Breast LiftAuthor: Dr. Gordon Sasaki
A woman’s youthful breasts often lose their shape and firmness after pregnancy, breast-feeding, weight changes, and aging. In general, good candidates for a breast lift are women of any age whose weight is stable and who have completed their family. In younger women, however, a breast lift may be indicated in cases of breast asymmetry where one breast is significantly lower than the opposite side. In these situations, there may be also volume discrepancies in one or both breasts that may require implants to achieve optimal symmetrical outcomes. Breast lifts in younger women may affect their ability to breast-feed because of the necessity to disrupt some of the milk ducts as a consequence of nipple-areolar elevation. Dr. Sasaki will discuss these important concerns with you in regards to future pregnancies and breast-feedings.
In most patients with breast drooping, a breast lift requires not only an elevation of the nipple-areolar complex to an appropriate height relative to the length of your body and arms, but also a reshaping and elevation of the breast tissue. Excess skin needs to be removed to support the new breast contour. In some patients, the enlarged areola (pigmented skin around the nipple) will be reduced to conform to the new profile of the uplifted and firmer breast. When an increase in breast volume is desired, saline or silicone gel implants may be inserted with the breast lift.
Your first step requires a full consultation with Dr. Sasaki. He will obtain a full breast history of yourself and family, discuss your goals, evaluate and interpret your physical findings, provide you with the various options available for a breast lift or augmentation mastopexy, review the risks of surgery (including the possible use of implants), and explain your postoperative care. A preoperative screening is recommended before surgery as a baseline for future evaluations.
Dr. Gordon H. Sasaki
Triple Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Few plastic surgeons can match Dr. Sasaki's combination of expertise, compassion, and experience. He's a distinguished educator and a renowned innovator whose work and research have influenced a generation of plastic surgeons. Dr. Sasaki will work with you to make the improvements you desire.
A breast lift is a more complicated procedure than a breast augmentation because there are more elements to consider. Based on your specific anatomy (breast volume and shape), size and position of the areola, degree of breast sagging relative to the inframammary crease line, and skin quality, your doctor will recommend different surgical approaches and incisions to ensure a favorable outcome.
For smaller breasts with modest degree of sagging, an incision is made completely around the areola (the pigmented skin around the nipple). A larger oval-shaped skin incision is made around the first areolar incision to allow Dr. Sasaki to expose and contour the underlying breast tissue into a cone. The isolated nipple-areolar complex, still attached to its underlying nerve and blood supply, is transported to its new elevated position. The larger outer skin edge is approximated to the inner smaller areolar circle to complete the procedure. This procedure is indicated for elevation of smaller drooping breasts, resulting in a minimal camouflaged scar around the areola.
For medium-sized breasts with more drooping, an incision is made around the nipple-areolar complex. A much larger designed outer oval-shaped skin incision is cut around the inner smaller areolar circular incision. These incisions provide the doctor greater exposure to shape the breast tissue into a cone. The nipple-areolar complex is elevated to a higher position with a skin closure in the shape of a racquet. The lower vertical scar is hidden on the under surface of the breast mound.
For significantly drooping breasts with more skin excess, a designed incision around the nipple-areolar complex is extended downward and then along the inframammary fold line. This generous exposure permits Dr. Sasaki to elevate and shape the larger sagging breast into a cone. The extra skin is removed to compensate for the loss of elasticity and is closed in the shape of an anchor.
The doctor will discuss the surgical approach and incision designs based on your anatomy and degree of drooping. In all approaches, the underlying breast tissue is lifted and reshaped to improve contour and firmness. The nipple and areola are adjusted to a more natural and youthful height. If necessary, an enlarged areola is reduced to match the new breast shape. For some patients, a breast lift is combined with a silicone implant to provide fill for the elevated unfilled breast. Please click breast augmentation for more information.
A circular dressing is applied over your breast after surgery to provide you with an appropriate support. This dressing is usually removed on the third postoperative day so that you may shower and cleanse the incision. A supportive breast garment is then worn for a few weeks until suture removal at the third week after surgery.
A mastopexy or augmentation mastopexy procedure may be done in an accredited outpatient facility or hospital. The decision for anesthesia is based on the requirements of your procedure and consideration of the doctor’s and your preference.
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