Mammaplasty (also called mammoplasty 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:
- 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.
- 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.
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. 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’. 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. 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.