There are many types of cosmetic breast surgeries including breast reconstruction, breast augmentation, and a breast lift. Spectrum Plastic Surgery offers all types of breast surgeries, each customized to the patient, and breast reconstruction is the most complex of any of the breast surgery types. It is easy to be confused by the types of surgeries given how similar they sound, and particularly since breast reconstruction can include the placement of breast implants (which is also part of breast augmentation). The big difference is that breast reconstruction actually “reconstructs” the breasts following a trauma or surgical procedure, most often a mastectomy.
Before addressing what breast reconstruction entails, let’s consider breast augmentation. Breast augmentation is the enhancements of the breasts via breast implants. It is not the reconstruction of breasts and most of the time the only requirement for breast augmentation is the client wanting breast implants.
Breast Augmentation Options
Breast implants are the only way to increase the size of the breast, and there are a variety of options available regarding the shape, texture, material, size, and placement of breast implants. Breast augmentation also offers the most dramatic means of improving the shape of the breasts. However, there is also a breast lift. A breast lift reduces skin sagging by trimming away excess skin. In some situations, a breast augmentation may be performed in tandem with a breast lift. This is not always necessary since breast implants (a breast augmentation) may make use of skin laxity.
As you can see, every breast surgery is one of a kind because every patient has unique needs and goals. Breast augmentation has long been the most popular of bodily plastic surgeries. The trend today is toward smaller breasts that are more naturally shaped, with women opting for teardrop shaped implants and less ccs. However, for women who have experienced a breast trauma or surgical intervention of the chest, such as a mastectomy, breast augmentation alone is not the answer. A breast reconstruction is required.
How Breast Reconstruction is Performed
The exact approach to breast reconstruction is going to depend on the trauma. No two breast reconstructions are alike. However, there are two primary means of restoring lost volume during a breast reconstruction: breast implants and transplantation of donor tissue from another part of the body. Breast implants are more popular, but the right technique for each patient will depend on multiple factors.
Breast implants allow for symmetry in breast reconstruction. Some women require reconstruction of both breasts, but the majority require reconstruction of a single breast. In the latter circumstances, a lot of women choose breast implants in both breasts in order to achieve the same size, shape, and profile. This is not usually possible with a breast implant in just one breast because breast implants typically offer a more youthful appearance than is naturally possible.
It is not uncommon for women undergoing breast reconstruction to optimize the appearance of their breasts beyond their pre-trauma. In fact, breast reconstruction offers an excellent opportunity to achieve the size and shape of breasts you found most attractive prior to the trauma. Other women choose to avoid implants, and this might be possible if you have enough donor tissue in another part of the body. This option is not feasible for a lot of slender women.
Planning Breast Reconstruction
There are two times when you might be able to schedule breast reconstruction: during a surgery like a mastectomy or after. Spectrum Plastic Surgery strongly recommends women to only schedule breast reconstruction after a scheduled mastectomy surgery and after some amount of healing has passed. This is the best approach for a number of reasons. For instance, many women require post-surgical treatment such as radiation that can complicate breast implants. The healing process can also be impaired if breast reconstruction happens at the same time as a medically necessary breast surgery.
However, if you’re planning a surgery that will remove or damage breast tissue, right now is a great time to find the plastic surgeon who will perform your future breast reconstruction. You can start planning right now to determine the best approach for your breast reconstruction—and have something to look forward to after your medical surgery. Breast reconstruction is highly complex and not offered by every plastic surgeon, so you only deserve to have the best taking care of you. Connect with Spectrum Plastic Surgery today to schedule your consultation for breast reconstruction by calling the office or completing the online form.