Center for Plastic Surgery to help both our male and female patients achieve their personal transformation goals.
Having a breast procedure is an important, personal decision. We will work hard to understand your individual needs and goals through extensive consultation, while also informing you of all of your options so that you can make the best possible decisions.
Breast Augmentation Surgery
Breast augmentation surgery is a procedure that enhances the size and shape of a woman’s breast. It can be performed to enhance body contour, restore changes that naturally occur from weight loss and pregnancy, and it can improve appearance after a disfiguring event.
Breast augmentation involves inserting an implant behind each breast, increasing your bustline by one or more bra cup sizes. During your first consultation with Dr. Stein, he will evaluate your health and explain which surgical techniques would be most appropriate and effective for you based on the condition of your breasts and skin tone. If your breasts are sagging, we may also recommend a breast lift.
The method of inserting and positioning your implant depends on your individual anatomy. The incision can be made in the crease where the breast meets the chest, around the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple) or in the armpit. We make every effort to ensure the incision is placed so that any scars will be as inconspicuous as possible.
Breast tissue and skin are lifted to create a pocket, either directly behind the breast tissue or beneath the pectoral muscle and on top of the chest wall. The implant is positioned in the pocket, and the incisions are closed with sutures, skin adhesive, and/or surgical tape. A gauze bandage may be applied over your breasts to help with healing. Breast augmentation surgery generally takes about one to two hours to complete.
After Breast Augmentation Surgery
You may feel tired and sore for a few days following your surgery, but you’ll be up and around within 24 to 48 hours. Most of your discomfort can be treated with medication.
Immediately after surgery, a special bra will be placed on you and you will be given instructions for how long you should wear it. You may experience a burning sensation in your nipples for about two weeks, which will subside as bruising fades.
Your stitches will come out within a week to 10 days, but the swelling in your breasts may take three to five weeks to completely disappear.
Very large breasts can cause a variety of medical problems because of excessive weight, including back and neck pain, skin irritation and even skeletal deformities or breathing problems. Breast reduction surgery can alleviate these issues or the uncomfortable feelings of self consciousness that often accompanies these health problems. A breast reduction can offer smaller, better shaped breasts that are proportional to your body, while also reducing the size of the areola. Breast reduction surgery provides patients with both physical relief and cosmetic improvement.
Your doctor will examine and measure your breasts and possibly photograph them for reference during surgery and afterward. You may be required to have a mammogram before surgery. While you’re making preparations, you should arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and to help you in the first few days following surgery.
After Breast Reduction Surgery
You may be able to return to moderate activities in about a day or two following your surgery, but your breasts may continue to ache for a couple weeks. Avoid lifting or pushing anything heavy for three to four weeks. Most women are able to return to work and social activities after about two weeks, but you will have much less stamina for several weeks. We advise limiting your exercise to stretching, bending and swimming until your energy returns.
One important consideration is that breast reduction scars are extensive and permanent. They may remain lumpy and red for months, before gradually becoming less obvious and possibly fading to thin white lines. The scars are usually placed so that you can wear low cut tops. Of all plastic surgery procedures, breast reduction surgery offers the quickest body image changes, relieving patients of their discomfort. Your body will look better proportioned and clothing will fit you better as well.
Pregnancy, nursing, weight fluctuations and aging all contribute to breasts losing their shape and firmness. Breast lift, or mastopexy, raises raises and reshapes sagging breasts, enhancing body contour and self confidence. A breastlift can also reduce the size of the areola, the darker skin surrounding the nipple.
If your breasts are small or have lost volume after pregnancy or nursing, breast implants, combined with augmentation can increase both firmness and size. A breast lift usually takes between two and four hours.
The most common procedure involves an anchor shaped incision following the natural contour of the breast. The incision outlines the area where the breast skin will be removed and defines the new location for the nipple.
If excess skin is being removed, the nipple and areola are moved to a higher position. The skin around the areola is then brought down and together to reshape the breast.
Stitches are usually located around the areola in a vertical line extending down from the nipple area and along the lower crease of the breast. Women with smaller breasts and minimal sagging may be candidates for less extensive incisions, such as a doughnut (or concentric) mastopexy. This involves circular incisions around the areola and a doughnut shaped area of skin is removed. If you’re having and implant as well as a breast lift, the implant will be placed in a pocket directly under the breast tissue, or deeper, under the muscle of the chest wall.
After Breast Lift Surgery
The return of nipple sensitivity after surgery varies from patient to patient. The sensation in the nipples is temporarily reduced or enhanced while the scars heal, and some patients have a permanent change in the sensitivity of the nipple. Proper support of the breast is important after your breast lift surgery to reduce scarring, swelling and breast discomfort.
It’s important to note that a breast lift won’t keep you firm forever. Gravity, pregnancy, aging and weight fluctuations will affect firmness and sagging. Women who have implants and a breast lift may experience longer lasting results. If you’re planning to have children, Dr. Stein can discuss when a breast lift is good idea. A breast lift does not affect breast feeding, but pregnancy and nursing are likely to stretch your breasts and offset the results of an uplift.