Lifting breasts and restoring youthful fullness is a common procedure because of changes that occur with aging and after pregnancy. Breast shape is complex, but the breast skin surface area to breast gland volume relationship greatly influence breast appearance. If pregnancy, nursing, weight loss, and/or aging have deflated, loosened, or lowered your breasts to a sagging position, mastopexy (breast lift) elevates them higher on the chest and fills them to a naturally round shape. Implants can be added to increase size and fullness. Areola size and nipple size can be adjusted if desired. Inverted nipples may be everted.
Breast Lift (mastopexy: masto=breast, pexy=lift,stabilize) surgery lifts sagging breasts to a more youthful position, higher on your chest. The procedure rounds and re-shapes your breast for more fullness and projection. Some women believe they naturally have “floppy” or “sagging” breasts, but most experience this change after nursing children and/or losing weight. If you want breasts that look like they do in your bra, but you don’t want to have to wear a bra, then breast lift may be for you. Breast lift is a well established common procedure, is safe, and offers consistently good results. If your breasts have settled down over the bottom of your ribs and are widening your waist, they may be creating a heavy appearance. Breast lift may be particularly beneficial not only for position of your breasts, but also by restoring your feminine “hourglass” shape.
Like many beautiful forms of nature, the adult female breast shape is complex. It is not a cone, not a dome, and not exactly a combination of these two. The shape varies among women, and in any given woman, varies over time and with body posture and position. Although it defies simple mathematical and geometric description, in general, breast shape is in large measure determined by the ratio of breast skin surface area to breast volume. During adolescence and during pregnancy, the breast gland is growing rapidly. Its enlarging volume stretches overlying skin surface area to expand. This maintains a high volume to skin surface area ratio, and the breast maintains a full, robust shape. (High volume to surface = full breasts).
After giving birth, breast feeding, or weight loss, breast volume diminishes. Depending on skin elasticity, overlying skin may contract along with the shrinking breast volume and maintain its high volume to surface ratio, or the breast skin may not shrink as much as the gland. In these cases, like a plastic bag initially full of water, when you let half of the water out, the bag wrinkles and sags. When breast skin surface area is too large for the reduced breast volume, the breast sags.
Depending on the degree of sagging and your preferences, several approaches to restore beautiful and youthful breasts are possible. Generally, restoring a high volume to surface ratio will improve breast shape, and lift the breasts. This can be done by increasing breast volume, by decreasing breast skin surface area, or by both increasing volume AND decreasing surface area.
Breast lift procedures are conceptually simple, but technically sophisticated. There are three basic approaches to breast lift: For mild sagging in a small breasted woman, augmentation with implants alone (volume increase) may suffice. For more significant sagging in the small breasted woman, augmentation with implants AND simultaneous breast lift (volume increase AND surface area decrease) is the usual choice. For significant sagging in women with ample breast volume, breast lift (mastopexy) alone without implants (surface area decrease) is usually the best choice.
If sagging is minor, the low volume to high surface area relationship can be improved by increasing breast volume with an implant. An implant placed behind the breast pushes out and fills up skin across the upper portion of the breast, thus lifting the nipple-areola complex, and filling up loose, collapsed, mobile skin. Breast augmentation alone may be enough to lift the breasts and feminize your figure.
If the breasts are sagging too much for an implant alone to accomplish sufficient lift and the breasts are small, then volume increase (implant) can be combined with a surgical breast lift procedure (mastopexy). The breast lift procedure removes excess skin from the lower breast surface, and tightens remaining skin around the breast gland and the implant to improve breast shape and to lift the breast. This procedure restores a high volume to surface ratio both by increasing volume (implant insertion) and by diminishing breast surface area (mastopexy). The combined procedure is called breast augmentation-lift, or “augmentation-mastopexy.”
If breasts are sagging and are already large enough that implants are unwanted or unnecessary, (e.g. the woman is pleased with her breast size and just wants them lifted), then breast lift alone (mastopexy) without implants is indicated. This is a three hour procedure during which the breasts are sculptured to a round youthful shape and the nipples are raised from their low sagging position to a more central and prominent position on the breast, and the entire breast gland is secured higher on the chest.
Because there are several ways to lift your breasts, personal consultation is the first step to deciding what is best for you. The procedure chosen in any given situation should achieve, as closely as possible, a beautiful breast with good nipple projection and sensation, minimal scars, proportionate breast size, symmetry between right and left breasts, and a long lasting result.
Dr. Laverson performs several types of breast lift (mastopexy) procedures. For mild sagging if you want to be larger, an internal breast lift without any additional scars (scarless breast lift) can be performed. For slightly more sagging, a scar around the areola (peri-areolar breast lift) may be necessary. This scar however, depending on how much lift is necessary, may flatten the front of the breast, diminishing nipple projection slightly. Many women like this change, some do not. The alternative is conventional mastopexy (breast lift), with a “circumvertical” scar pattern, both around the areola and vertically below the areola down to the lowest point of the inframammary fold at the bottom of the breast. This usually produces the most nipple projection, and a very nice breast shape. Dr. Laverson no longer places a scar in the inframammary fold, although this is a traditional technique that some surgeons still prefer. In any case, breast lift scars fade over time, and in most cases, the change in breast position and shape are worth the usually obscure scars that few will ever see.
Breast Lift and Augmentation-Lift: Our Three month smash: To support your breasts until the lift becomes strong enough to support itself (about three months), Dr. Laverson supplies breast lift and breast augmentation-lift patients with specialized post surgical support bras AND with even stronger support, a six or nine inch “breast wrap” (pictured). These wraps should be worn snugly around your chest, essentially “smashing” the breasts for several months. Breast wraps are thicker than most bras and offer more security until your own breast tissue becomes solid, assuring you a better long term result. Dr. Laverson highly recommends all patients, most especially if you’ve had augmentation plus mastopexy (breast lift) or if your breasts are large and heavy.
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