What is Breast Surgery?
Breast surgery refers to a group of procedures aimed at altering the appearance of your breasts, correcting breast deformities, or reconstructing your breasts after surgical removal. The type of breast surgery that your surgeon will perform will depend on your condition, body type, and aesthetic goals.
Breast Procedures – Dr Craig Rubinstein, Melbourne, Australia
Breast surgery has become a transformative option for individuals seeking to either alter their physical appearance or address various medical concerns related to their breasts. From breast augmentation to reduction, reconstruction to lift procedures, advancements in plastic surgery techniques have paved the way for personalised solutions tailored to meet individual needs.
This page delves into the realm of breast surgery, shedding light on its various procedures, outcomes, considerations, risks and options for individuals who choose to embark on their own breast surgery journey.
Dr Craig Rubinstein MBBS FRACS (Plast) is one of the most experienced plastic surgeons in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. Dr Craig performs a range of personalised and precise reconstructive and cosmetic breast surgery procedures including:
What is the Purpose of Breast Surgery?
The term breast surgery encompasses several procedures such as breast augmentation, reduction, reconstruction, and lift. These procedures can achieve a number of different outcomes for individuals who choose to undergo them. While the specific results will vary depending on the type of surgery and individual goals, below are some of the common purposes associated with breast surgery:
Correcting Congenital or Developmental Issues
Breast surgery may address congenital abnormalities or developmental issues, such as tuberous breasts or Poland syndrome. These conditions can affect breast shape, size, or symmetry, and breast surgery may help address these conditions.
Restore Breast Shape and Volume
Procedures like breast augmentation or breast lift may help individuals who have experienced changes in breast shape and volume due to factors such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight loss, or aging.
Correcting Breast Asymmetry
Breast surgery may address breast asymmetry, where one breast is noticeably larger or shaped differently than the other.
Addressing Physical Discomfort
Breast reduction surgery may alleviate physical discomfort associated with overly large breasts, such as neck, shoulder, and back pain, skin irritation, and difficulty engaging in physical activities. By reducing the size and weight of the breasts, individuals may experience relief from these discomforts.
Reconstruction After Mastectomy
Breast surgery plays a vital role in breast reconstruction for individuals who have undergone mastectomy due to breast cancer or other medical reasons. It offers the opportunity to restore breast shape, symmetry, and a desired aesthetic appearance.
It is important to note that the specific outcomes of breast surgery can vary depending on individual circumstances and expectations. Consulting with a qualified plastic surgeon is crucial to determine the most suitable procedure and understand the potential outcomes and considerations specific to each individual case.
Am I a Suitable Candidate for Breast Surgery?
Your breast surgeon will assess your condition, health history, amount of breast tissue, lifestyle, and desired cosmetic goals during your consultation. In general, you are a suitable candidate for breast surgery if you:
- Are in good health, both physically and mentally.
- Don’t have a bleeding or clotting disorder.
- Want to increase the size and/or shape of your breasts.
- Suffer from asymmetrical breasts.
- Experience physical discomfort.
- Seek breast reconstruction.
- Have undergone significant weight loss.
- Have overly large breasts that cause skin irritation, redness, infection, back pain, headaches, and other discomforts.
- Want to replace your breast implants.
- Have congenital breast abnormalities.
- Have realistic expectations regarding the procedure.
It’s important to note that each individual is unique, and candidacy for breast surgery is determined through a comprehensive consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon. The surgeon will evaluate the individual’s specific needs, medical history, and desired outcomes to determine if they are a suitable candidate for the procedure.
What Breast Surgery Procedures are Available?
The field of breast surgery offers a range of procedures to address various aesthetic desires and functional concerns. These procedures include:
Breast augmentation (mammaplasty)
This surgery involves the placement of breast implants to alter the size and shape of the breasts, providing a fuller and more proportionate appearance.
Breast lift (mastopexy)
Also known as mastopexy, this procedure is designed to lift and reshape ptosis (descending) breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissues.
This surgery aims to reduce the size and weight of overly large breasts by removing excess breast tissue, fat, and skin. It can help alleviate physical discomfort, improve posture, and enhance overall body proportions.
Breast implant revision surgery
This procedure is performed to address issues or complications related to previous breast augmentation, such as implant rupture, capsular contracture, or dissatisfaction with the implant size or position.
Breast implant removal
Individuals may choose to have their breast implants removed for personal or medical reasons. This procedure involves the removal of the implants, along with any necessary adjustments to restore the desired breast appearance.
Inverted nipple correction
In this procedure, the nipple and areola complex are reshaped to correct inverted or retracted nipples, allowing them to project outward from the breast.
Each of these breast procedures are tailored to the individual’s specific needs and goals. It is important to consult with a plastic surgeon to determine the most suitable procedure(s) based on your unique circumstances and desired outcomes.
