What you need to know about five basic procedures
The decision to have breast implant surgery is a big one, carrying with it the potential for an improved quality of life and enhanced confidence in your physical appearance. As with any surgical procedure, there are also risks to consider before taking the leap. Below is a summary of the perks and pitfalls of each type of procedure offered by Dr. Thomassen.
Breast Lift and Augmentation
Patients considering a lift are often looking to rejuvenate their figure and create a more youthful, uplifted breast profile. A lift combined with augmentation can increase size, and can be particularly helpful in reconstruction following an injury or mastectomy surgery.
The type of implant used can have a significant impact on the eventual shape of the breast. Options include flat or narrow, smooth or textured, saline or silicone. The size of the implant is also a crucial decision and requires consideration of the patient’s current breast size, the weight and position of the implant, and the surgical approach to the breast.
Risks following surgery can include bleeding in the area around the implant and swelling and bruising on the skin. Scarring around an implant can also occur, causing hardness and possible displacement (known as capsular contracture), and loss of sensation to the nipple and areola, though this is rare. Infection is uncommon and Dr. Thomassen gives appropriate antibiotics before and after surgery to cover the more common type of bacteria present on the skin.
Some of these outcomes can occur as late as two weeks following surgery so Dr. Thomassen strongly recommends limiting activity for this period.
This procedure can benefit patients who want to change the shape or size of a previous lift or augmentation – whether it’s due to a poor outcome due to an unskilled surgeon or a procedure that was done a decade or more ago. This most often involves a conversation to clarify a patient’s preferred size and shape, followed by a change to the size of the implant. This process can also help to correct capsular contracture. Risks are similar to those for a regular lift or augmentation.
Breast Reconstruction after Mastectomy
Mastectomy is a complex and life-changing event. Breast reconstruction can recreate a breast, providing an opportunity to improve self-confidence after what has likely been a difficult physical and emotional process.
Patients should be aware of the options to cover or create the breast mound. Radiation therapy and the surgical removal of the breasts can often leave an inadequate amount of tissue on the chest wall. There are two methods most often used to address this – the flap technique or tissue expansion. There are several types of flaps, and Dr. Thomassen can provide guidance as to the appropriate option. Tissue expansion requires a longer reconstruction process and numerous visits over four to six months.
Although this surgery can result in a natural-looking breast, it is important to remember that it will likely never look or feel exactly the same as the breast that was removed. Risks can also include swelling, fatigue, and loss of or changes in nipple and breast sensation.
Breast reduction can alleviate discomfort associated with inordinately large breasts, including back and neck pain, numbness in the fingers and hands, shoulder pain, migraines, and shortness of breath. In this procedure, Dr. Thomassen removes excess breast fat, glandular tissue, and skin to achieve a breast size proportionate to the patient’s body.
The timing of this procedure should be considered, particularly if you plan to become pregnant or embark on a weight loss regimen. Breastfeeding can be challenging after reduction surgery and weight loss can often result in changes to breast size.
Breast Reduction for Men
Men who experience gynecomastia—enlarged breasts due to hormone imbalance, inherited traits, disease, or drug use—can suffer emotional discomfort and diminished self-confidence. They may avoid physical activity and intimacy simply to hide the condition. The choice to have this procedure is deeply personal. Do it for yourself – not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to fit an ideal male image.
Breast reduction for this condition can enhance self-image and confidence, whether in a shirt and tie, t-shirt, or baring your chest at the beach. You are an ideal candidate if you are physically healthy, of normal weight, and your breast development has stabilized. Adolescents may benefit from this surgery, although secondary procedures may be needed in the future should breast development continue.
The rewards of breast surgery can be profound and life-changing. As with any surgery, be sure to let Dr. Thomassen know of any relevant risk factors, including medical history, current medications, previous surgeries, and current health habits such as diet, exercise, smoking, and use of any medications or controlled substances.
Thomassen Plastic Surgery is the top choice for South Florida patients looking for an award-winning plastic surgeon who provides natural-looking results. Contact us for more information about breast surgery or the many other procedures we offer.
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