Encounter twenty women on the street in the USA, and the chances are that one of them will have breast implants. That’s right. Just under 5% of women in the USA have had breast implant surgery, and Australia isn’t far behind. It’s the most popular cosmetic surgery, both in America and Australia.
But the motivation for breast enhancement isn’t all about being flat-chested, says Dr Georgina Konrat of Brisbane Cosmetic Clinic.
Breasts that are too large can cause significant problems for a woman’s health as well as her self-image. The heavy breast tissue can cause neck and back pain and can actually create problems for your spine.
Large breasts make strenuous physical activity and sports difficult, so a woman with over-large breasts is more likely to be unfit and therefore susceptible to a range of other physical problems.
Breast reduction surgery removes a significant amount of the breast tissue and reshapes the remainder. The nipple and areola need to be repositioned so they sit in the correct place on the ‘new’ breast. Often the areola will be reduced, in proportion to the new breast shape.
Breasts that sag unnaturally, particularly after breast-feeding, can cause similar physical problems, making it difficult to exercise or to find clothes and swimwear that fit properly.
If you have breasts of uneven size, you’re not alone. Bear in mind that most women have breasts that vary slightly in size, just as most people’s faces are not completely symmetrical. It’s only when the size difference (‘asymmetry’) is obvious and affects your ability to wear clothing that it becomes an issue.
Breast surgery is often performed to correct significant drooping or size imbalance. This requires careful planning by the surgeon – and possibly implants of different sizes – to ensure that the end result is as symmetrical as possible.
Abnormal size or shape of the nipples is a breast problem that’s often overlooked. This might be caused by breast-feeding, or it could simply be the natural shape of your nipples. Unusually long nipples can be obvious – and embarrassing – under clothing.
Nipple reduction surgery reduces the size of the nipple. It also reshapes the nipple if better proportions are needed.
A common abnormality is ‘nipple inversion’. This means that instead of protruding from your breast, the nipple is held or pulled towards the inside of your breast. Surgical correction of inverted nipples is a relatively minor and straightforward surgery.
Dr Georgina Konrat says that nipple surgery can be performed alone, but it’s often combined with other breast surgery, such as breast reduction, breast lift, or even breast enlargement.
All surgery carries an element of risk, and you should be aware of these risks before you decide to undertake any procedure.
If you have concerns about the size, shape or detail of your breasts and would like to discuss the possibility of corrective surgery, call Brisbane Cosmetic Clinic on 07 3391 5710 to book a confidential consultation with Dr Konrat.