The enhancement, rejuvenation or restoration of women’s breasts are some of the most satisfying procedures performed by a plastic surgeon.
The wonderful curves and fullness of a youthful breast are frequently lost due to time, gravity, pregnancy, breastfeeding, significant weight swings, cancer, and a host of other conditions. There are also many women who, even in their youth, are unhappy with the appearance of their breasts. There are a myriad of procedures currently available to address the specific concerns of each individual patient.
The loss of breast fullness and the accompanying ptosis (droop) that frequently follows the temporary breast fullness of pregnancy (with or without subsequent breastfeeding) is one of the most common presentations to plastic surgeons. The skin has stretched out to accommodate the increased volume of the breast tissue and after the volume retreats the skin may not retract appropriately to support the smaller breast. Options for correction involve reducing the skin envelope (a breast lift) or refilling the envelope with an implant. Many women also opt for a combination of the two options and this allows us to fill out the upper pole of the breast and also reposition the nipple to a more appealing location.
Women with abnormally large breasts (macromastia) typically present complaining of neck and back pain and grooving of their shoulders from their brassiere straps. Summertime is also a frequent challenge as rashes behind the breasts are difficult to treat. The mechanical issue for these women is that the breast has stretched out away from the breast wall and is now the equivalent of placing a weight out at the end of the lower arm. The surgical correction typically involves reduction of some breast volume, and equally important, is repositioning the breast back up onto the chest wall. These are some of our satisfying outcomes after surgery. Most patients note a dramatic improvement in their neck and back pain and ability to wear a much nicer variety of clothing, and an overall improvement in participation of routine daily activities.
Breast cancer patients are more frequently treated with lumpectomy and radiation therapy; however, some situations still require removal of the entire breast. A wide variety of options combining the use of the patient’s own tissue as well as implants are available. New Jersey law now also compels insurance companies to cover surgery on the unaffected breast which allows the surgeon even greater latitude to achieve a symmetric aesthetically appealing outcome. These procedures are all done in consultation with the oncologist and the breast surgeon to coordinate the best overall plan for the patient.
Breast augmentation remains a very popular procedure for women of a variety of ages. There is currently a wide selection of breast implant styles that allow a woman to achieve a very natural enhancement of her breasts. The key to a successful procedure is to ensure the implants chosen fit comfortably within the normal boundaries of the breast. This fills out the natural breast without the obvious presence of implants in a situation where normal proportions were not respected. The goal is obviously to look naturally well endowed, rather than obviously implanted.
Thomas A. Leach, M.D. routinely performs the full spectrum of breast enhancement, rejuvenation, and restoration. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Call Dr. Leach at The Princeton Center for Plastic Surgery – 609-921-7161.