Elective Breast Procedures Can Enhance Confidence and Comfort

When you look your best, you also feel your best. That’s why more and more women (and men too) are choosing to have elective breast procedures.

“We offer patients a wide array of breast procedures to enhance their appearance, confidence and comfort,” said Dr. Elizabeth Renaker-Jansen, plastic surgeon with Aspirus Plastic Surgery and Aesthetics. “The most common breast procedures we perform are reductions, lifts, augmentations and reconstructions.”

Breast Reduction

  • A surgical procedure designed to decrease size and weight of your breasts
    • Alleviates pain and discomfort of the back, neck, shoulder, and breasts
    • Prevents future skin breakdown/rashes/fungal infections beneath the breasts
    • May allow/promote increased physical activity
    • Enhances self-image and wardrobe options
    • Shown to consistently promote a higher overall quality of life
  • Surgery involves:
    • General anesthesia
    • Several incisions to re-shape, reduce, and lift the breast tissue
    • Most patients spend just one night in the hospital following surgery
  • Breast reduction surgery is often covered by health insurance and treats the condition known as symptomatic macromastia
  • Recovery expectations:
    • Bruising, swelling, and soreness for the first couple of weeks
    • Normal activities can safely be resumed in 2-3 weeks
    • Exercise can be resumed in 4-6 weeks

    Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

  • Breast lift surgery, also called mastopexy, is designed to lift and reshape breasts for cosmetic reasons (unlike a reduction which is done for medical reasons)
    • Corrects sagging of breast tissue
    • Replaces nipple to a more desirable location
    • Does not increase breast size (unless combined with an augmentation)
  • Surgery involves:
    • Several incisions to reshape/lift sagging breast tissue
    • Skin is tightened and nipple is lifted
    • There is not typically a noticeable reduction in breast size
  • Breast lift/mastopexy is a cosmetic procedure and not covered by insurance
  • Breast lift surgery is an outpatient/same-day procedure
  • Recovery expectations:
    • Bruising, swelling, and soreness for 1-2 weeks
    • Return to normal activities in 4 weeks

    Breast Augmentation

  • A surgical procedure performed to increase breast size and improve breast shape with an implant
    • Enhances self-image and wardrobe options
    • Can correct breast deflation after pregnancy
    • Can be combined with a breast lift to reshape and add volume to a deflated and sagging breast
  • Breast augmentation is a cosmetic procedure and not covered by insurance
  • Surgery involves:
    • A same-day procedure performed under general anesthesia
    • A small incision is used to insert the breast implant and closed with minimal scarring
  • Recovery expectations:
    • Bruising, swelling, and soreness for 1-2 weeks
    • Return to work 7-10 days after surgery
    • Return to normal activities in 2-3 weeks
    • Gradual return to exercise 4-6 weeks after surgery
  • Most implants last for up to 10 years

    Breast Reconstruction

  • A surgery performed to reconstruct breasts after they are removed due to a cancer surgery or to correct certain types of breast abnormalities
  • Breast reconstruction, and any secondary surgery, is often covered by insurance
  • Various techniques for reconstruction are available, depending upon patient’s anatomy and reconstruction goals
    • Direct-to-implant reconstruction
      • Immediate placement of an implant to replace breast tissue lost at time of removal for cancer
      • May provide complete reconstruction in one single procedure
    • Expander-to-implant reconstruction
      • A balloon-like (tissue expander) device is placed at time of original surgery
      • This expander is slowly filled with fluid over several weeks through a small valve placed just under the skin, creating a pocket for a future implant
      • A separate surgery, several months later, is preformed to remove the expander and replace it with a permanent breast implant
    • Flap technique
      • A surgery that uses patient’s own abdominal or back tissue to replace lost breast volume
      • A great option for patients who have already undergone breast radiation treatments
    • Oncoplastic/breast reduction surgery
      • Rather than removing the entire breast, the cancerous portion of the breast is removed via a breast reduction
      • Not all patients, based on anatomy or cancer type/location are candidates for this type of procedure
      • Individuals with large breasts and smaller breast cancers are ideal candidates
      • This procedure allows your own breast tissue to be used to reconstruct a breast mound
      • The other, unaffected breast is also reduced for symmetry purposes


    • The correct technique and timing for your reconstruction is determined based upon your cancer treatment needs, individual anatomy, and patient specific reconstruction goals. Meeting with a specialized breast cancer/reconstruction team will help you determine your options and allow you to make the best decision for yourself.

“If making a change is something you are considering, we are happy to meet with you to discuss your concerns, goals and options,” said Dr. Thomas Howard, plastic surgeon with Aspirus Plastic Surgery and Aesthetics.

Dr. Thomas Howard and Dr. Elizabeth Renaker-Jansen are experienced board-certified plastic surgeons with expertise in a broad range of plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic services at Aspirus locations in Wausau, Stevens Point, Wisconsin Rapids, Medford and Rhinelander.

To schedule a consultation, call Aspirus Plastic Surgery & Aesthetics at 715.870.2162. To learn more about Dr. Renaker-Jansen, Dr. Howard and the many services they offer, visit aspirus.org/renew

Dr. Elizabeth Renaker-Jansen, DO

Dr. Thomas Howard, MD, FACS