plastic surgery procedures to enhance your body

Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

Women who have experienced sagging of the breasts due to aging, pregnancy, breast feeding, weight loss or aging breast implants may desire a breast lift to restore upper pole fullness or cleavage, or to provide a perkier breast and to restore cleavage. A breast lift also incorporates a reduction of the areola at the same time, if that is desired.

If a woman does not possess enough breast tissue of her own to result in a nice shape with a lift alone, it may be necessary to add a breast implant for shaping or to restore adequate upper pole fullness. The addition of an implant therefore, isn't always recommended strictly for enlarging the breast, but can sometimes be used with a breast lift as a small, "shaping device" when sufficient tissue is lacking to provide an attractive shape by itself. If a breast implant is indicated, the style and size are determined in a bio-dimensional approach which is individualized for each patient and chosen based upon patient desires and chest measurements. Both round and shaped implants are appropriate in an augmentation-mastopexy.

The pattern of breast lift incisions varies, and Dr. Samuels strives to use as few incisions as possible, and places them in areas that are easier to conceal with bra's, bathing suits and clothing. The lift recommended depends upon the amount of loose skin and tissue the patient possesses. Sometimes adding volume, as with simultaneous use of a breast implant, serves to reduce the amount of loose tissue remaining, and may reduce the number or length of lift incisions necessary. In most cases where an implant is recommended as well as a breast lift, it is possible to perform the lift and the implant placement at the same time.

Types of Mastopexy

  1. Donut - This is often referred to as a "nipple lift". An incision is placed around the areola, both to reduce its size if excessive, as well as to raise its position on the breast. There is not a significant lift of tissue with this type of lift however.
  2. Lollipop - For this type of lift, a vertical incision is added to the incision around the areola inferiorly toward the breast fold. Since skin is removed both around the areola as well as in the central lower pole of the breast, a modest tissue as well as nipple lift results.
  3. Anchor - For patients with more loose skin and tissue than can be accommodated with the lesser two varieties of lifting, an incision in the breast fold may be added to the donut and the lollipop to remove more lower pole skin. This type of lift gives the greatest lift of the breast, and the additional fold incision is well-concealed by the fold itself.

Even though there is an incision located around the areola in a breast lift of all three varieties, the nipple is NOT REMOVED from the underlying tissues, and therefore 95% of women after breast lifting maintain nipple sensation, erectile function and the ability to breastfeed in the future.

Best Candidates for Mastopexy

Candidates seeking breast lift surgery are women with small or sagging breasts, or women who are happy with the size of the breasts but just want volume restored in the upper pole or cleavage area. A mastopexy may be performed regardless of breast size, but results may not last as long in women with heavy breast tissue. For women who may be planning additional children after surgery, remember that pregnancy is an aging process upon the breasts and that further breast lifting may be necessary after additional children or breast feeding. Also, weight loss may lead to a loss of skin elasticity and loss of some of the results of breast lift surgery, so it is wise to proceed with breast lifting when a patient is near their "goal weight".

Surgical Planning

Dr. Samuels will discuss your goals with you and will recommend the best type of lift for you to consider, based upon the amount of loose tissue present, with or without implants. Dr. Samuels' personal philosophy includes use of the fewest, shortest incisions possible, adding other incisions incrementally to deliver the best, most long-lasting result.

Dr. Samuels may require patients to have a mammogram prior to surgery depending upon age and family history. It is recommended that breastfeeding be discontinued at least three months prior to breast lift surgery. If you use nicotine, be prepared to discontinue this substance at least six weeks prior to surgery and not to resume for at least six weeks following surgery to optimize healing and avoid unsightly scars or complications around an implant. Dr. Samuels and her staff will give you specific instructions regarding surgical preparation and any medications to avoid in the two week period surrounding your surgery.

The surgery is performed under a light general anesthetic in an outpatient setting at the following facilities: Baptist Eastpoint Surgery Center, where Dr. Samuels is an owner (special pricing exists at this facility), Baptist Hospital East, Jewish Hospital Medical Center East, and Norton Brownsboro Hospital.

Post-Operative Care

Recovery time varies from two to ten days of light dressings under a bra. If a breast implant is utilized, the Quick Recovery Technique is used for implant placement. (See our blog postings for more information on this technique). Patients may resume normal daily activities immediately and strenuous activities or working out six weeks after all incisions are healed.

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