Breast enhancement is a general term for surgical procedures
that improve the appearance of your breasts, including breast lift (mastopexy),
breast augmentation, breast reconstruction, and breast reduction.
A breast lift (mastopexy) is a surgical procedure to uplift
your breasts by removing excess skin, repositioning your areolas and nipples
higher, and tightening the surrounding tissue. This surgery can produce modest
results for more youthful looking breasts without changing your breast size.
Breast augmentation surgery increases the size of your
breasts and improves their shape using saline or silicone filled implants. Small
incisions are made either in your armpits, along the creases of your breasts,
or around your areolas, small pockets of space are made underneath your breast
tissue, and implants are placed in. Another uncommonly performed incision
option is through your bellybutton.
Fat transfer breast augmentation is an alternative to using
implants, but the results are less significant. Fat is liposuctioned from
another area of your body, such as your buttocks or thighs, cleaned, and then
injected into your breasts.
Breast reconstruction surgery is performed to restore the
appearance of your breasts if they are removed (mastectomy) due to cancer or
other medical complication, or are damaged from trauma. This procedure can
involve many different surgical techniques.
Breast reduction surgery removes excess breast fat, skin,
and glandular tissue to reduce the size and weight of your breasts to alleviate
back pain, correct asymmetry, improve proportion, and allay the emotional
distress that may come from overly-large breasts.
Recovery varies significantly depending on what kind of breast
enhancement surgery you have, but you can usually expect two to four weeks of down-time.
Pain and discomfort usually subsides a few days after most surgeries, and you
will need to avoid strenuous activity while you heal.
Costs depend on many factors, including which breast
enhancement surgery you have, your location, and your surgeon. Health insurance
generally does not cover cosmetic surgery, but your provider may cover breast
reduction surgery if you have back pain or other medical conditions related to
overly-large breasts. You can discuss costs with your health insurance provider
and surgeon for detailed information.