The 3 Most Common Cosmetic Breast Surgeries and What to Expect – Lifting, Augmentation, Reduction

Two of the most common reasons someone undergoes breast surgery would be medical or cosmetic.

Cosmetic is the most in-demand procedure with three popular breast surgeries: lifting, augmentation and reduction

What is breast surgery?

Breast surgery is a procedure performed by a plastic surgeon to change the appearance of the breasts, their size or remove a lesion (any damage or abnormal change in the tissue).

When used to reduce or increase the size, lift or change the overall appearance of the breasts to make them more aesthetically pleasing, the intent is said to be cosmetic.

When a procedure is used to reduce the size (in case of causing a health problem), remove a lesion/tumor or prevent breast cancer, the intent is said to be medical

Three of the main cosmetic surgical procedures to enhance breast appearance are:

  • Breast augmentation
  • Breast reduction or,
  • Breast lifting

Breast augmentation

Also called augmentation mammoplasty, breast augmentation seeks to increase breast size to enhance your body shape. The technique consists of placing breast implants under the breast tissue or chest muscles to make them larger.

Someone considering breast augmentation may feel that their breasts are too small, they do not feel confident enough in their body, they are looking to correct uneven breasts or consult with a doctor after pregnancy. 

Breast lifting

Also known as mastopexy, this is a surgical procedure to change the shape of your breasts, usually intended to lift sagging breasts. 

It is normal to experience breast sagging as gravity, pregnancy, ageing, or even weight variations can cause the nipples to look down and the breasts to droop. Another reason to undergo a mastopexy is if you have one breast lower than the other.

During the procedure, excess skin is removed, and the tissue is modified to lift the breasts and give them a more youthful appearance. With breast lift surgery, you can restore the normal position of your breasts so that your nipples point up again and get a more youthful appearance. 

Breast reduction

During a breast reduction, a plastic surgeon reduces the size of the breasts to improve the quality of life of women with related problems such as back pain, neck pain, or numbness. You can also have a breast reduction if the individual doesn’t feel comfortable with their breast size.

Similar to a breast lift, excess skin, fat and breast tissue is extracted during breast reduction.

Breast reduction is usually considered a medical rather than a cosmetic procedure. Although you may also have breast reduction surgery if you feel your breasts are too large for your body and you’re not happy with it, or if your breasts are not proportional.

What to think about If you are considering breast surgery

If you are thinking of breast surgery, you should first talk to a plastic surgeon. Early consultation with a plastic surgeon will allow you to understand what type of outcome you are looking to gain, which procedure suits you the best, and the pre-operative tests you will need before actually contemplating surgery. 

For example, a breast lift is not for everyone, nor is breast reduction. If you are still of childbearing age and considering having a child soon, surgery may have to wait since your breasts are likely to sag after pregnancy, so you would lose all the work that has been done. 

During the first consultation, the plastic surgeon will likely examine your breasts closely to find or rule out other alterations, as well as your body shape, size, age and other important health parameters.

Subsequent consultations may include blood tests and imaging tests to ensure that the surgical procedure will be successful.

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