Surgery For Symmetry


Frequently after breast reconstruction the overall symmetry and balance can be enhanced by corrective surgery to the other (contralateral) breast. This usually entails either an augmentation, lift or reduction.

Breast Augmentation


Breast implants are available in an extensive range of sizes, shapes and types of fill. All implants have an outer silicone rubber layer and are filled with either silicone gel or saline (salt water). There are round implants and anatomically (tear-drop) shaped implants. Despite some media reports long-term studies have not found any adverse effects from the use of silicone implants.

The method of inserting and positioning your implant will depend on your anatomy and your surgeon's recommendations. The incision can be made either in the crease where the breast meets the chest, around the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple) or in the armpit. Every effort will be made to ensure that the scars will be as inconspicuous as possible. The implant can be placed directly behind the breast tissue or underneath your chest wall muscle (the pectoral muscle).

risks, complications & considerations


Breast augmentation is a relatively straightforward procedure with a low risk profile. However, as with all surgery there are general risks and potential specific complications related to the type of procedure itself. These will be explained in detail during your consultation. All proven precautions are taken to minimize risk but the causes are multifactorial, and some, such as innate biological tissue variability ( the way you heal) cannot be altered.

Current smokers should be advised that nicotine can delay healing, resulting in more conspicuous scars and prolonged recovery. Less than 5% of women will develop a significant post-operative complication. Prompt treatment of any complication reduces the chance of long-term problems.

getting back to normal


You should be able to return to work within one week, depending on the level of activity required for your job. Your breasts will probably be sensitive to direct stimulation for two to three weeks, so you should avoid excessive physical contact. Aerobics and vigorous physical exercise should be avoided for six weeks. Routine mammograms should be continued after breast augmentation for women who are in the appropriate age group, and the mammographic technician will use a special technique to ensure that you get a reliable examination. Breast ultrasound may also be recommended to increase the imaging sensitivity.

Breast Reduction/Mastopexy


Breast reduction surgery is a commonly performed operation designed to make a large breast smaller, lighter and more proportionate. As a result of surgery there will be scars but these are carefully placed to be relatively inconspicuous once faded. Liposuction can be used on excess fat but it is almost invariably necessary to remove the excess glandular tissue and skin.

Recent research suggests reduction surgery both reduces the risk of developing breast cancer and does not delay detection. Your surgeon will continue to recommend regular mammograms in accordance with screening guidelines.

planning your surgery


It is important to have realistic expectations about the results and discuss these frankly with your surgeon. Breast reduction is routinely undertaken as an inpatient procedure under general anaesthetic with only one night stay in hospital usually required. The techniques for breast reduction vary, but the common inferior pedicle procedure results in an anchor-shaped scar that circles the areola, extends downward, and follows the natural curve of the crease beneath the breast. Excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin is removed and the skin from both sides of the breast is draped down and around the areola and nipple in their new position shaping the contour of the breast. The nipple can almost always remain attached to the blood vessels and nerves.

risks, complications & considerations


Breast reduction is a relatively straightforward procedure with a low risk profile. However, as with all surgery there are general risks and potential specific complications related to the type of procedure itself. These will be explained in detail during your consultation. All proven precautions are taken to minimize risk but the causes are multifactorial, and some, such as innate biological tissue variability ( the way you heal) cannot be altered.
Current smokers should be advised that nicotine can delay healing, resulting in more conspicuous scars and prolonged recovery. Less than 5% of women will develop a significant post-operative complication. Prompt treatment of any complication reduces the chance of long-term problems.

getting back to normal


Most women can return to work (if it's not too strenuous) and social activities in one to two weeks. Aerobic and vigorous physical exercise should be avoided for 4 weeks. You will need a good sports bra or lycra crop top for support and avoid swimming or immersing your breasts under water for 4 weeks.

Although much of the swelling and bruising will disappear in the first few weeks, it may be three to six months before your breast completely settles into the new shape. Even then, the shape may fluctuate in response to your hormonal shifts, weight changes, and pregnancy.