Breast Surgery

Emory has been a consistent source of innovation, development, and refinement in the procedures and techniques of breast surgery and is one of the better known providers of minimally invasive techniques for breast reconstruction and augmentation in the country.

The reconstructive plastic surgeons at Emory Healthcare are able perform the following breast surgery procedures:

Breast Reconstruction

Depending on the patient's overall health, breast reconstruction can either be part of the original mastectomy procedure or performed later. It may also involve more than one operation, though follow-up procedures are often performed on an outpatient basis. Occasionally surgery is performed on the natural breast so that it will look similar to the reconstructed one.

Breast Augmentation

Patients may undergo breast augmentation, or augmentation mammoplasty, to restore symmetry between the two breasts, to enlarge small breasts, or to correct breast volume reduction after pregnancy. Augmentation mammoplasty is done on an outpatient basis, usually under general anesthesia. An implant is placed through an incision made under the breast tissue or its muscle. The incision can be made under the breast, around the nipple, or under the arm. Implants available in various shapes. A breast lift may be done at the same time.

Breast Lift/Mastoplexy

A breast lift, or mastopexy, removes loose skin, repositions the nipple, and re-shapes the breast. Since the procedure only removes the excess skin to maintain the natural size of the breast, it should not be confused with breast reduction. Mastopexy is typically an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia, though local anesthesia may be used in with a sedative depending on the size of the incision. The most common method applies an incision along the natural contour of the breast where excess skin will be removed. The nipple and areola are repositioned, the skin surrounding the areola is brought together to reshape the breast, and stitches are placed around the areola and the lower breast. For smaller lifts, the incisions are usually limited and result in a circular scar around the areola. Larger lifts can leave scars that either extend down the breast or that can be hidden in the crease under the breast. Mastopexy is commonly performed in conjunction with breast augmentation to increase breast firmness and size.

Breast Reduction

Women with large, heavy breasts often develop symptoms such as back, shoulder, and neck pain which can hamper their daily activities. Recurrent skin irritation, skeletal deformities, breathing problems, and headaches can also be caused by the weight of the breasts. Breast reduction, or reduction mammoplasty, can alleviate these symptoms while preserving breast shape by removing excess skin and breast tissue, repositioning the nipple, and shaping the breasts while generally preserving the patient's sensation and ability to breast-feed. Done under general anesthesia on an in-or-outpatient basis, the surgery removes fat, glandular tissue, and skin from the breasts while also reducing the size of the areola. Incisions are made around the pigmented nipple-areolar complex and extend vertically below the nipple and into the fold under the breast. The nipple-areolar complex is moved upward to the desired location, the incisions covered with a light dressing, and the breasts placed in a surgical bra that will hold them symmetrically during initial healing. Any discomfort generally subsides over time and can be controlled with oral medications. Scars usually fade in 6-18 months. Liposuction can further enhance the results.

Male Breast Reduction

Gynecomastia is enlargement of the male breast caused by side effects of certain medications, hormonal imbalance, or significant weight gain. The male breast reduction procedure removes fat and or glandular tissue from the breasts either by liposuction or direct excision through an incision below the nipple-areola. In extreme cases, excess skin is removed to produce a flatter, firmer chest.

Breast Reduction Surgery Quiz

Breast Reduction

Extremely large breasts can be painful. Take a quiz to see if breast reduction surgery is right for you.

Breast Implant Surgery

Breast Implant Surgery

Our surgeons work with patients to determine if they should enlarge their breasts with implants or the patient's own tissue.

Reconstructive Plastic Surgery