The term “breast surgery” covers a wide variety of surgical procedures, including both cosmetic and therapeutic treatments. Yankton Medical Clinic offers consultations and breast surgery for patients who are looking for everything from cancer-related mastectomy to a cosmetic breast lift. Whether you require inpatient treatment or an outpatient procedure, our surgeons will be with you every step of the way to ensure all of your questions are answered–and you know what to expect at every moment.
Breast Surgery Procedures
Dr. Ryan Garry at Yankton Medical Clinic offers patients access to cosmetic and therapeutic breast surgeries. The most common procedures include the following:
- Mastectomy: This surgical procedure involves the removal of breast tissue, usually as part of a breast cancer treatment program.
- Breast lift: A breast lift is designed to provide patients with a more youthful breast contour. Gravity, age, pregnancy, and weight loss can all have an impact on the overall shape of the breast, often dragging tissues down (this includes changing the orientation of the nipple or areola complexes). A breast lift can correct these issues by removing excess skin and tightening other connective tissues. The orientation of the nipple can be improved as well. The end result is a breast that appears more youthful.
- Breast augmentation: This procedure is designed to add volume to the breasts. In some cases, breast augmentation is performed for cosmetic purposes; in others, the procedure may be considered the optimal way to correct asymmetry. Often, silicone or saline implants are used to increase the overall breast size, though in some cases autologous fat may be the implant material of choice.
- Breast reduction: Too much breast tissue may result in ongoing and chronic pain and discomfort. That’s because overly large breasts can put strain on your back and neck muscles. Patients who undergo a breast reduction to eliminate unwanted breast volume will often report fewer headaches, neck aches, and back aches.
- Breast reconstruction: This procedure is typically performed after a mastectomy or other breast trauma, restoring lost volume and shape. Breast reconstruction is a very different procedure from cosmetic breast augmentation and often relies on donor tissue from other areas of the patient’s body.
While these are all “breast surgery” procedures, each is performed for very different purposes. If you have questions about which breast procedure is right for your goals and desired outcomes, talk to your surgeon or schedule a consultation.
Modern mastectomy surgery is available in several different types. Which type is right for you will depend on your prognosis, your condition, and your overall treatment plan. The available types include:
- A skin-sparing mastectomy is a right choice for some types of tumors. This procedure removes the breast tissue, nipple, and areola. But not the skin.
- Hidden scar procedure places the surgery scar in a location not easily seen so the scar is hidden when it heals.
- Nipple-sparing mastectomy removes only the breast tissue, sparing the skin, nipple, and areola.
- Breast reconstruction is performed immediately after both the skin and nipple-sparing procedures.
Cosmetic Vs. Therapeutic Breast Surgery
Because some breast surgery procedures are essentially cosmetic and others are truly therapeutic, it’s important to discuss your plans with both your physician and your health insurance company.
As a general rule, health insurance will not cover aesthetic breast augmentation or breast lift procedures. However, your insurance may cover a breast reduction (and a breast lift when performed as part of that reduction).
Likewise, health insurance will nearly always provide coverage for breast reconstruction surgery. To avoid any surprise obligations, however, you should talk to your insurance company about their requirements for each procedure.
How Do You Get Breast Surgery?
In some cases, breast surgery will be important to schedule quickly. This may certainly be the case with a mastectomy. In other cases, elective procedures can have a more convenient timetable. All of these breast surgery procedures begin with a consultation.
During your consultation, you’ll discuss your desired outcome–this is true both for aesthetic procedures and therapeutic surgery. During your consultation:
- You’ll have an opportunity to ask any questions you might have about your procedure.
- You’ll discuss the pre and post-operative instructions you may be given.
- Dr. Ryan Garry will help you determine which surgical approach is best for your desired results.
Many breast procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis. Dr. Ryan Garry may refer you to the YMC Ambulatory Surgical Center to undergo your procedure.
When your surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, you’ll be able to return home for the bulk of your recovery. In most cases, you won’t have to experience an overnight stay in a hospital.
Dr. Garry is a board-certified Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He specializes in the newest breast surgery technologies in Norfolk and Yankton. For more information or to make an appointment, call Yankton at 605-664-2742 or Norfolk at 402-844-8110.