To a large degree a woman's breasts define her femininity. The decision to undergo breast surgery is often an opportunity to combine procedures to obtain the breasts that you have always wanted.
A breast augmentation involves the insertion of breast implants to increase the size of the breasts, possibly fill them up (especially after they have deflated following pregnancy and breast feeding) and will also provide a degree of lift in some patients. A breast augmentation involves the insertion of implants to make the breasts bigger.
A breast reduction operation is to reduce the size of the breasts. A breast reduction also lifts the breasts and improves their shape,.
A breast lift, or mastopexy, is an operation to lift droopy breasts. In restoring the breasts to their normal position, they will also become fuller again. At mastopexy an implant can be added - an augmentation-pexy - to further increase the size of the breasts at the time of lifting; or tissue can be removed to reduce the size of the breasts.
Breast asymmetries can be treated with one or other of the above procedures in an attempt to improve symmetry.
The long term disadvantages of breast surgery are scars and the ongoing effects of gravity, aging and possible further pregnancies and breast feeding. With modern techniques scars should heal to fine thin white lines and should be relatively inconspicuous.
Modern breast implants, while significantly better than older generations of implants, do not last forever. In fact there is a lack of information as to how long they do last. Patients, especially younger ones, should take into account that their implants may well need to be upgraded at some point in the future.
Breast cancer occurs in about one in 10 women, so if you have a strong family history of breast cancer it might be wise to test whether you have the BRCA 1 and 2 genes. Regular screening by monthly self examination, an annual medical examination and routine mammography is important.