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Mammoplasty morozov.jpg
Before and after mammaplasty
ICD-9-CM85.31-85.32, 85.5

Mammaplasty (also called mammoplasty[1] or mastoplasty) refers to a group of surgical procedures, the goal of which is to reshape or otherwise modify the appearance of the breast. There are two main types of mammoplasty:[2][3]

  1. Augmentation mammaplasty is commonly performed to increase the size, change the shape, and/or alter the texture of the breasts. This usually involves the surgical implantation of breast implant devices.
  2. Reduction mammaplasty is commonly performed to reduce the size, change the shape, and/or alter the texture of the breasts. This involves the removal of breast tissue.

Social context[edit]

Mammaplasty started out a surgical procedure to help relieve women of the excess weight of their breasts, it was only later that it was used for cosmetic purposes.[4] There is immense pressure on women to subscribe to socially prescribed beauty standards of their bodies must be, a part of this is the pressure on women to have 'perfect breasts'.[5][6] Earlier records of such surgery were either for medical purposes or to make a person fit in more easily with a certain social group. It was in the beginning of the 20th century that Hippolyte Morestin and Eugene Hollander started breast reduction (reduction mammoplasty) for beauty purposes only. By the 1930s though, breast reduction had majorly become more of aesthetic surgery than reconstructive surgery.[7]

It is still however used for medical purposes and female celebrities vocally getting such surgery has allowed for more to undertake it and speak up openly about it, a recent example of it being Ariel Winters, who plays Alex in Modern Family, undergoing breast reduction surgery after years of back and neck pain.[8]

Breast Cancer and Mammaplasty[edit]

Research has indicated that breast reduction surgery, for women who are at high risk for breast cancer, may serve as an effective primary prevention strategy for tackling breast cancer and is not shown to increase chances of the breast cancer coming back or making it harder to check this through a mammography.[9] As opposed to mastectomy, therapeutic mammoplasty has emerged as way to address breast cancer in women with larger breasts and where early breast cancer is detected, this helps align with the cosmetic needs of the person in question and has positive health benefits as well.[10]

A concern for breast cancer survivors can be the physical appearance of their breasts after the surgical procedures required to cure breast cancer in several cases. Reconstructive mammaplasty is breast reconstruction that is done after mastectomy to give the breasts an appearance that is more normal/familiar. Some factors that are considered before deciding whether such surgery would be apt are the size and shape of the breasts before operation, the amount of tissue remaining after the mastectomy, chance of the cancer returning, and what the mastectomy scar looks like and where it is.[11] Mammoplasty has also evolved as a way for women to address physical changes that mastectomy brings about to their bodies. Surgery to reconstruct the breasts can be started along with the mastectomy or after the body has healed from the mastectomy.[12]

Mammograms in general are not performed on reconstructed breasts that have had implants, it is recommended that a woman who has had a breast implant let the radiology technician know of it, before a mammogram, as special steps may be necessary for ensuring correct results and not causing harm to the implant.[13]


  1. ^ "mammoplasty". The Free Dictionary. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  2. ^ Horndeski, Gary. "mammaplasty (mammoplasty) surgical procedures". Horndeski Method. Archived from the original on 10 February 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Breast Procedures". Wake Forest School of Medicine. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  4. ^ Lalardrie, J. P.; Mouly, R. (December 1978). "History of mammaplasty". Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. 2 (1): 167–176. doi:10.1007/bf01577951. ISSN 0364-216X. PMID 24173845.
  5. ^ "This is the perfect breast shape | The Times of India". The Times of India. 2017-08-09. Retrieved 2018-10-27.
  6. ^ "The Pressure to Be Perfect". HuffPost UK. 2015-02-17. Retrieved 2018-10-27.
  7. ^ Purohit, Shrirang (October 2008). "Reduction mammoplasty". Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery : Official Publication of the Association of Plastic Surgeons of India. 41 (Suppl): S64–S79. ISSN 0970-0358. PMC 2825129. PMID 20174545.
  8. ^ Sanghani, Radhika (2015-08-13). "Ariel Winter: Three bottles of wine strapped to your chest? No wonder breast reductions are on the rise". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2018-10-27.
  9. ^ "Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy". National Cancer Institute. 2016-10-17. Retrieved 2018-10-27.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "mammaplasty". Retrieved 2018-10-27.
  12. ^ "Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy". National Cancer Institute. 2016-10-17. Retrieved 2018-10-27.
  13. ^ "Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy". National Cancer Institute. 2016-10-17. Retrieved 2018-10-27.