Recovery After Breast Surgery
It is important to keep in mind that the recovery time of breast surgery will vary from patient to patient.
The length of your recovery will greatly depend on several factors such as the extent and type of your surgery, your healing ability, your body type, and your treatment goals. Immediately after your surgery, you will likely experience some soreness, bruising, and pain on and around your surgical site.
These discomforts can usually be alleviated by taking pain relievers and anti-inflammatories. To support your healing breasts, you will most likely need to wear a support bra or compression garments.
In addition, you will be advised to avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting to avoid tension on your suture lines.
Breast Procedure Costs
The cost of a breast procedure can vary depending on several factors, including the specific type of procedure, the complexity of the case, the surgeon’s experience and qualifications, the location of the hospital, and additional factors such as anesthesia fees and more. It is best to consult with a plastic surgeon who can provide you with an accurate cost estimate based on your individual needs and circumstances.
In general, breast procedures can range in cost from several thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Breast augmentation with implants tends to be on the lower end of the cost spectrum, while more complex procedures like breast lift (mastopexy) or breast reduction may be higher in cost. It is important to consider that the cost includes not only the surgical procedure itself but also pre-operative consultations, post-operative care, and any necessary follow-up appointments.
Additionally, it’s important to note that health insurance coverage for breast procedures can vary. While breast augmentation for purely cosmetic reasons is typically not covered by insurance, procedures like breast reduction that are performed to alleviate medical issues such as back pain or posture problems may be partially or fully covered. It is advisable to check with your insurance provider to understand the extent of coverage for the specific procedure you are considering.
During a consultation with a plastic surgeon, they will provide you with a detailed breakdown of the costs involved and help you understand the financial aspects of the procedure.
It is important to prioritise finding a qualified and experienced surgeon rather than solely focusing on the cost, as the skill and training of the surgeon greatly contribute to the overall outcome and safety of the procedure.
What are the Risks of Breast Surgery?
The following are the risks associated with a breast procedure:
- Allergic reactions to anesthesia such as skin rashes and difficulty breathing
- Capsular contracture
- Changes in skin sensation
- Delayed wound healing
- Implant leakage or rupture
- Increasing pain at the surgical site
- Numbness in one or both breasts
- Changes in nipple sensation
- Poor wound healing
- Possibility of revision surgery
- Pus draining from your wound
- Rippling of the implant and other implant complications
- Severe swelling
- Skin discoloration
- Skin loss
- Sutures that protrude through the skin
- Wound dehiscence
- Wrong or faulty position of the implant
It’s important to discuss these risks with a plastic surgeon during your consultation. They will provide you with a thorough understanding of the potential risks and help you make an informed decision about your surgery.
See the page on Risks and Complications of Plastic Surgery for more details.
Breast Complications Glossary
- Anesthesia – Drugs used during a surgical procedure to relieve pain and other discomforts.
- Capsular contracture – A complication of breast augmentation that is characterised by the formation of a tight scar around the implant.
- Hematoma – Visible pooling of blood under your skin.
- Revision surgery – A procedure that involves replacement, repositioning, or removal of breast implants to correct poor cosmetic results and complications.
- Rippling of the implant – Visible folds and wrinkles in your skin due to improper implant placement.
- Seroma – Build-up of body fluids at the surgical site.
- Wound dehiscence – Partial or total separation of wound edges after it has been sutured.
Further Reading – Medical References
- Types of Breast Implants – American Society of Plastic Surgeons
- Breast Augmentation Surgery Information
- Breast Surgery Melbourne by Coco Ruby Plastic Surgeons
Best Blogs about Breast Surgery
About Dr Craig Rubinstein
Dr Craig Rubinstein FRACS (Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons) is an experienced Melbourne Specialist Plastic Surgeon for breast and abdominoplasty surgery.
Dr Rubinstein offers women personalised abdominoplasty surgery and all forms of cosmetic breast surgery.
BOOK A CONSULTATION 1300 599 990
Next Steps in Your Surgical Journey
Want more information about your Procedure?
- Download a Free Procedure Guide on your chosen surgery.
- Visit the FAQs and read patient reviews to learn more about your intended procedure.
- For more information about pricing visit our cost page.
- You can also talk to our Patient Care Team from 9 to 5 pm Monday to Friday on 1300 599 990
About Your First Consultation
- Dr Rubinstein’s Consultation fee is $300.
- A referral from your GP or specialist is essential.
- A referral helps when claiming Medicare or Private Health Insurance coverage.
- Please contact the Patient Care Team at Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery to book your consultation.
What to Bring to Your Consultation
- You are more than welcome to bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices.
- Ensure you also take a lot of notes and thoroughly examine the documents provided.
- Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes.