1

1

These plastic surgery procedures are a growing business and arguably a media obsession for both women and men. In both the USA & UK it is one of the top five popular cosmetic surgeries.

UK

In the UK, breast surgeries have been steadily increasing in popularity in recent years. The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, London, UK released its annual audit figures on 26 January 2009 (1). 34,000 cosmetic surgery procedures were carried out, a threefold increase since 2003. 91% of patients were women, with breast augmentation the most popular treatment, increasing by 30% on the previous year. Breast reductions also increased by 13%.

Male breast reduction had increased from 22 operations in 2003 to 323 last year, highlighting the exponential increase in popularity for this surgery.

Stateside

In the USA, however, 2008 figures from The American Society of Plastic Surgeons bucked the trend (2).  Breast augmentation surgeries were reported be down by 12%, breast reduction down by 16 percent and breast uplift surgeries down by 11% on 2008. In the same year, a staggering   17,902 male patients had breast reduction surgeries. But overall breast surgeries remained one of the five most popular cosmetic surgical procedures.

For women, cosmetic surgery offers three major choices:

Breast augmentation (the classic ‘boob job’) aims to enlarge the breast size by

inserting silicone or saline implants into the breast tissues via incisions generally made in the curved crease underneath each breast.

Breast reduction procedures reduce the quantity of breast tissue and simultaneously uplift the remaining tissue. The nipple and areola may also be repositioned if the shape of the breast changes due to the reduction in a way that would leave the ‘normal’ position looking ‘unnatural’.

Breast uplifting aims to change the position of the breasts where the tissues have lost a desirable shape. This is usually performed without changing the size of the breast and simply repositions breasts that have lost firmness and/or become flatter.

2

For men – the new ‘male boob job’

The medical term for the male breast which is overdeveloped or enlarged is gynecomastia. This is a commonly occurring stage in adolescent young men with 90% of cases resolving within months as hormonal changes occur. In adult men, the most common age for this condition is the middle to later years, occurring with perhaps 40-60% of men. Surgery to reduce excess chest fat eliminating gynaecomastia is the second fastest growing cosmetic surgery for men in the UK. Liposuction techniques or excision (surgical removal of tissue) may be used alone or combined with each other, depending on the individual patients needs.

DISCLAIMER: No information here can be used as medical advice or used to make healthcare decision!  Please only consult professional physicians for advice.

RS Brown

1.   British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. 2009. Cosmetic rates of inflation: male, female breast ops on the rise. [online]. London: British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. Available at:

http://www.baaps.org.uk/content/view/453/62/

  1. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. 2009. 2008 Female Plastic Surgery Statistics. [online] Illinois:  American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Available at:

http://www.plasticsurgery.org/Media/stats/2008-cosmetic-reconstructive-plastic-surgery-minimally-invasive-statistics.pdf

Photo Credits:

1 http://www.sxc.hu/profile/beesnail

2 http://www.sxc.hu/profile/lusi

Tags:, , , , , , , , ,

Posted in: Overview | No Comments »

Breast augmentation  surgeries are the classic ‘boob job’ so beloved of the media.   ‘Boob jobs’ are one of the top five popular cosmetic surgeries according to statistics from professional aesthetic surgery boards in the USA and UK  (1, 2).  Women may choose it:

  • to enlarge under developed breasts
  • to enlarge the breasts to create a more proportionate figure
  • to enlarge the size of one breast which is particularly smaller than the other (all breasts are slightly asymmetrical)
  • after pregnancy to enlarge breasts which have lost some size
  • other individual reasons for breast enhancement for more self confidence

The procedure

Patients meet with their surgeon and discuss the exact procedure that is recommended for them. So the information here is very much ‘generally speaking’:

1

1

The operation uses a general anaesthetic, and lasts approximately an hour to an hour and a half. Small incisions tend to be made in the crease underneath the breasts, or sometimes the armpit or lower edge of the areola (the darker circle around the nipple). Then a pocket is created to house the breast implant, either beneath the muscle or beneath breast tissues. Breast implants have a firm silicone elastimer shell, filled with either silicone gel or saline.

Silicone is most commonly used as it is felt to give a softer contour and feel to the new breasts.

Post-surgery, pain relief medication and antibiotics may be required. There may be drainage tubes inserted during the surgery to collect extravasated blood. Generally, the stay in hospital is overnight, and any such tubes are removed the following morning.

(photo: dimshik)

2

Discomfort is a definite feature, and women are generally advised to take 1 to 2 weeks off work. Women with children are generally advised to have some help for at least one week with household chores. Bathing and showering is contraindicated for 7 to 14 days, and patients must sleep on their back. Underwire bras are also not allowed for a certain time. Surgeons usually give specific advice on the recovery care for each patient.

