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• Mastopexy (Breast Lift)
Breast enlargement or augmentation is a surgical procedure
to make the breasts appear larger and fuller. It can be pursued for a
variety of patients, including those with underdeveloped breasts, those
whose breasts have decreased due to pregnancy, breast-feeding, or weight
loss, and those who simply want fuller and larger breasts. Breast augmentation
can be accompanied by a Breast Lift to create more lift in the nipple
The surgery consists of making an incision and lifting
the breast tissue and placing an envelope containing a soft, natural feeling
implant material underneath. The implant most often used for augmentation
is made of a silicone rubber sack, which is filled with a saline solution.
There are a variety of implant designs, and the surgeon will select the
best design based upon the patient's needs.
Breast augmentation generally takes between 1-2 hours.
Surgery is generally performed in the office operatory and the patient
returns home the same day. Local anesthesia with sedative is typically
Please note: There has
been a great deal of media attention about possible complications associated
with breast implants. Dr. Edstrom will discuss these issues and other
information during a consultation. Another good source of information
on this is the "Food and Drug Administration Information for Women
Considering Saline-Filled Breast Implants"- courtesy of McGhan Medical
Corporation and the FDA. To obtain a copy contact the McGhan Medical Corporation,
FDA. Consumer Information Line at (800) 532-4440.
Gynecomastia is the medical term for the development
of enlarged breasts on men. Although rarely discussed, gynecomastia affects
roughly 40 to 60 percent of the male population. Symptoms range from excess
breast and fatty tissues to development of female glands. There is no
known cause, but there are various triggers. Gynecomastia can develop
being in adolescence resulting from hormonal changes and certain drug,
diet and lifestyle stimulated hormonal modifications. Anabolic steroids,
increased age and weight are able to contribute to developing the excess
breast and fatty tissues. It should be noted that changes in lifestyle
and diet may reverse conditions and 90% of adolescents who experience
gynecomastia will note conditions disappear within 1 to 2 months. The
only other option for correction is surgery.
During the gynecomastia procedure, the surgeon will
make a small incision just below the areola through which liposuction
is used to remove fat and excess breast tissue. Following surgery, a compression
garment or ace bandages should be worn to support recovering breasts.
Gynecomastia is normally performed in a doctor’s
office or surgical suite and is an outpatient procedure. A local or general
anesthetic is utilized. Recovery time is normally between 1 to 3 weeks
with the patient advised to ease back into normal activities.
Mastopexy (Breast Lift)
The breast lift, also known as mastopexy, is performed
to address the sagging or drooping of breasts. Sagging and drooping occurs
when the skin envelope has become larger than the contents of the breast,
either because the skin has stretched or because the breast tissue has
shrunk, or both. Patients seeking to lift the breast up can either increase
the size of the breast volume or decrease the size of the skin. In some
cases, a combination of these techniques gives the best results. Breast
lifts can be performed at the same time as Breast Augmentation.
Surgery for a breast lift removes excess skin from around
the areola, and sometimes also from the bottom of the breast. The skin
is then shifted and tightened. Additional volume is created by inserting
an implant to reposition the nipple and areola in an elevated position.
A breast lift procedure generally takes anywhere from
2-5 hours, depending upon the combination of techniques used. Breast lifts
may be performed in a surgical facility and patients often return home
the same day.
Reconstruction of a breast that has been removed due
to cancer or other disease is one of the most rewarding surgical procedures
available today. New medical techniques and devices have made it possible
for surgeons to create a breast that can come close in form and appearance
to matching a natural breast. Frequently, reconstruction is possible immediately
following breast removal (mastectomy).
Some women prefer to have the reconstructive surgery
immediately following the mastectomy to spare the experience of seeing
themselves with no breast at all. Others are overwhelmed with the diagnosis
of cancer and the surgery for breast removal, and choose to wait until
after the mastectomy has been performed. Some women with other health
conditions, such as obesity, high blood pressure, or smoking, may also
be advised to wait. In most cases, health insurance policies will cover
most or all of the cost of post-mastectomy reconstruction.
There are many options available in post-mastectomy
The most common technique combines skin expansion and
subsequent insertion of an implant. Following mastectomy, the surgeon
inserts a balloon expander beneath the skin and chest muscle. Through
a tiny valve mechanism buried beneath the skin, the doctor periodically
injects a salt-water solution to gradually fill the expander over several
weeks or months. After the skin over the breast area has stretched enough,
the expander may be removed in a second operation and a more permanent
implant will be inserted. The nipple and areola are reconstructed in a
An alternative approach to implant reconstruction involves
creation of a skin flap using tissue taken from other parts of the body,
such as the back, abdomen, or buttocks. In one type of flap surgery, the
tissue remains attached to its original site, retaining its blood supply.
The flap, consisting of the skin, fat, and muscle with its blood supply,
are tunneled beneath the skin to the chest, creating a pocket for an implant
or, in some cases, creating the breast itself. Another flap technique
uses tissue that is surgically removed from the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks
and then transplanted to the chest by reconnecting the blood vessels to
new ones in that region.
Breast reconstruction usually involves more than one
operation. The first stage, whether done at the same time as the mastectomy
or later on, is usually performed in a hospital under general anesthesia.
Follow-up procedures may also be done in the hospital, or, depending on
the extent of surgery required, it may be done in an outpatient facility
under local anesthesia.
Breast reduction is performed on women who seek to minimize
the excessive weight and strain associated with large, heavy breasts.
Breast reduction consists of removing excess breast tissue and reshaping
and lifting the breast. The surgery is designed to reduce the weight of
the breasts to make it easier to be active. Because of the functional
problems associated with abnormally large breasts, insurance will often
cover some of the costs associated with the surgery.
The breast reduction surgery generally takes about
three hours and can be performed in the hospital under general anesthesia.
Most patients can return home after the operation. Recovery is quite easy,
with some soreness after surgery. Normal activities can usually be resumed
within a few days.
The risks associated with breast reductions are not
unlike risks associated with any surgery, including the risk of bleeding,
allergy to the anesthetic, and infection. Patients are less likely to
experience these if they carefully follow the recovery plan.
The surgical incision for this surgery is quite extensive,
resulting in considerable scarring. Scars remain pink or brown for several
months. They can, however, be hidden by most traditional bathing suits.