Answering Your Questions about Breast Enhancement Surgery

Plastic surgery can be a very broad field, and it can sometimes be easy to overlook how many different things it can accomplish.  For example, breast augmentation surgery is extremely popular, so popular in fact that people often forget that different breast procedures can reduce the size or change the position of the breasts as well.  At Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C., our board certified plastic surgeons sometimes like to use the term “breast enhancement” as a general catch-all to include breast augmentation, breast lifts, and breast reduction, because all of these procedures share the ultimate goal of enhancing the cosmetic appearance of the breasts.  Here are just a few of the many questions we hear about these various breast enhancement procedures.

Answering Your Questions about Breast Enhancement SurgeryWhat is the difference between a breast lift and a breast reduction?

While the two procedures can be superficially similar, they differ distinctly both in their execution and in their ultimate goals.  Breast reduction is primarily performed to relieve the pain, discomfort, and related health issues caused by disproportionately large breasts.  The procedure involves the removal of excess fat, glandular tissue, and skin, and in some cases may even qualify as medically-necessary.  The goals of a breast lift, however, are entirely cosmetic.  Surgeons try to remove as little skin and tissue as possible to give the breasts a firmer, more lifted appearance without significantly altering their volume.  A breast lift procedure can be performed in combination with a breast reduction or breast augmentation, and excess fat is often redistributed from the lower to the upper portions of the breasts to further enhance projection and cleavage.

How old do I have to be before I can undergo breast enhancement surgery?

That actually depends on which form of breast enhancement surgery you are considering.  Generally, cosmetic plastic surgery is not recommended for patients whose bodies are still undergoing growth and development.  Common changes that occur during puberty will likely alter the effects of plastic surgery procedures and lead to unpredictable results.  However, in recent years many young women between the ages of 13 and 19 have undergone successful adolescent breast reduction procedures, specifically when disproportionately large breasts have caused health problems or hindered their involvement in sports or other physical activities.  Additionally, male breast reduction can safely help not only men but also adolescent boys who are suffering from gynecomastia, a condition that results in enlarged breast tissue.

What can I do if I am unhappy with the results of a breast enhancement procedure?

Although all forms of breast enhancement generally enjoy extremely high patient satisfaction rates, in rare cases complications may occur.  Additionally, the natural aging that affects a woman’s body over time can make results that were once highly satisfactory appear unnatural or unflattering.  When a woman is unhappy with the results of a breast enhancement procedure, breast revision surgery can be performed to remove or exchange breast implants, correct breast asymmetry, or reduce the appearance of surgical scarring, depending on the individual needs of the patient.

Cosmetic plastic surgery can be much more versatile that many people realize, and understanding exactly what is possible is the first step in determining what procedures might be right for you.  If you are interested in learning more about the different types of breast enhancement, or about any of the other cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery procedures we perform, please contact one of our Atlanta Plastic Surgery locations.  Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to get all the latest plastic surgery news.