Noncosmetic Reasons to Have Breast Surgery

Cosmetic breast surgery is an elective procedure that focuses on improving your appearance, whether you want to augment, reduce, or lift your breasts. You may also need breast surgery for medical reasons, such as alleviating symptoms, preventing disease, or restoring the appearance of your breasts.

Medically necessary breast surgery doesn’t mean that aesthetics are ignored, however. No matter why you need breast surgery, Rafael C. Cabrera, MD, FACS, at Plastic Surgery Specialists of Boca Raton always pays flawless attention to achieving exceptional results that enhance your appearance. These are the top four reasons for noncosmetic breast surgery:

Breast reduction to relieve symptoms

You can choose to reduce the size of your breasts for purely cosmetic reasons. But most women seeking a breast reduction aren’t motivated to improve their appearance. Instead, they want relief from the uncomfortable symptoms caused by large, heavy breasts, a condition called macromastia or breast hypertrophy.

Women with large breasts experience chronic pain in their shoulders, neck, upper back, and lower back as the weight of their breasts stresses the underlying muscles. They commonly develop skin rashes, itching, excessive moisture, and discomfort in the fold of skin underneath their breasts.

Macromastia may cause pain in your breast tissue and chest wall, numbness and tingling in your arms or hands, and poor posture. Most women end up with deep grooves in their shoulders due to the pressure from bra straps.

You may also develop shortness of breath or have a hard time sleeping because the weight and size of your breasts make it difficult to find a comfortable position.

When we perform a breast reduction to relieve the symptoms of macromastia and to create breasts that are in proportion with your body frame, the procedure is not cosmetic. It’s a functional plastic surgery procedure.

Breast reconstruction

Breast reconstruction is most often performed to restore your breasts after surgery to remove breast cancer. You may also need breast reconstruction to rebuild your breasts after a traumatic injury, infection, or congenital disease.

If you choose to have a mastectomy because you have a high risk of cancer due to mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, your breast surgery and reconstruction are not considered to be cosmetic.

Breast surgeries that are typically cosmetic in nature are often an integral part of reconstructive surgery. For example, inserting breast implants or having a breast reduction, breast lift, or breast augmentation are all noncosmetic when they’re performed due to a mastectomy or lumpectomy.

Breast implant removal

Surgery to remove a breast implant is not cosmetic when you have a silicone implant with a documented rupture, the implant or its surrounding tissue develop an infection, or you have pain related to capsular contracture.

Implant removal is also not a cosmetic procedure if you’re diagnosed with breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) or if you choose to have the implant removed because you have an increased risk of BIA-ALCL.

Gynecomastia treatment

Gynecomastia occurs in men when their breast gland tissue grows, enlarging one or both breasts. In most cases, gynecomastia is caused by a hormone imbalance, but it can also develop due to certain medications and underlying conditions.

Though your initial treatment may consist of medication, some men need breast surgery to remove excess tissue. Male plastic surgery to treat gynecomastia is not a cosmetic procedure.

If you have any questions about breast surgery and whether the type you need is cosmetic or medically necessary, we’re here to help. Don’t hesitate to call Plastic Surgery Specialists of Boca Raton or request an appointment online.

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