Breast Augmentation Provides Cosmetic or Medical Benefit

Plastic Surgery for Breast Enlargement or Symmetry Can Bolster Positive Self-Image

Jul 23, 2013, 11:31 ET from New York Group for Plastic Surgery

TARRYTOWN, N.Y., July 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Breast augmentation, or enlargement, is the most frequently performed cosmetic plastic surgery procedure in the United States, but can also provide a vastly improved self-image for women born with conditions that result in undeveloped or very asymmetrical breasts.

(Logo: )

"The vast majority of breast augmentation is done for women seeking to cosmetically enhance their appearance, but the procedure can be an important part of treatment for women with congenital conditions in which the breasts are undeveloped or extremely uneven to the point of disfigurement," said R. Michael Koch, M.D., a board certified reconstructive and plastic surgeon with the New York Group for Plastic Surgery and assistant professor of Surgery at New York Medical College. "As you'd expect, these conditions can be emotionally devastating for an affected woman and plastic surgery is often a critical step to a more normal life."

Congenital conditions that can result in disfigured breasts include Poland syndrome, in which part of one of the major chest muscles is missing, and tuberous breasts, characterized by wide space between the breasts, enlarged areola, very little breast tissue and a high breast fold (bottom crease of breast.)

"Usually we can perform corrective plastic surgery for women with these congenital defects using breast implants, and the results have a profound effect on physical appearance and self-esteem," said Dr. Koch.

New Technology Advances Breast Augmentation Options
Most women undergo breast augmentation for cosmetic reasons, which can also improve their body image and self-esteem. Women may seek cosmetic breast augmentation to:

  • Increase breast size and enhance shape
  • Restore fullness lost due to childbearing or weight loss
  • Achieve more proportionate body shape
  • Balance asymmetrical (uneven) breasts

Breast augmentation is typically accomplished by inserting an implant through a small incision in the breast. The scar is usually very thin and fades with time.

A newer augmentation procedure not requiring implants is a "fat transfer" using liposuction to take fat from the buttocks or abdomen, and processing the fat for immediate insertion into the breasts. Another option is using implants combined with fat transfer to fill in and further perfect results.

"Most women want breasts that are enhanced but appear natural, and they want a good idea prior to augmentation surgery what that will actually look like," said Dr. Koch. "Advanced 3D imaging technology enables us to take pictures from different angles and feed them into a computer so a woman can see how her own figure will look with varying degrees of volume and profiles."

Breast augmentation results can last indefinitely, though various factors may lead to some eventual drooping over the years. These include:

  • Pregnancy and nursing
  • Substantial weight gain and/or loss
  • Gravity pulling the breasts down

Dr. Koch advised women to do their research thoroughly when considering types of breast augmentation procedures and surgeons. He offers some key questions to ask a plastic surgeon during a consultation for breast augmentation:

  • Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
  • How many breast augmentation procedures do you do in a year?
  • Am I a good candidate for breast augmentation? Why or why not?
  • What can I realistically expect for my cosmetic outcome?
  • Where will you perform my procedure and how long will it take?
  • How long will my recovery be, and what lifting and exercise restrictions will I have and for how long?
  • What are the associated risks and complications with breast augmentation? How would you handle them?
  • Can I see before-and-after photos of your other patients?

About the New York Group for Plastic Surgery
The New York Group for Plastic Surgery (NYGPS) is comprised of highly trained plastic surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). The surgeons are recognized for their specialized medical and cosmetic surgical skills and personalized patient care.

Andrea Ziltzer
AZ Healthcare Communications

SOURCE New York Group for Plastic Surgery