Is Breast Surgery Right For Me
Until you meet your surgeon, there’s no real way of knowing if you are a suitable candidate for breast enhancement surgery. Generally speaking, if you’re fit and healthy physically and psychologically, breast surgery may well be for you.
Here are a few guidelines to help you gain a clearer idea:
Breast enlargement surgery
If you’re over 18 and have small breasts, not too different from each other, you could well be eligible for surgery. As every individual is different, a consultation with your surgeon will soon confirm whether breast enlargement is suitable for you.
A few other concerns where a breast enlargement may help:
If your nipples are a little low on your chest, breast enlargement surgery may help to lift them. If they’re very low, this operation alone may not be the solution, as it might add too much volume in the upper ‘pole’ of the breast (the shape of the upper part of the breast). In this case, you may also need a mastopexy (breast lift) to raise the nipples. This is sometimes combined with breast enlargement surgery to give the best shape to your new breast.
Different size breasts
It’s very likely your breasts will be slightly different from each other. If yours are markedly different – what is technically known as ‘asymmetric breasts’ – breast enlargement surgery could exaggerate the difference. In this instance, you may need adjustments on one side to compensate.
Other important considerations
If your natural breast shape is very limited beneath the nipple and the areolas look puffy, you may have what is known as ‘tuberous’ breasts. These require adjustments to prepare the breast for breast enlargement surgery.
If you have a history of breast disease, painful breasts or have previously undergone breast enlargement surgery, surgery may not be for you. Your MyBreast surgeon will happily discuss the options available to you and ensure breast enlargement surgery is the most suitable procedure.
If you have a first-degree relative history of breast cancer or have been told you carry breast cancer genes, you should think carefully before undergoing breast enlargement surgery. Your MyBreast surgeon will advise you about cancer detection and how to manage your breast cancer risk.
If you have a congenital malformation of the chest wall or pectoral muscles, in special circumstances, you may be suitable for breast enlargement surgery. Ask your MyBreast surgeon about available options.
If you have a medical condition such as diabetes, autoimmune disease or a tendency to bleed easily or if you take medication to thin the blood, you may not be a suitable candidate for breast enlargement surgery.
Generally speaking, if you’re physically healthy, not in any of the categories above and realistic in your expectations then yes, you’re likely to be a suitable candidate for breast enlargement surgery.
If having bigger breasts is affecting you physically or mentally – or quite often both – a reduction could offer you much needed relief. There’s no minimum age requirement for this procedure, but surgeons strongly advise you to wait until the breasts have fully developed. If you can identify with one or more of the conditions below and you’re in general good health, you could be a good candidate for breast reduction surgery:
- Large, heavy, pendulous breasts with nipples pointing downwards
- Pain and discomfort in the back, neck and/or shoulders
- Poor posture
- Pain/indentations on the shoulders caused by your bra strap
- One breast much larger than the other
- Skin irritations and/or infections underneath your breasts
- Breasts are disproportionate to the size of your frame
- Difficulty buying clothes and underwear
- Sports participation and physical activity is restricted
- Lack of confidence and self-conscious due to the size of your breasts
- It is worth noting that being overweight and smoking are two significant risk factors. To minimise the risk of possible complications you may be asked to lose weight or stop smoking before undergoing surgery.
Age, gravity, pregnancy, breastfeeding and weight loss can all take their toll on your breasts, leaving them drooping more than you would like. A breast lift or mastopexy, will raise and re-shape sagging breasts and claim back some bounce, shape and fullness.
Generally speaking, you’re an ideal candidate for a breast lift if your breasts are droopy but still have some volume. If you can identify with any of the conditions below, a breast lift may be a suitable option for you:
- Sagging/droopy breasts in proportion to your body frame
- Breasts that fall below that breast crease when unsupported
- Flat, elongated breasts with nipples that point downward
- Asymmetrical breasts – one breast hangs lower than the other
- Loss of firmness and elasticity to the breasts
Although breasts of any size can be lifted, the most successful lifts are on women with smaller, sagging breasts. Because bigger breasts are heavier, the results may not be as long lasting, as the weight tends to work against the changes made during surgery.
A breast lift will raise your breasts and make them more pert but it’s important to stress that even surgery cannot defy the effects of gravity.
Important considerations for a breast lift
If you haven’t had children, you might want to postpone surgery until after you’ve had a family, as pregnancy and breast feeding can stretch the breasts, reduce volume and counteract the benefits of a breast lift.
Dramatic weight loss or gain can affect the appearance of your breasts after a lift, so it is important to keep your weight relatively stable.
Sometimes a breast lift alone isn’t enough. If your breasts are small and/or have lost volume, you may need breast implants in conjunction with a lift, in order to achieve the desired shape, firmness and size.
It’s very normal for a woman’s breasts to be slightly different – sometimes up to 20% – but this is usually not noticeable. Occasionally, however, there is a significant difference, with one breast being noticeably larger than the other (breast asymmetry). Naturally, this can be a source of worry and cause many women to feel self conscious. But it’s a problem we see quite often and is much more common than you might think.
If one of your breasts is a cup size or more, larger than the other, you could be a good candidate for surgery. Generally, surgery isn’t recommended if the difference is less than one bra cup size.
Surgery is successful in about 90% of women.
Nipples that point inward (inverted) are relatively common. There are varying degrees of nipple inversion, from nipples that retract occasionally, to those that are permanently in. The extent of the nipple inversion will determine the technique required to correct the situation. It’s thought that the cause of inverted nipples is due to shortening of the milk ducts as they come into the nipple. Release or partial division of these ducts is one of the key elements of correction.
Reasons for corrective nipple surgery may be emotive, functional and/or aesthetical. Depending upon the degree of retraction, surgery may or may not be needed (milder forms of nipple inversion can be corrected by manual manipulation using a suction device).
Otherwise, as long as you are over 18, fit and healthy, having the operation for the first time and not pregnant or nursing, you may be a good candidate for surgery.
Replacing exisiting implants
There are no set rules for when implants should be changed. Older implants are thought to be less durable than modern implants, which have thicker shells and a more solid form of silicone.
The life expectancy of modern, high-grade implants (like the ones we use) are yet to be established, but they’re very likely to exceed the 10 years previously expected. There are many reasons you may consider replacing your implants.
The most common are capsular contraction, rupture or changes to the size/shape (a desire for bigger or smaller breasts). If you’ve had implants for a long time, they could harden (capsular contraction) or rupture. Although not a health risk, for your own comfort you may need your implants replaced.