breast enhancement

Cosmetic breast enhancements and breast reconstructive surgery: 3 key differences

Women can use cosmetic procedures such as breast enhancement (to increase fullness and enhance shape) or breast reduction. Breast augmentation, breast lift surgery, breast reduction, and other procedures are popular among women who want to increase the size of their breasts or alter their shape to suit their desired body image.

Some women do not select breast enhancement of their own volition. This is often the case with women who are seeking breast reconstruction surgery.

What are the differences between breast reconstruction and cosmetic breast surgery?

Surgery motivation

Cosmetic breast enhancement is a popular plastic surgery procedure. It enhances the overall cosmetic appearance of the breasts by making them more visually appealing.

Breast augmentation can help make the right fit more achievable for those with naturally small breasts or noticeable asymmetry. Either using implants can do this to increase size or fat injections, which create volume.

In many cases, cosmetic breast augmentation includes lifting and tightening breast tissue to make the results more natural-looking.

Women with enlarged breasts may undergo breast reduction surgery to have smaller and more manageable breasts.

Breast lift, breast augmentation surgery, and breast reduction are cosmetic breast enhancements.

Breast reconstruction is meant for patients with mastectomy, congenital conditions, injuries, or illness. They aim to restore the breast and be as close as possible to its original appearance and size. The process is rewarding physically and emotionally, and the procedure helps restore the patient’s self-esteem, self-image, and quality of life.

Implant placement process

Cosmetic breast augmentation may take about 1-2 hours. Implants are placed under the breast tissue or chest muscles for a single procedure.

Implants for breast reconstruction for women who have undergone mastectomy must undergo a two-stage surgical process to achieve a satisfactory result. First, they must undergo the tissue expansion process to stretch the breast tissue. Then, once the desired size has been achieved, breast implants are inserted into the breasts as a second step.

Women with implants placed for cosmetic breast enlargement usually have their natural breast tissue cover them to act as a protective layer that prevents the implant from being visible.

This is not the case with Implants for breast reconstruction surgery, as the tissue padding remaining to cover the implants can be very thin. To overcome this, reconstructive surgery usually requires a tissue flap taken from the back or stomach to restore the natural tissue layer.

Insurance coverage

Cosmetic breast enhancements are considered elective or optional, meaning that insurance won’t cover the procedure. The exception is with breast reduction: when performed to reduce physical pain.

Unlike cosmetic breast enhancements, breast reconstruction is medically necessary. An insurance company would cover this surgery, as it was written in the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA).

Anyone who wants to get procedures done must check with insurance as the cost varies, and it’s important to know what’s covered upfront.

Let’s start talking

Cosmetic enhancements and reconstructive surgery are the two options for breast enhancement. If you are interested in learning more about these procedures, please schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons at The Julian Institute of Plastic Surgery at 352-556-5248 or contact us using our online form; we look forward to hearing from you.