Women may decide to undergo plastic surgery to enlarge or reduce their breasts, to achieve a balance in size or shape for their breasts, or to reconstruct one or both breasts after mastectomy. Men may also seek to reduce breast size. Whatever the motivation, breast surgery is safer and easier now than ever before.
Who is the ideal candidate for each breast procedure?
Candidacy for the various breast procedures performed by Dr. Frank is as varied as the outcomes. Let’s walk through each.
- Breast Augmentation — Ideal candidates would seek to add volume and shape to their breasts. Maybe the person has always felt her breasts were disproportionate to the rest of her body. Maybe there is a degree of asymmetry. Maybe she’d simply like to have larger breasts.
- Breast Implant Revision — If a patient is dissatisfied with a prior breast augmentation done elsewhere, she would be a candidate for revision. Implant placement could be the problem or there could be rippling. Capsular contracture, where the body forms an inordinate amount of scar tissue around the implants, is a reason for revision. Implant rupture requires revision surgery. Sometimes, the patient decides she would like either larger or smaller implants.
- Breast Lift — An ideal candidate for a breast lift would be unhappy with her sagging, flattened breasts. She would feel her breast mass has dropped into the bottom of the breast, flattering the upper breast. Her nipples may point downward to a degree. She seeks to bring the breasts back up to a higher position on the chest, removing excess, sagging skin.
- Breast Reduction — Overly large natural breasts can be a physical and mental burden. Their size and weight can create problems ranging from neck and back pain to carpal tunnel syndrome. The breasts can keep the woman from participating in various types of exercise or sports. The undue attention her large breasts can attract in social situations is unwanted.
- Breast Implant Removal — A woman who has had breast augmentation may opt to have her implants removed for potential health reasons such as the risk for breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma that led to the recall by Health Canada and the U.S. FDA of BioCell textured breast implants in 2019. Or she may be getting older and no longer wants to have augmented breasts.
- Male Breast Reduction — It’s estimated that approximately half of men could have a condition known as gynecomastia, where the breasts become enlarged. Many men assume this is simply due to having a few extra pounds, but this can actually be a glandular condition with enlarged mass behind the nipple area. Enlarged breasts can make a man avoid social situations where he would have to take off his shirt.
Additional FAQs About Breast Procedures
This varies with the procedure. The shortest recovery comes with male breast reduction, as most patients can return to normal activity in about one week after their surgery. Female breast reduction requires the longest recovery due to the large incisions and removal of more sagging skin and fatty tissue. Full recovery after reduction surgery will likely take at least six months. Breast lifts will require a full month of avoiding strenuous activity and wearing a strong support bra at all times. Incision healing takes a little longer. Breast augmentation recovery is not as difficult. Patients can usually return to work in just four or five days but need to avoid any impact exercise or activity for one month.
Breast lifts and reductions are low risk procedures. The main risk is loss of nipple sensation, as Dr. Frank usually needs to relocate the nipple/areola complex. Implant revision surgery is also low risk, as Dr. Frank can use the incisions from the original augmentation procedure. Plus, not removing a ruptured implant or an implant being strangled by capsular contracture involves more risk than revision surgery.
There is more risk associated with augmentation, although not with the actual surgery. The surgery is a low-risk procedure. However, from potential implant rupture to capsular contracture to implant rippling, there are some risks down the road with implants.
Breast augmentation with silicone implants is the most popular breast surgery performed by Dr. Frank.
The general rule with any procedure following the birth of a child is for the new mother to be finished with breastfeeding for at least two to three months. This allows the breasts to return to their normal cup size, and that is where any change, whether augmentation or reduction, needs to start from. The patient should also be within 10 percent of her ideal body weight.
Health Canada doesn’t cover cosmetic surgeries, so breast augmentation is not covered unless it follows mastectomy from breast cancer. Breast lifts are not covered, as they are deemed elective, cosmetic surgery. Female breast reduction is typically covered, but the patient may have to have her primary care physician provide information about the health effects the patient has to deal with due to her enlarged breasts (issues such as neck pain, rashes, carpal tunnel, etc.). Male breast reduction is covered if the condition involves glandular tissue under the nipple complex. Implant revision surgery is usually covered in cases of rupture and capsular contracture, but not covered with poor placement or when the patient seeks to change the implant size.
Hear From Dr. Frank’s Breast Procedure Patients
"Had a BA 6 months ago, and Dr. Frank surpassed all my expectations from consultation to post op. He is personable, cares & very thorough. Thanks Dr. Frank & your amazing nurses for giving me my confidence back!" – B.H
"HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!! It has been exactly 6 months since I had a breast augmentation. The final results were exactly what Dr. Frank and his team had assured me and then some. Dr.Frank’s team are all true professionals and it’s easy to tell they love what they do. I was walked mentally through the procedure, the healing process and they never missed a step, therefore, I did not have any questions or anxiety about the changes I would experience. I couldn’t be more satisfied with the results. Thank you to all!!" – R.S