Surgical options for different breast conditions

Surgical options for different breast conditions

25th Jun 2021


It is difficult to imagine that for those who choose it, cosmetic surgery is not just a caprice. It is a means of feeling whole for the first time or again. We are accustomed to a norm in the way people look, so if someone is somewhat different, then peers will look at them differently. There are women who have big breasts and they want them small; some have little ones and want them big. And unfortunately, there are women who have lost them forever, but are just happy to be alive. All of these are breast conditions that can be treated through surgery and can make each one feel better about themselves, more confident, and more beautiful.

There are various breast conditions that can be corrected by cosmetic surgery. Some of these conditions are congenital, and some are acquired over time. None of these conditions do not pose any threat to the health of the bearer, but it might bring great discomfort to the health of one’s mind. Among those issues are tuberous breasts, asymmetric breasts, breast hypertrophy, breasts ptosis, or breasts after a mastectomy to remove cancerous cells.

All these deformities that result from causes that are not in our power to change or remove usually cause a lot of emotional issues for the women affected by them. In some cases, it can even cause physical health issues.

Breast implants for tuberous breasts 

This is a condition characterized by the insufficient development of the glandular tissue in both the upper and lower part of the breasts that makes them have a tubular appearance. These are breasts that very small, but the gap between them is usually very large. It is not entirely known what exactly causes this condition, but many consider it genetical heredity or a result of a hormonal imbalance during puberty.

This type of anomaly can affect both breasts or just one of them. It can be treated only by surgical methods. Depending on the degree of underdevelopment in your breasts, you will need one or two procedures to get a natural-looking result. The surgeon will either perform an augmentation surgery using implants or in a separate operation. Before the augmentation, he or she will place a tissue extender to help make a place for the implants.

Breast augmentation or reduction for asymmetry

Usually, most women present a small degree of asymmetry, and that is because the left side of the human body is slightly different than the right one. This asymmetry is not usually visible, and therefore it creates no discomfort. But there are some cases when this asymmetry is more than evident, and it can be accompanied by other symptoms. There is a condition called Poland’s syndrome when one of the breasts develops normally and the other one under-develops or does not exist at all. It can also be a moderate but visible asymmetry due to a poor development during puberty, and it may or may not be accompanied by tuberous breast deformity.

Asymmetry can be surgically treated by either performing breast augmentation in the smaller breast or by reduction if there is also hypertrophy present in the bigger breast. The choice regarding the type of procedure might be advised by the surgeon, but it remains with the patient in the end. It is possible for the patient to need to have bilateral surgery, and plastic surgeons usually recommend this procedure because the patient has better chances of obtaining symmetry. 

The surgical correction usually depends on the exact cause of asymmetry. For Poland’s syndrome, there are cases when the surgery also requires muscle transfer and lipofilling. If the asymmetry is not really that big and it is okay for you to wait until you have children, then it is better to do so. The reason is that asymmetry will become again evident after the changes that happen to the breasts during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Still, there are some cases when this asymmetry might cause enormous psychological damage like depression or other types of afflictions, so corrective surgery becomes a must.

Breast reduction

Breast hypertrophy or gigantomastia is a quite rare condition of having supersized breasts. This can happen during puberty as a congenital condition, or it can happen during pregnancy or after following various treatments with medicine. The growth can happen in a matter of days, weeks, or years. 

There are three types of hypertrophy that can be mainly distinguished: juvenile gigantomastia that appears during puberty, gestational hypertrophy that appears during pregnancy, and drug-induced gigantomastia. The last one can be triggered by various drugs, of which the most common one is D-penicillamine usually used to treat arthritis. While this might seem wonderful for those who want bigger breasts, the reality is not how they imagine. This condition can cause a lot of discomfort and even health issues such as back and neck pain, poor posture, infection of the skin, irritation, weakness, and even numbness. 

Therefore, most women who have this condition will seek treatment. There are medications that might be administered, but they can function for a short period of time before gigantomastia reappears. The only effective treatment is surgery through breast reduction. This procedure incurs removal of skin, glandular tissue and fat, and repositioning of the nipple. Therefore, the scarring is extensive. Recovery is usually very short, and you can resume your work or studies after a week or two. Nipple sensation and the ability to breastfeed are not affected, provided the surgery is done by a certified plastic surgeon.

Breast reconstruction

Partial or total mastectomy occurs when one or both your breasts are removed entirely. The need for this removal is due to cancer. In order to impede the proliferation of cancerous cells to the rest of your body, the OB-GYN can recommend partial or total removal of your breasts. 

Apart from the painful drama resulting from having cancer, there is also a strong emotional pain in women who have to lose one or both their breasts in order to survive. It might seem like a simple decision: to die of cancer or lose a breast or two slowly. It is a decision that requires incredible strength from a woman, and the only thing that might comfort her is the possibility of being able to replace what she lost. Plastic surgery through breast reconstruction surgery can offer this to a woman to let her feel whole again after all the pain and loss.

Reconstruction surgery can be done only if you are not under chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Otherwise, it can be done even during the mastectomy. There are two possible methods for breast reconstruction, but sometimes a combination of the two might be used. There is the natural tissue reconstruction also known as a “flap” procedure and the implant procedure. 

The natural tissue reconstruction method uses your own tissue to create a new breast. The donor site of your body that it is normally used for this procedure is the lower abdomen. Surgeons use either skin and fat from this part of your body (DIEP flap), or they can harvest skin, fat, and muscle (TRAM flap). After these are removed from your tummy, they are sculpted to look like the other breast or like both, and then they are attached to the mastectomy site. The use of natural tissue is preferred by some, especially when there is a partial mastectomy. Real human tissue will change in time and closely follow the natural modifications occurring in the remaining healthy breast. 

There are some risks incurred by this kind of surgery. If the blood vessels to which the flap is attached fail to nourish it, i.e., provide enough oxygen correctly, then this could lead to “flap death.” The surgery will be unsuccessful, and the new breast will not survive. There can also be some complications with the donor site, especially in the TRAM flap procedure due to the fact that the muscle will also be affected and cut. You will spend some days under the constant monitorization of the medical team that wants to ensure the flap will survive, and you will also need to wear drains in the breast and in the donor site for several weeks after the surgery. There might be cases when the surgeon will consider using some other alternative donor sites on your body like shoulders, buttocks or the inner thighs.

The implant reconstruction method uses an implant to reconstruct the breast. Depending on the size of your original breasts, the surgeon might consider that you need a two-step surgery. The first step will be an operation in which the doctor will insert a tissue expander. This device is a silicone pouch with a valve. This “expander” will gradually enlarge the tissue to be able to accommodate the later inserted implant. In the next step, this pouch is either filled with saline solution or taken out and replaced with a silicone implant. In this case, the implants might not follow the shape or size of your original breasts, but this procedure has fewer risks. That is because the implant does not depend on blood supply to survive. 


There are many conditions related to breasts that a woman can experience during her lifetime, conditions that are hereditary or due to hormonal changes like puberty, pregnancy, menopause, or some that appear due to disease. It is important to know that modern medicine can offer a myriad of options and procedures to repair or embellish what we do not like or what makes us emotionally suffer. No matter what your affliction, imperfection or dislike we have related to our bodies, you will always have choices.

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