Breasts come in a wide range of shapes and sizes—much like the women who have them. Body positivity aside, embracing what you have naturally isn’t always easy. Whether it’s feeling insecure about their breast shape, not liking the way shirts fit, or breasts getting in the way of daily activities, chances are good that there’s at least one aspect many women don’t like about their chest. Knowing what kind of procedure is needed for a specific situation can be the tricky part, especially for people who are new to the idea of cosmetic surgery. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Lawrence Iteld encounters this frequently as he consults with women considering breast augmentation surgery in the Chicago area.
Breast Augmentation with Implants
Statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and other groups have shown that breast augmentation remains the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure—over 300,000 women chose this surgery in 2018. If a woman’s main goal for breast surgery is to enlarge her breasts, breast augmentation with saline or silicone implants may be the ideal solution. There are many factors to consider, including the size, type, and shape of the chosen implants, their position in the chest area (in front of the pectoral muscle, partially in front of the muscle, or behind the muscle), and where the incision will be made. The plastic surgeon can help each woman make these decisions by assessing her body shape, lifestyle, and overall goals.
Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation
Traditional breast implants may not be the best solution for every person. Fat transfer breast augmentation (otherwise referred to as fat grafting, lipofilling, or living fat transfer) is typically a great choice for women who desire a subtle increase to their breast size of half a cup to one full cup.
Fat transfers make use of a popular form of fat-reduction surgery known as tumescent liposuction to remove small amounts of fat from stubborn pockets on the body. This can be from the thighs, abdomen, or flanks. The fat is then purified and carefully re-injected into the breasts in layers to sculpt the patient’s requested shape.
Breast augmentations and fat transfers are useful for making the breasts larger, but what they can’t do is correct issues related to drooping or sagging. Age, gravity and sometimes weight fluctuations and breastfeeding may cause the skin and tissue of once firm breasts to become stretched out, allowing the breasts to hang down instead of sit high on the chest.
Women who have noticed that the skin of their breasts has a significant degree of laxity or that their nipples are pointing toward the floor and are positioned at or below the fold of the breast may want a breast lift. The surgery entails making an incision on the breast, shifting the position of fat and other tissues, cutting away excess skin, and repositioning the nipple where necessary. Note that while this is a reliably effective plastic surgery procedure, with results visible virtually as soon as the surgery is over, it does not prevent breasts from becoming saggy in the future if there are future weight fluctuations or further changes to the skin’s elasticity.
Many women will chose to add volume to their breasts using either implants or their own fat as part of a lift procedure.
Chronic back, shoulder, or neck pain caused by larger, pendulous breasts is a problem faced by many women. Some women may wish to make their breasts smaller to relieve physical discomfort or to get them to look more proportional when compared to the rest of the body. A breast reduction, or “reduction mammoplasty,” consists of extracting excess fat, tissue, and skin from the breasts via incisions, liposuction, and the removal of other tissue.
Dr. Lawrence Iteld at Iteld Plastic Surgery is ready to assist women considering breast surgery by answering questions or concerns they may have about augmentations and other related procedures in the Chicago area. Call 312.757.4505 or visit his website to send a message via an online contact form.