Thursday, August 24, 2017

Common reasons for breast surgery

As with many types of general surgery, there are a variety of reasons that can cause a doctor to recommend breast surgery. Likewise, there are many different types of breast surgery. Knowing a bit about the most common reasons for breast surgery can help take away some of the natural concern people have when they are facing surgery.

Woman consulting with her surgeon
Breast surgery is one of the most common types of general surgery. The reasons behind breast surgery vary from cosmetic to relieving discomfort to removing cancerous tissue. Let's review a few common types of breast surgery and the reasons behind each.

Breast Reduction Surgery

Also known as reduction mammaplasty, breast reduction removes excess breast fat, tissue and skin to achieve a smaller breast size. What are some of the reasons behind breast reduction surgery?
  • Physical pain or discomfort due to overly large breasts
  • Breast size that interferes with a normally active lifestyle
  • Emotional, self-image issues due to the size of your breasts

Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Women who have lost one or both breasts, often from surgery to treat cancer, may choose breast reconstruction surgery to rebuild the shape and look of their breast. Breast reconstruction surgery is typically done using breast implants in a procedure very similar to breast augmentation surgery. It can also be done using your own body tissue - or with a combination of your own tissue and implants.

Breast Augmentation Surgery

Perhaps the first type of surgery that comes to mind when considering breast surgery is breast augmentation. During a breast augmentation surgery, the surgeon uses breast implants or fat transfer to increase the size of a woman's breast. In most candidates, breast augmentation is a personal choice for cosmetic reasons.

Mastectomy

Any type of surgery that removes breast tissue in whole or part, is called a mastectomy. There are many different types of mastectomy and most of these procedures are done to treat breast cancer. Mastectomy may also be needed if previous treatments or diseases make the skin unable to tolerate radiation therapy. Different mastectomy procedures include:

Breast-conserving surgery:

  • Lumpectomy—The tumor and a small margin of normal breast tissue around it is removed.
  • Partial mastectomy—Removal of part of the breast that has cancer and some normal tissue around it. This may include removal of lymph nodes or the lining of the chest muscle.
Breast-tissue removal surgery:
  • Simple mastectomy—The entire breast is removed, including the nipple and areola.
  • Skin-sparing mastectomy—The skin that covers the breast is left intact except for the nipple and areola. This surgery is similar to a simple mastectomy. It is done when immediate breast reconstruction is planned. The procedure has limitations and may not be an option for all women.
  • Modified radical mastectomy—The entire breast, some lymph nodes in the armpit, and any affected chest muscle is removed.
  • Radical mastectomy—The entire breast, lymph nodes, and muscles of the chest wall are removed (rarely done).

Breast surgery is considered a type of general surgery. General surgery is a specialty in which surgeons focus on surgeries for a wide range of ailments. General surgeons are also focused on treating their patients before, during and after surgery. At Logansport Memorial Hospital our newest general surgeon completed her training in general surgery and then went on to get an additional focus in breast surgery. If you are considering breast surgery, make an appointment with Dr. Shannon Davis to receive your care before, during and after surgery right here, close to home.

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