Cosmetic Breast Surgery
Considering breast surgery to change your breast size or lift sagging breasts? Familiarize yourself with these basics before you consult with a plastic surgeon.

Breast Augmentation: Implant Pros and Cons

Breast augmentation is achieved by inserting implants. There are 3 basic implant types, each with a silicone shell. Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water. Silicone implants are filled with a plastic gel. Cohesive gel implants have the same ingredients as silicone implants, but the gel is thicker—like gummy bear candy.

Silicone implants feel more like real breasts than saline implants but require MRI monitoring to check for ruptures. In contrast, you can detect saline implant ruptures without MRI monitoring. Saline implants also pose less of a health risk if they leak because saline can be absorbed safely by the body. Cohesive gel implants hold their shape the longest, have less folding and rippling than saline and traditional silicone implants, and don't leak if ruptured.

All three implants carry a risk of hardening around the implant; breast pain; changes in nipple and breast sensation; scarring, bleeding and infection; and complicated breast feeding and mammograms. No implant lasts forever and additional surgeries to correct complications may be required.

The procedure is similar for all three implants. You'll receive general anesthesia. Your surgeon will make an incision under your breast or arm, around your nipple or through your belly button and place the implant either above or below your chest muscle.

Breast Reduction: Description and Procedures

Breast reduction (mammaplasty) involves the removal of excess breast fat, glandular tissue and skin. The surgery is usually performed through incisions but sometimes liposuction is used either alone or conjunction with other excision techniques. After you receive general anesthesia your surgeon makes an incision on your breasts, repositions your nipples and shapes the breast by closing the incisions.

Breast Lifts

Breast lift surgery (mastopexy) reshapes sagging breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding skin. Breast implants also may be used. According to Plastic Surgery Review, the type of breast lift you receive will depend on the significance of your excess skin and your individual needs. The degree of lift determines the number of incisions, which run typically between one and three. The procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis in the surgeon's office or hospital. Anesthesia may be local or general.

To learn more about cosmetic breast surgery visit American Society of Plastic Surgeons andPlastic Surgery Review.