This is the most frequently performed cosmetic operation in the UK. The breast implant is placed behind existing breast tissue or sometimes under the chest wall muscle. The operation is carried out under general anaesthesia (asleep) and may be done as a day case or with a one night stay.
Overly large breasts cause both psychological and physical problems, the weight of the breasts dragging across the shoulders and down the back often accounting for back pain. Bra straps bite into the shoulders and rashes occur under the breasts in the hot weather. Exercising is made impossible or difficult, creating a vicious circle of unfitness, and self-esteem may be sapped by continual remarks that are made, whether ‘jokey’ or abusive. It is hardly surprising that of all cosmetic procedures, breast reduction has the highest patient satisfaction rate.
Sagging of the breast, often with loss of volume, may occur naturally with time but is often associated with changes after pregnancy, with or without breastfeeding. Mastopexy is the operation to deal with this and involves raising the breast to a higher level on the chest (including the nipple-areolar complex – N.A.C.) and then excising all the excess skin before stitching up.