Long-term commitment

One major feature of breast enlargement surgery is commitment – this is a long-term commitment rather than a one off surgery.

The lifespan of an implant varies from patient to patient, so a good aftercare relationship with the surgery team is essential (3).

Patients may need to repeat the operation

Take impartial expert advice - the more skilled surgeons routinely operate to correct previous cosmetic surgery (3 )

‘Plastic surgery gone wrong’ stories

The media often carries sensationalist stories of unsuccessful surgeries and risks posed. The truth is, all surgery carries risks, the result are variable by surgeon and by patient. The UK ‘s Department of Health provides a comprehensive guide for women considering breast implant surgery (3), which is a must-read for facts, considerations and advice. The guide contains safety data and information on procedures and materials used and known outcomes. Professional bodies for cosmetic surgery could also offer advice on which qualifications and training the more experienced surgeons should have in your location. Incredibly, worldwide, not all surgeons who practice plastic surgery actually have specialised training in it and some have little experience of certain procedures.

DISCLAIMER: No information here can be used as medical advice or used to make healthcare decision!  Please only consult qualified physicians for advice.

Kath Smith

References:

1. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. 2009. 2008 Female Plastic Surgery Statistics. [online] Illinois:  American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Available at:

http://www.plasticsurgery.org/Media/stats/2008-cosmetic-reconstructive-plastic-surgery-minimally-invasive-statistics.pdf

2. British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. 2009. Cosmetic rates of inflation: male, female breast ops on the rise. [online]. London: British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. Available at:

http://www.baaps.org.uk/content/view/453/62/

3. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. 2006. Breast Implants: Information for women considering breast implants. London: Department of Health. Available at:

http://www.mhra.gov.uk/Publications/Postersandleaflets/CON2022635

Photo credits:

1 Asterisc21 http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=profile&l=asterisc21

2 Dimshik http://www.sxc.hu/profile/dimshik

3 Lusi http://www.sxc.hu/profile/lusi

Tags:, , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in: Augmentation, Breast Surgery for Women | No Comments »

1

1

Breast uplifts (medical name ‘maxoplasty’) aims to enhance the contour of breast which have lost their natural shape and/or firmness.    Causes may include substantial weight loss from slimming; pregnancy; or premature loss  of elastic tone to the skin, creating a more sagging shape. Women may choose breast uplift surgery to improve self confidence and feel better in a bikini on holiday. The operation is breast plastic surgery aimed at enhancing shape, not increasing size – but it can be performed with a simultaneous  breast augmentation if required, during the same surgery. Maxoplasty always uses general anaesthetic and the operation may last between 1 to 3hrs. The way the operation is then performed depends on the individual patient’s breast shape and the opinion of the surgeon for the best results.

The procedure

operation blade by blink

2

Generally, though, small incisions are made at sites on the breast which allow for a higher position of the nipple and areole (darker circle around it). A crescent shaped incision is commonly used to remove excess skin from an incision above the areola, although it can be performed lower down on the breast. Once the excess skin has gone, the nipple should rest in a higher place, hence the name ‘uplift surgery’. This taughter skin should result in more pert breasts.

Recovery

Cosmetic surgery needs recovery time like any other operation. It may be necessary for antibiotics and pain relief medication to be given following the surgery.

Drainage tubes may also need to be inserted into the breasts during the operation and remain in place for a short time afterwards, to remove any leaked blood. Once any tubing is removed, stitches are later removed between 7 to 14 days. Patients generally  spend 1 to 2 nights in hospital, followed by attendance at appointments to monitor wound healing. A supportive bra is needed and strenuous physical activity must not be done for some time. Several weeks are needed off work to recover and exercise should be reintroduced with care over the next 4 to 6 weeks, following explicitly the individual advice of the surgeon.

Some Important Considerations

The procedure always involves a degree of scarring. The lasting extent of scarring can depend on the degree to which the breast had lost their shape. Initially, the scars are pink, and then generally speaking over time fade to faint white lines. It is possible that the sensitivity in the nipple can decrease. It is also possible that patients may not be able to breast feed following this surgery. All concerns must be fully discussed with the surgeon before committing, so that fully informed choices can be made.

DISCLAIMER: No information here can be used as medical advice or used to make any healthcare decision!  Please only consult qualified physicians for advice.

Julia Smith

Photo Credits

1 http://www.sxc.hu/profile/Blinc

2 http://www.sxc.hu/profile/lusi



Tags:, , , , , ,

Posted in: Breast Surgery for Women, Uplifting | No Comments »

« Previous Entries