Factors to Consider Before Breast Lift Surgery

breast lift blog postPregnancy, breastfeeding, aging and weight fluctuations commonly take a toll on a woman’s breasts. If you’re noticing yours are sagging or not as full as they once were, it may be time to consider a breast lift (mastopexy). Breast lifts can produce dramatic results with a relatively short recovery.

If you’re serious about it, the first and most important thing on your to-do list should be finding a skilled and experienced cosmetic surgeon. The right surgeon will listen as you describe your desired outcome and talk through all the options. Remember your body is unique—there is no one-size-fits-all procedure. Here are two important factors to consider with your surgeon:

1. What will the scars look like?

Of course, women (and their plastic surgeons) want to minimize scars whenever possible, but the procedure that leaves the smallest scar may not be the best choice for you. One of the keys to getting great results with a breast lift is to match the right scar pattern with your needs.

Types of scar patterns

There are several surgical techniques used during breast lifts that leave different scaring patterns. Some include:

“Donut” (periareolar) lift – This procedure is effective for women who have very mild drooping or who want to reduce the size of their areolas (the pigmented area surrounding the nipple). It yields the smallest scar that runs around the perimeter of the areola.

“Lollipop” (vertical) lift – This is probably the most common breast lift procedure because it addresses moderate drooping and provides more extensive reshaping. The scaring goes around the perimeter of the areola and then straight down from the bottom of the areola to the fold underneath the breast (inframammary fold)—resulting in a lollipop-shaped scar.

“Anchor” (inverted T) lift – With this procedure, the scar goes around the areola, then from the bottom of the areola to the fold underneath the breast (the inframammary fold), and finally along the fold of the breast. The anchor technique is most effective for women with significant drooping and whose breasts have slid down on the chest wall. Most commonly, women who have had multiple pregnancies (with breast feeding), who have lost a significant amount of weight, or who are having a breast reduction require this technique. Although it yields the most scarring, scars can often be placed in areas that can be hidden by bras or bikini tops.

Be careful about pushing your plastic surgeon toward a technique based solely on scar patterns though. Some techniques may not adequately address the issues you’re having. Also, remember that surgeons will always work to place scars in the least noticeable positions possible, like under skin folds.

2. Do I need implants?

Determining if you need breast implants, a lift or both, is often a point of controversy and confusion—but it’s important to think it through. One easy way to narrow down your choice of procedure is to take the size test.

The size test

You need to separate the concept of size and lift, which isn’t always easy. To help, try manually lifting your breasts in front of a mirror. How you feel about the size of your breasts when they’re lifted will guide you toward which procedure is right for you.

Just a lift – If you’re happy with the size of your breasts, or if you wish they were just slightly bigger, a breast lift is probably the right choice for you. Small implants will give you very little (if any) benefit, yet you’ll still incur the cost and potential future surgeries that can come with breast augmentation. Should you decide after your lift that you still want to add volume, you can always have an augmentation down the road. But most women are satisfied with the results of a lift alone.

Just implants – If your breasts are too small or relatively deflated (need volume) but the nipples aren’t too low, breast implants might do the trick. While it’s true that implants will give a slight lift, they will not make up for more significant drooping. Sometimes, women make the mistake of getting bigger implants to avoid getting a lift. Unfortunately, this usually results in the heavy implants sagging and the woman feeling her breasts are too large for her comfort. Often in this instance, a woman will opt to remove or replace the implants and must undergo a more extensive (and complicated) breast lift than she originally needed.

Both – Combining breast implants and a breast lift can give wonderful results. Women who wear “A-” or “B-” cup bra sizes, and who have extra loose skin but not a lot of tissue to droop, do especially well with the combined procedure. Women who have larger breasts can also get implants; however, over time, fuller breasts may “fall off” of the implant, requiring additional surgery.

Emory Aesthetic Center

If you’re considering a breast lift or implants, schedule a complimentary consultation with one of the expert cosmetic surgeons at the Emory Aesthetic Center to discuss your options.

Request an appointmentor call 404-778-6880.

Tags: , , ,