The different types of breast surgery

There are currently several types of breast surgery operations available, these include:

Breast augmentation

A breast augmentation, also known as breast enlargement, is surgery to increase the size of the breasts or correct asymmetrical breasts. It usually involves placing an artificial breast implant filled with silicone (cohesive gel that doesn’t run if cut) or saline (saltwater) either under the breast tissue or the chest muscle behind the breast.

Breast enlargement implants are available in a variety of shapes, forms and sizes.  A breast implant can be made of natural body tissue or synthetic (manmade) materials, such as saline breast implants or silicone breast implants.  Natural tissue breast enlargement implants are usually only used on women having breast reconstruction surgery (after breast cancer treatment) and are rarely used for cosmetic purposes.

Breast reconstruction

Breast reconstruction is an operation to try to get back the shape of the breast after mastectomy (removal of a breast), or lumpectomy (removal of part of the breast) as a result of a cancer. The aim of a breast reconstruction operation is to match the remaining natural breast as closely as possible. This can either be done by creating a breast ‘form’ with a breast implant, or by using natural tissue from another part of the body. If a person has lost one or both breasts, the creation of a new breast can dramatically improve their self-image, self-confidence and quality of life. However, although breast reconstruction surgery can give a person a relatively natural-looking breast, a reconstructed breast will never look or feel exactly the same as the breast that was removed. Breast reconstruction typically involves several procedures performed in multiple stages. It can begin at the same time as mastectomy (the surgical removal of a breast), or a person may choose to delay this stage until they have healed from a mastectomy operation and recovered from any additional cancer treatments.

Breast reduction

Breast reduction is a cosmetic surgery procedure that lifts the breast and makes it smaller. Women with large breasts often suffer from back pain, neck pain, breast pain and other medical problems, and breast reduction surgery will help to relieve the symptoms. For this reason, it is considered a reconstructive surgery and is often covered by insurance. During the breast reduction operation, excess tissue and skin are removed from the breasts. The breasts are then reshaped to form smaller ones, and the nipples are repositioned.

Breast lift

Breast lift is an operation to raise and reshape the breasts if the breasts have lost their shape and skin elasticity through pregnancy, breastfeeding, or as a result of a loss or gain in weight, or simply due to natural gravity as part of the ageing process. There are several different techniques that can be used in a breast lift procedure, depending on the degree of skin that needs to be surgically manoeuvred.

Breast implant revision

Breast implant revision, also referred to as breast augmentation revision or breast revision, is a cosmetic surgery procedure involving the removal and/or replacement of breast implants to correct complications that have occurred after breast augmentation or implant-based breast reconstruction surgery. Breast implant revision can also be performed to correct an unsatisfactory result from either of the surgeries mentioned.