The number of plastic surgeries continues to increase each year, but the most popular procedures tend to stay the same. Breast augmentation has been the top plastic surgery in the United States for nearly two decades. In 2016, 290,467 breast augmentation procedures were performed. This trend could be due to the higher ratio of women to men—approximately 85 percent of patients are women—choosing cosmetic enhancements, but there are many reasons women (and sometimes men) opt for a form of breast surgery.
Some of the common reasons our plastic surgeon in Maryland performs breast surgery include:
Bigger or Smaller Breasts
Some women simply want breast surgery to give them a larger breast size. They may feel uncomfortable wearing pieces of clothing or feel subconscious when they wear a swimsuit. Breast enhancement often gives women more confidence in their body and can address the shape as well as the size of the breasts. In the past, women wanted a substantial increase, but now most patients want a moderate increase from an A cup to a B or C cup. Additionally, breasts may droop over time, which can be corrected with a breast lift.
Breast reduction is another popular breast surgery and is typically performed to alleviate the symptoms of macromastia (naturally large breasts), which include:
- Chronic shoulder, back and neck pain
- Breast pain
- Skin irritation, rash or infection between and under the breasts
- Difficulty exercising
- Trouble sleeping
- Poor posture
- Shortness of breath
In many cases, a woman wants a breast reduction to improve her quality of life by eliminating the painful symptoms and allowing her proportionally fit into her clothing.
Substantial Weight Loss
Weight loss can give you a healthier figure, but shedding 30 or more pounds may leave you with excess skin tissue and sagging breasts. This loss of volume can be frustrating when you’ve worked hard to look and feel your best. Breast augmentation can restore your breasts to an ideal shape and size and can be combined with a breast lift. Our plastic surgeon has helped many patients get rid of excess skin tissue left after substantial weight loss, and this goes beyond the breasts. A tummy tuck, Bella Body Lift or arm or thigh lifts can also give you the appearance you’ve been working toward.
Breast Asymmetry (Uneven Breasts)
Uneven breasts are one of many reasons women of all ages come to our Maryland office. This issue makes it difficult to find the right bra size, fit into clothing and may cause embarrassment or low self-esteem. Asymmetric breasts can be due to genetics, massive weight loss or gain and childbearing. This condition can be corrected by enlarging the size of one breast using a saline, silicone or “gummy bear” implant or by reducing the size of the larger breast.
Changes After Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
A woman’s body goes through several changes during pregnancy, and these changes continue after childbirth due to breastfeeding. Breasts normally become swollen and change shape as the body grows a small human and prepares to breastfeed. Childbearing is a beautiful gift and experience, but it’s natural for a new mother to struggle with the effects pregnancy had on her body. A breast lift and/or breast augmentation can address any sagging, drooping, loss of volume or unevenness caused by having children.
Congenital Breast Abnormality
Some women don’t realize they have a congenital flaw that causes their breasts to under develop, leaving them with “tuberous breasts.” Tuberous breasts are smaller than normal, often uneven and have significant space between them. They may appear pointed with areolas (nipples) that are swollen and puffy. This condition can cause embarrassment, which worsens over time, but can easily be corrected with breast surgery.
Breast reconstruction was performed 109,256 times in 2016. This procedure is typically done after a single or double mastectomy to eradicate breast cancer. Some breast cancer survivors wear their scars proudly while others struggle with a loss of femininity. Silicone, saline or “gummy bear” implants can restore breasts to their natural size and shape, giving women back their self-confidence. Breast augmentation can be done shortly after a mastectomy or lumpectomy, or even years later. Health insurance providers often cover the expenses of breast reconstruction following cancer to alleviate the physical and psychological effects women face after beating breast cancer.
Enlarged Male Breasts
Gynecomastia is a condition in which the male breasts become enlarged and can be painful to the touch. This condition can arise during puberty due to hormonal changes and resolves itself, but for some adolescents and men, gynecomastia continues to affect their quality of life, causing them discomfort and embarrassment. Enlarged male breasts can be caused by low testosterone or high estrogen levels, but may be instigated by certain medications, genetics and obesity. Male breast reduction was performed 27,760 times in 2016. The procedure can involve liposuction to remove fatty tissue if the main issue is excess fat, but breast and skin tissue removal may be necessary for men with surplus glandular tissue. Health insurance providers sometimes cover the cost of male breast reduction for gynecomastia.
The Right & Wrong Reasons to have Breast Surgery
There are countless reasons women come in for a breast surgery consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Chiaramonte. However, it’s important to make sure you’re choosing breast surgery for the right reasons such as to improve your self-confidence, address medical concerns, or to counteract the effects of pregnancy and not because someone else feels you need plastic surgery. This is a big decision and should be yours alone to make. Dr. Chiaramonte will discuss your choices for breast surgery and suggest the right course of action during your initial consultation.
If you’re interested in breast surgery, please contact Bella Cosmetic Surgery in Maryland today at (301) 567-6767 to schedule your consultation. Dr. Chiaramonte serves patients in Washington DC, Maryland and Fairfax and Alexandria, Virginia.