Summary: Plastic surgery has long been focused on the breasts, for a wide variety of reasons. Women, of course, have also rightly been focused on their breasts, and for many women, those breasts are integral to their femininity and identity. And so we certainly try to be sensitive of these procedures. From Los Angeles CA to Hoboken, NJ, Breast reductions have a very high satisfaction rate. And while breast reductions are often paired with breast lifts, most people don’t think about pairing them with breast augmentation. Indeed, pairing a breast augmentation with a breast reduction seems counterintuitive at best and counterproductive at worst. However, new research seems to indicate that this approach seems to be one of the most productive for producing youthful, perky, full results.

The Breast of Both Worlds

Bigger isn’t always better. Breast reductions are a popular procedure, especially (although not exclusively) among middle aged women. And it’s worth pointing out that many women don’t necessarily undergo a breast reduction because their breasts are far too large—rather, they undergo a breast reduction because their breasts are too saggy. Gravity, after all, is a powerful force, and as we age, we lose the ability to effectively combat it. Gravity takes a toll—and it’s usually a downward force. So, when women are looking at a breast reduction, it’s often the excess tissue that they’re looking to get rid of. In other words, they want the breasts of their youth.

Sometimes this can be accomplished with a breast lift, and these two procedures (breast lift and breast reduction) are scheduled concurrently, giving women less mass to worry about but more perkiness to enjoy. However, even a breast lift does not return—in its entirety—that youthful teardrops shape that many women are seeking. The solution, according to research published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery—Global Open seems paradoxical: a breast reduction and a breast implant. Or, said another way, a breast reduction and a breast augmentation combined into one procedure. The study, performed by Eric Swanson MD, found that adding an implant during a reduction had a significant impact on the fullness of the “upper pole” of the breast.

The North and South Poles

For those who might require a little more explanation of that term, the breast is—for the sake of plastic surgery—generally divided into two hemispheres: an upper pole and a lower pole. The teardrop shape that most women seek is created by certain percentages of fullness of these poles. In most cases of breast reduction surgeries, even when combined with breast lifts, fullness of the lower pole is no problem; it’s kind of naturally full. But fullness of the upper pole—the area generally responsible for creating cleavage—is more difficult to achieve. Those women who want to have, shall we say, more youthful cleavage, won’t necessarily get that result from a traditional reduction and lift.

The solution is a modest breast implant—not one designed to increase the size of the breast, necessarily (as that would be counter-productive), but one designed to give a youthful appearance to the breasts once the procedure is completed. The study conducted by Dr. Swanson found that in most cases, women were quite pleased with the results.

Adding a Procedure Doesn’t Always Add Complication

And while it may seem as though it’s adding a complication when you add a procedure to something such as a breast reduction, the study indicated that there is no appreciable rise in complications or negative outcomes due to the addition of the breast augmentation procedure. In fact, when compared to a control group, Dr. Swanson reported that most complications occurred at a very similar rate as the more traditional procedures. This means that, in most cases, the addition of the breast implant would not make the procedure any more complicated or treacherous.

Of course in the end, it’s up to the woman in question. Many women—logically and understandably so—have a definitive idea of what her bust should look like. It’s part of her identity. The larger point from this research is that when a woman goes in for a breast reduction, she has just as much control over the outcome as a woman who goes under the knife for a breast augmentation. And that’s a good thing. This control allows plastic surgeons to more accurately create the desired effects of their patients. This means a more successful operation, overall, and a more satisfied patient. In other words, the more tools plastic surgeons have on hand, the better the results will be.

Feeling Comfortable and Great

Still, some women may understandably scoff at the notion of having to live with a breast implant. There are certainly drawbacks. First and foremost, breast implants only have a limited shelf life, so it’s possible that in 20 years, you may have to have the implant removed or replaced. Additionally, breast implants may not feel as natural as you would like. These are, understandably, cause for hesitation, and you should certainly discuss these issues with your plastic surgeon.

However, with these procedures, for many women the good will outweigh any of the possible bad. That’s a good thing—and when you combine a breast augmentation with a breast reduction, you may find the results pleasantly surprising. Indeed, you might look down and feel a lot younger all of the sudden. And after all, that’s the point of plastic surgery, whether it’s a breast reduction or a breast augmentation (or both): feeling more comfortable in your own body.

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