The size and shape of a woman's breasts can often play a critical role in her self-image. Women who are discontent with their breast size can often feel self-conscious or even embarrassed about their appearance. Weight loss and pregnancy can leave breasts stretched, sagging, and unattractive.
Breast Enhancement Options:
Breast augmentation with implants can help women in Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota achieve increased breast size and fullness while maintaining a natural look for a shapelier figure and a boost in self-confidence.
Overly large breasts can cause physical and emotional pain. This surgery can give women an improved outlook on life by releasing them from the physical burden and reducing self-consciousness.
Attain a more youthful, rounded contour when breasts sag due to weight loss, pregnancy, or gravity.
Restore the shape and form of one or both breasts that have been removed due to mastectomy using either implants or your own body tissue.
For more information, we invite you to also explore our interactive patient education center and read more below.
Breast augmentation, also known as augmentation mammoplasty, is a surgical enhancement procedure that accentuates the size and shape of a woman's breasts. Breast augmentation with implants gives women a fuller profile and can increase breast volume that is lost due to pregnancy or nursing.
Reasons for considering breast augmentation:
- Enhancing body shape if breasts are too small
- Increasing breast volume after pregnancy and nursing
- Equalizing a difference in breast size to achieve breast symmetry
While breast augmentation will make the breasts larger, the surgery will not move the breasts closer together or lift sagging breasts. Many patients choose additional procedures, such as breast lift and liposuction, to complement their breast augmentation surgery. Breast implants are also commonly used to rebuild the breasts during breast reconstruction for patients who have experienced breast cancer.
The breast augmentation procedure begins by inserting each implant through a small incision. We commonly perform the surgery on an outpatient basis at a hospital or surgery center while the patient is under general anesthesia and asleep.
Several possible locations for the small incision can be used for inserting the breast implant. The most frequent technique utilizes an incision made in the lower portion of the breast. An alternate technique makes an incision around the areola (the darker skin surrounding the nipple). The best technique will be decided together between you and your surgeon during your consultation.
During surgery, the breast tissue is raised to create an open pocket under the breast tissue or beneath the chest wall muscle. Inserting an implant behind each breast can increase a woman's breast size by one or more bra cup sizes. Implants typically contain a saline solution (similar to saltwater) or a silicone gel. Surgery typically lasts 1 to 2 hours.
Generally, post-operative instructions call for rest and limited movement to speed up the healing process and recovery time. Breast augmentation patients must wear a specialized surgical bra for several weeks. Most patients are allowed to return to work within one week of surgery.
Discomfort after surgery is treated with oral pain medication. While complications are rare, you can minimize potential problems by carefully following the after-care directions you will receive from Black Hills Plastic Surgery.
Breast reduction (or reduction mammoplasty) is a type of breast surgery that reshapes the breasts in order to make them smaller, lighter, and firmer. Reduction is accomplished by removing excess fat, glandular tissue, and skin.
Large, heavy breasts can cause not only physical pain but also emotional issues such as insecurity. Fortunately, these issues can often be resolved with the help of plastic surgeons. Our breast reduction patients find that they are able to lead a healthier, more comfortable life, in addition to enjoying a beautiful, more proportionate appearance.
Reasons for considering breast reduction surgery:
- Back, neck, or shoulder pain caused by heavy breasts
- Sagging breasts produced by their large size
- Disproportionate body frame attributed to oversized breasts
- Restriction of physical activity due to the size and weight of the breasts
- Painful bra strap marks and/or rashes as a result of large breasts
We offer a variety of other procedures to complement breast reduction surgery, including tummy tuck and liposuction. Many women find that cosmetic surgery enhances their self-esteem in addition to improving their appearance.
Techniques for breast reduction vary; however, the most common procedure involves an incision that circles the areola. From the areola, the incision goes down and follows the natural curve under the breast. The surgeon then removes excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin.
Next, the nipple and areola are repositioned to a higher position and held in place by stitches. Occasionally, liposuction alone can be used to reduce breast size. The best procedure can be determined during the initial consultation visit.
Of all plastic surgery procedures, breast reduction results in the quickest body-image changes. Patients are pleased with the elimination of physical pain caused by large breasts as well as a better proportioned body, an enhanced appearance, and better fitting clothes.
Generally, post-operative instructions for breast reduction patients call for plenty of rest and limited movement to speed up the healing process and reduce the recovery time. Bandages are applied immediately following surgery to aid the healing process and to minimize movement of the breasts. Once the bandages are removed, you will need to wear a specialized surgical bra for several weeks.
