Women of all ages, shapes, and sizes look towards various plastic surgery breast procedures as a way to enhance or correct their breasts. Breasts can be naturally small or large, or can change due to age, weight loss or pregnancy. Some breasts are disproportionately shaped due to congenital problems or have been affected by breast cancer or surgery. Whether solely for cosmetic reasons, as in the patient who is unhappy with the size or shape of her breasts, or to regain self confidence and be made whole again, as in patients who have undergone a mastectomy for breast cancer; todays modern plastic surgery procedures are safe and effective at correcting the numerous conditions of the human breasts.
For simplicity breast procdures are divided between Cosmetic and Reconstruction. Cosmetic procedures include Breast Augmentations, Breast Lifts, and Breast Reductions and in many cases a combination of all the above. Breast Reconstuction procdedures are numerous, but they all have the goal of creating natural appearing and feeling breasts with the hope of restoring the body as a whole.
Breast Augmentation is a surgical procedure that increases the size and helps shape a woman’s breast through either a silicone gel-filled implant or a saline-filled (salt water) implant. Implants can be placed through a small incision around the areola, breast fold, or armpit. The goals are to increase the volume of the breasts with a natural appearance and feel.
During the first visit, we evaluate every patient individually and take time to thoroughly discuss all available options to meet the patient’s goals for a beautiful natural result. During the second visit, all patients are personally sized by Dr. Barroso to help decide the size and volume of the implant. This is a critical decision that Dr. Barroso does not delegate to any other staff member. By combining Dr. Barroso’s years of experience and the patient’s personal input, we can find the most appropriate size implant that will satisfy the patient’s needs. Because of the time we invest in our patients, our patients are confident that they will neither be too big nor too small.
Breast Augmentations are performed under general anesthesia and typically take one hour to complete. Patients go home the same day of surgery and return to light physical activities within a few days.
A Breast Lift or Mastopexy is designed to combat the natural aging process that can cause a woman’s breasts to sag or lose their shape. There are many reasons why a woman’s breast droops over time including weight fluctuation, heredity factors, pregnancy, breast-feeding, the weight of large breasts or previous implants, menopause, previous breast surgery, and age. All these and other factors can play a part in the loss of firmness and volume of the breast. Breast Lifts help eliminate the excess skin and glandular tissue that droops below the breast fold and elevates the nipple and areola to a higher position. There are numerous techniques, but the most common involve incisions around the areola alone (Doughnut Mastopexy or Periareolar Mastopexy, areola and vertical (Vertical Mastopexy or Lollipop Incision), or areola, vertical and transverse (“Anchor” incision, Inverted “T”, and “Wise” pattern”). Each patient is evaluated individually to determine which method is most appropriate with the goal of minimizing scarring. In many patients, a breast lift is combined with a breast augmentation to help further shape the breast and add lost volume.
Breast Lifts are performed under general anesthesia and typically take two to three hours to complete. Patients go home the same day of surgery and return to light physical activities within a few days.
Breast Reduction is designed for women who have excessive glandular tissue that is adversely affecting their life either physically, medically, or psychologically. It is not uncommon for woman with large heavy breasts to complain of breast, neck, back, and shoulder pain, shoulder grooving, poor posture, skin irritations, inability to keep proper hygiene, numbness of the nipples, inability to exercise or participate in sports, and overall discomfort, shame, or embarrassment at having excessively large breasts. Young woman are especially vulnerable and can be exposed to cruel insults, jokes, and even sexual harassment. Maintaining proper weight due to the lack of exercise can be a problem and even purchasing clothing can be challenging. Extremely large breasts can be difficult to exam and evaluate by the patient and physician. The goal of a Breast Reduction is to surgically remove the excessive breast tissue through either a traditional areola and inverted “T” incision (“Anchor” incision or “Wise” pattern) or an areola and vertical incision without the transverse incision (Vertical Mammoplasty Reduction or “Lollipop” incision). Depending of the size of the breasts and the goals of the patient, the surgeon may elect one technique over the other.
Breast Reductions are performed under general anesthesia and typically take three to four hours to complete. Patients go home the same day of surgery and return to light physical activities within a few days.
“MALE BREAST REDUCTION”
Male Breast Reduction is a procedure that treats Gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is an abnormal growth of the male breast and can present as large and/or painful breasts. It is common in men of any age and is associated with certain medications, use of marijuana, liver problems and use of alcohol, hormonal or endocrine problems, use of performance enhancing drugs, and obesity. Most often there is no known cause for Gynecomastia which is especially true in adolescents. The psychological trauma to a developing young man as he goes through puberty can be devastating. Adolescents can become shy or depressed, they refuse to participate in sports for fear of having to remove their shirts which often leads to weight gain and further growth of the breast. Even mature men can be extremely self conscious of large breasts which can lead to problems in self esteem and interpersonal relationships.
Male Breast Reduction can effectively correct Gynecomastia often with minimal incisions and discomfort. The procedure can be combined with Liposuction to further define and contour the area with the goal of a more “masculine” looking chest. The recovery is quick and the psychological benefits, especially to young men, are dramatic.
Breast Reconstruction is performed for numerous reasons but most commonly after a mastectomy for breast cancer. The techniques range from using temporary expanders followed by permanent implants to using the patient’s own tissue such as the abdomen (TRAM Flap) or back (Latissimus Flap). Most breast reconstructions that are due to cancer involve multiple stages to complete the breast mound, reshape the breast, and create a nipple and areola. Fortunately, the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 (WHCRA) mandates that health insurance providers cover the cost of breast reconstruction to the affected breast and any additional surgery to the opposite breast for symmetry. For those women who are dealing with the potentially life threatening disease of breast cancer and are facing surgery that may cause a severe deformity of the chest, they should seek the consult of a surgical oncologist that has experience with breast cancer. Most well respected surgical oncologists work directly with plastic and reconstructive surgeons to offer the patient reconstructive options immediately following the mastectomy on the same day of surgery. This gives the patient an opportunity to recover quickly and avoid the negative physical and psychological impact of a mastectomy chest deformity. Today we are seeing more patients choosing elective prophylactic (preventive) mastectomies with immediate reconstruction, especially if there is a strong family history or genetic markers for breast cancer. For these patients the Breast Reconstruction can often be completed in one or two stages.