American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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What kind of breast surgery should you get?


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For many patients considering breast surgery, choosing the right procedure can be confusing given the variety of cosmetic procedures available. Understanding each type of breast surgery can help patients choose the surgery that helps them achieve their aesthetic goals.

What is cosmetic breast surgery?

Cosmetic breast surgery refers to procedures designed to lift, contour and reshape the breasts to create a body shape that aligns with a patient's ideal self-image.

Why do people get breast surgery?

In most cases, people get breast surgery to change or enhance their breast shape. Most often, this involves implants to increase the size and change the contour. Sometimes, patients opt for a reduction to improve their body proportions.

What types of breast surgery are commonly done?

The most common type of cosmetic breast surgery is augmentation, which uses fat transfers or implants to achieve the desired shape and size.

Other common procedures are breast lifts, which tighten and lift existing breast tissue, and breast reductions, which remove excess fat and tissue for smaller, perkier breasts.

Choosing a breast surgery that works for you

Choosing the right breast surgery involves many factors, including consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon. They will be able to guide you through your options to decide which procedure or combination of approaches will help you achieve your goals.

Breast augmentation

Breast augmentation increases the size of the breasts and may also alter the cleavage, contours and shape of the breasts as well. Augmentation is done by placing small incisions under the armpit, breast crease or areola and inserting fat or implants above or behind the muscle. Saline and medical-grade silicone implants come in a range of shapes and sizes, so nearly any result can be achieved.

Breast lift

A breast lift does not increase size. Instead, a small incision is made on the breast, and the existing tissue is tightened, contoured, and lifted for a perkier, more youthful silhouette.

Breast augmentation with lift

This is a common combination procedure. Many women prefer to have a breast lift done alongside augmentation so they only need to go under the knife once. This allows for a total makeover of the breast with minimal downtime.

Breast revision surgery

Some implants may need to be updated in a breast revision procedure. This allows patients to change the size, shape, or implant material if they wish or to simply have the implants removed with no replacement.

Breast reduction

Living with excessively large breasts can be harmful to some patients' bodies and minds. Breast reduction removes fat, tissue and skin to create smaller breasts that suit the person's figure.

Gynecomastia surgery (male breast reduction)

Men can sometimes develop excess fat and glandular tissue in their chests, leaving them with noticeable breasts. This can be detrimental to their quality of life.

Gynecomastia surgery removes the glandular tissue via excision and uses liposuction to rid the chest of excess fat. Surgeons may also flatten and alter the nipple to create more masculine contours on the chest.

Choose the right plastic surgeon for excellent outcomes

When you choose a board-certified plastic surgeon who makes you feel comfortable and has a surgical style that aligns with your desired results, you are helping to ensure that you will get the best possible outcomes for your breast surgery.

Cosmetic breast surgery can be a life-changing procedure that boosts your confidence and helps you feel at home in your body.


The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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