Patients sometimes report minor pain associated with breast reduction surgery. Any pain can be treated with oral medication. While complications are rare, you can minimize potential problems by carefully following the after-care instructions you will receive from Black Hills Plastic Surgery.
- Elevating sagging caused by the effects of aging and gravity
- Firming the breasts that have lost substance due to pregnancy and subsequent breastfeeding
- Realigning nipples/areolas if they point down or to the side
- Restoring natural suppleness after weight loss
General ProcedureBreast lift surgery usually takes 1.5 to 3 hours. Techniques vary, but the most common procedure involves an anchor-like incision along the underside of the breast. The incision goes around the area where skin will be removed, thus defining how the nipple will be relocated. When the excess skin has been removed, the nipple and areola are moved into a higher position. The skin surrounding the areola is brought down and together to reshape the breast. Some patients, especially those with relatively small breasts and minimal sagging, may be candidates for modified procedures requiring less extensive incisions. One such procedure is the "doughnut (or concentric) mastopexy" in which circular incisions are made around the areola and a doughnut-shaped area of skin is removed. If you are having a breast enlargement along with the breast lift, the implant will be placed in a pocket directly under the breast tissue or under the muscle of the chest wall
RecoveryGenerally, post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement to speed up the healing process and recovery time. Bandages are applied right after surgery to aid the healing process and to minimize movement of the breasts. Once the bandages are removed, you will need to wear a specialized surgical bra for several weeks. Patients sometimes report minor pain associated with surgery, which can be treated with oral medication. While complications are rare, you can minimize potential problems by carefully following the post-operative directions given by Black Hills Plastic Surgery.
Breast reconstruction surgery is performed after complete or partial removal of the breast for cancer, or less commonly, for benign (non-cancerous) disease. Women across the country who develop these conditions often have breast reconstruction performed by board-certified plastic surgeons. Throughout Montana, Nebraska, and North Dakota, and in Rapid City, South Dakota, Black Hills Plastic Surgery is known as a center for breast reconstruction.
Reasons for considering breast reconstruction:
- New diagnosis of breast cancer with recommendation of complete mastectomy
- Mastectomy defect from prior surgical treatment of breast cancer
- Significant deformity of breast from lumpectomy (partial removal of breast)
There are many factors that go into making the decision for breast reconstruction, including timing of reconstruction (immediate vs. delayed), your breast size and body type, and whether you will need additional treatment for your cancer (such as radiation or chemotherapy). Our doctors will address all of these issues and help you reach the decision that is right for you during your personal consultation.
Breast reconstruction is performed using the body's own tissue or by using implants, or occasionally a combination of both techniques. When using the body's own tissue, typically skin and fat from the abdominal area is transferred to the breast with one of the "sit-up" muscles for blood supply. This results in a soft, natural appearing breast with a patch of skin where the nipple used to be.
Many women like the natural appearance of their breast and improvement in abdominal contour that results from moving the excess skin and fat tissue.
When reconstructing with implants, a partially filled expander or temporary implant is placed in the breast at the initial surgery. Over a period of 2 to 4 months, the expander is filled in the office to the desired volume. The expander is then replaced with a silicone or saline breast implant in a second operation, usually done at the surgery center.
Many women like the perky appearance of this type of reconstruction, which is similar to breast augmentation, especially if both breasts are removed and reconstructed.
Reconstruction of the breast can be done at the time of breast removal (immediate reconstruction) or after recovery of breast cancer (delayed reconstruction). Reconstructive surgery after breast removal does not replace the function of the breast, such as breast feeding, but for many women, replacement of the breast shape and form helps complete their recovery from cancer.
Many women who are diagnosed with breast cancer want to have immediate reconstruction so that they never have to live with a mastectomy defect. Certain types of immediate reconstruction fill the breast defect fully at the first surgery while other types of reconstruction begin the process at the first operation and complete it over a period of several months.
After receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer, some women want to focus on treatment of the cancer itself and aren't initially interested in reconstruction. However, after treatment is completed, breast reconstruction may become more important.
Breast reconstruction can be performed any time after healing from surgery and any additional treatment is complete. It is never too late to consider reconstruction after breast removal.
Depending on the type of breast reconstruction surgery chosen, the recovery process can vary from a few weeks to as many as 10 weeks. Breast reconstruction using the body's own tissue typically takes longer to recover from because there is more than one surgical site. Recovery from implant reconstruction is faster, but usually requires multiple operations.