While breast surgeries are a wildly popular with minimal risk and quick recovery, it’s still vital to walk into the operating room with some knowledge of the type of procedure you’re undergoing.
What is a Breast Augmentation?
Simply put, a breast augmentation, also known as an augmentation mammoplasty, is a procedure that increases breast size, and it can be done in two ways, via implant or by just enhancing the existing breast with fat transfer. I generally focus on implants.
An augmentation emphasizes fullness, shape and size, and people can get them for various reasons, including confidence and even to rebuild breasts because of a medical condition.
What is a Breast Reduction?
While a breast augmentation is meant to increase size, a breast reduction, or reduction mammoplasty, does just the opposite. Again, there are several reasons why someone might want a reduction, but the procedure itself focuses on the removal of fat, tissue and skin, and lifting the breast.
It’s important to also note that breasts are made of both fat and tissue. Women who are mostly made of breast tissue have heavier breasts verses women with light, soft breasts that are mostly fat.
A person might know the difference based on whether the breasts shrink during weight loss. Women with lots of breast tissue, or heavy, dense breasts, won’t experience much size change with weight loss. Women who have more fat will see a noticeable difference after losing weight.
What is a Breast Lift?
A breast lift, or mastopexy, is a solution for women who feel they have saggy breasts. A lift is best when a patient feels they have good volume, but simply want their breasts raised and reshaped. The procedure itself helps create firmer, shapely breast and reduces sag. It’s important to note that a breast lift will not change the size of the breast.
What is an Implant Exchange?
An implant exchange is a surgery that removes and replaces your existing implant.
It’s important to get the myths out of the way early – implant exchange can be done and the procedure is pretty common, but an exchange isn’t something you must do based on an implants “lifecycle.”
The misconception I hear most often is that you have to do an implant exchange every ten years, and this is just not true. There are scenarios where this surgery is the best option, but it’s important to know that changing implants isn’t a simple procedure – in fact, it usually consists of a few different operations.
There are a few reasons why someone might want to do an implant exchange:
- Tired of size (wants bigger or smaller)
- Implant removal (lifestyle change)
- Capsular contracture (most common reason for reoperation)
- Rippling of saline implants
Despite the circumstances of a breast implant exchange, the procedure usually consists of multiple types of surgery – often meaning an additional lift or change to the pocket.
As you can see, there are many different types of breast surgery, each with its own nuances. It’s important to know all your options before making a decision so that you and your plastic surgeon can ensure you’ll get the results you desire!