“Breast enhancement”: While it may sound like a synonym for breast augmentation, there are actually many ways to enhance the breasts. Enlarging them is only part of the picture, which is why I believe it’s important to offer my breast surgery patients in Eugene, Oregon, a number of options for achieving the silhouettes they want.
Women who pursue breast enhancement typically fall into 1 of 2 broad categories. Either they have breasts that are naturally oversized, undersized, or asymmetrical, or a certain event, such as pregnancy or cancer, changed the appearance of their breasts.
Although the former group has typically had to deal with a lifetime of insecurity or discomfort, the latter group has witnessed their bodies change over time, a process that can be difficult to accept. Generally, enhancing the breasts can be achieved in the following ways:
- Enlargement: When the breasts seem too small in relation to the rest of your body, you may feel less feminine than you’d like. Many women who see me for breast augmentation say that they’ve been dissatisfied with the size of their breasts since adolescence when their peers began to develop. Surgical breast augmentation uses breast implants to add natural-looking shape and volume to the breasts. Today’s implants, available in both silicone and saline formulations, look and feel better than ever. And they last a long time, too—often more than 10 years.
- Reduction: On the other end of the spectrum are women whose breasts appear too large for their bodies. Oversized breasts can cause extreme feelings of self-consciousness, and many women with this concern report being harassed from an early age. Additionally, oversized breasts have physical consequences, too. Chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain are common complaints. Women who undergo breast reduction are often completely stunned at how good they feel after surgery. Freed from the excess weight they’d been carrying, they’re able to comfortably engage in activities that they might not have before.
- Lifting: Over time, breasts succumb to the forces of gravity and the natural loss of skin elasticity, just like any other part of the body. A breast lift is an antidote to this condition, raising the breasts to higher positions on the body. The surgery also re-shapes the breasts and moves the nipples up, for a fully perky appearance.
- Reconstruction: After a mastectomy, whether to treat breast cancer or prevent it, many women long to regain a sense of normalcy. For some, this includes restoring the breasts. Breast reconstruction is a complex procedure that can be completed using breast implants, not unlike a breast augmentation, or the patient’s own tissue, taken from another area of her body. Breast reconstruction is by no means mandatory, and some women decide it’s simply not for them. There’s no pressure to make the decision, however–you may undergo reconstruction during your mastectomy or many years later.
In many cases, these procedures are combined for optimal results. For example, breast lift is often combined with breast augmentation for patients who have lost volume and perkiness after breastfeeding. During each consultation, I take careful measurements of the breasts and facilitate a candid discussion about your specific concerns to create a surgical plan that’s just the right fit.
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