A Plastic Surgeon’s-Eye View of the Breast

By Breast Implant Center of Hawaii

A Plastic Surgeon’s-Eye View of the Breast

Hawaii Plastic Surgeon Dr. Schlesinger Explains the anatomy of a breast during breast augmentation surgery

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 basic anatomy of the breast

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.

The basic anatomy of a human breast

The basic anatomy of the breast.

The breast contains three types of tissue:

Within these tissues are muscles, ligaments, glands, and vessels:

How a plastic surgeon assesses your breasts

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.

1. Quality of your breast skin and supporting tissue

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.

2. The volume of breast tissue in each breast

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.

3. Spacing of your breasts

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.

4. Width and shape of your chest wall

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).

5. Width and shape of each breast

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.

6. Overall shape of your torso and body

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.

7. Consideration of any special breast issues

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.

Schedule your Honolulu breast consultation with Dr. Schlesinger

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.

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