Ever wondered what a plastic surgeon thinks when examining a patient’s breasts? The truth is, they are considering a myriad of physical factors. The female breast is a complex body part, as its purpose goes far beyond aesthetics.
In this post, Dr. Schlesinger provides an overview of breast anatomy, as well as a rundown of why your plastic surgeon must assess these qualities in the breast surgery consultation and planning process.
The breast is an organ whose primary purpose is to produce milk for lactation. It extends horizontally from the sternum to the center of the axilla (the armpit), and vertically from the collarbone to the middle of the rib cage.
During your breast surgery consultation, your plastic surgeon takes all elements of your breast anatomy into consideration. Your surgical plan and implant selection are even influenced by your anatomy around the breasts, especially the space between your breasts and the shape of your torso. Here are some of the major anatomical elements your surgeon is looking for, and why understanding them is key to giving you good results.
Your surgeon needs to assess your skin’s elasticity as well as the qualities of the internal connective and fatty tissues that provide your breasts with structural support. This is critical to making a surgical plan, as some augmentation patients may also require a surgical lift to achieve ideal results.
The amount of breast tissue you have will influence many of your surgeon’s recommendations, including implant placement, implant type, and—of course—sizing. Plastic surgeons also need to carefully consider any size differences between the breasts and work to improve symmetry with their surgical plan.
The space between your breasts can influence your results quite a bit, and widely spaced breasts should be approached differently than more close-set breasts. Either way, your plastic surgeon will need to take your breast spacing into account and plan carefully to achieve natural-looking cleavage.
Chest wall characteristics can heavily influence surgical choices: for example, the treatment plan for a patient with a sunken chest shape (pectus excavatum) will be very different from that of a patient with a protruding chest wall (pectus carinatum).
Implant sizing is a precise business that goes well beyond choosing the right number of CCs. The correct width of implant, matched to each individual breast, is important to delivering attractive and stable results.
Plastic surgeons need to look beyond the breasts to the surrounding features: your breast implants should create a harmonious overall look that includes your whole body.
Some women’s breasts need additional special consideration. For example, some patients have tuberous breasts, colloquially known as “snoopy boobs” because of their downward-facing conical shape. (A standard breast augmentation will not adequately fix tuberous breasts, since the breasts need to be fully reshaped rather than simply resized; read more about corrective surgery for tuberous breasts here.) Fibrocystic breasts also require special attention when it comes to breast augmentation. Women who are aware of any special breast condition should be sure to choose a board certified plastic surgeon with particular expertise in the issue.
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Larry S. Schlesinger has over 30 years of plastic surgery experience and has performed thousands of breast surgeries during his career. Dr. Schlesinger has also been named a RealSelf Top Doctor for 6 consecutive years for his high patient satisfaction rate, willingness to answer questions, and exceptional patient feedback. Contact his practice online or call (808) 597-8835 to schedule your breast consultation today.