Posts Tagged ‘breast augmentation surgery’

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.

Augmentation, Reduction or Lift? – Your Breast Surgery Questions Answered

breast-aug-emailHave you been contemplating breast surgery? Whether you are considering breast augmentation (enhancement), breast reduction or breast lift surgery, it is important to understand the full extent of the procedure.

During our live chat on Thursday, November 17th, hosted by Emory Aesthetic Center’s plastic surgeon, Dr. Felmont Eaves, we answered questions about the different types of breast surgery options available. Dr. Eaves discussed what to expect during surgery and the recovery process. He also gave advice on choosing the right plastic surgeon to obtain the natural looking results you desire.

The response was so great that we had a few questions we were not able to answer during the chat so we will answer them below for your reference. A full list of questions and answers can be found on our chat transcript. You can also visit emoryaesthetic.org for a full list of services and treatments offered by the Emory Aesthetic Center.

Question: Do you typically do a reduction and a lift at the same time?

Dr. Eaves: Yes, a breast reduction always includes a breast lift, but you can lift without reducing if a reduction is not needed.

Question: If I get breast implants now, will I likely need a lift down the road?

Dr. Eaves: You may or may not. Many women with breast implants never need a lift, although it might be that after a decade or two that the extra size could contribute to the breast becoming more droopy. A lot of it will be related to how much breast tissue and the elasticity of the breast skin at the time of augmentation. It is certainly something to discuss at the time of consultation.

Question: Hi Dr. Eaves, I am set for a consultation in a few weeks, but am not sure which option to have – a breast lift (BL) or breast reduction (BR). My breast size is a 34F and I am a medium body frame with small bulge on the lateral aspect of my breast. Not sure if I can live with the post scarring from the breast reduction. Do you think for the best cosmetic look I would be a good candidate for periareolar BR or would a BL be better?

Dr. Eaves: In thinking through your individual circumstance, it is important to remember that a reduction always comes with a lift – that is just part of it. If a patient needs a lift, that lift can be done alone with no change in breast size, or the breasts can be reduced (a little or a lot, depending on what is needed), or the breast can even be augmented. The one thing is that – in general – a periareolar reduction or mastopexy is often ill-advised, unless the deformity is absolutely minimal. Although it sounds great to have a smaller scar, in reality that periareolar scar often looks very abnormal if trying to do any significant lifting or reduction, so that both the scar and breast shape will be poor. Be cautious – except in very limited circumstances, a peri-areolar only approach can be problematic.

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Ask the Doctor: Breast Augmentation Surgery & Recovery

Breast AugmentationOK ladies, if you’re reading this blog, most likely, you have been thinking about or at one point have thought about breast surgery. Maybe you’ve even seen a physician for consultation. And maybe the only thing stopping you from having your breast surgery is the concern about your recovery. Let me review what to expect after breast augmentation surgery to help you decide if it is the right time for you.

Breast augmentation surgery is a very popular procedure, and one of the reasons for that is the fast recovery time. The procedure takes about an hour to perform under general anesthesia. It is considered an outpatient procedure because it does not require you to stay overnight in the hospital. Immediately after surgery, you may have some nausea as the anesthesia wears off, but you are treated with medications to prevent this from becoming a major issue. You will not be discharged from the facility until you are feeling well enough to leave and your pain is under control.

These days breast augmentation can be done in a variety of ways, and each of these techniques can affect the necessary recovery. Augmentation can be done with either implants or fat retrieved by liposuction. Implants can be placed above the muscle (sub glandular) or below the muscle (sub pectoral). Having the implants placed below the muscle typically has the longest recovery time, though usually only by a few days. What works well for some of my patients is having surgery on a Thursday or a Friday, and then taking the following week off of work to recover.

As you consider your recovery, it is a good idea to take into account your job requirements or your daily routine. If you have a very physical job, more than a week may be needed for recovery. Similarly, if you are running around after small children, extra hands to help will be appreciated for a longer duration.

As far as returning to exercise, it is reasonable to take walks or ride a bike about a week after surgery. I would wait at least 2 weeks to begin any rigorous exercise routine. You will likely still be sore and won’t want to do it anyhow.

Finally, I caution you not to go out and buy new super pretty bras immediately after surgery. It will be tempting, trust me. After surgery, we provide a supportive bra for comfort. There will be weeks of swelling, and your final breast size will generally result 4-6weeks after surgery. Your physician can guide you during the recovery period as to when it would be a good time to invest in nice ones. What to do with all your gently worn bras that no longer fit? Consider donating them to a worthy cause. Visit www.breastoasis.org for information.

I hope this brief review helps in your decision to undergo breast augmentation surgery. If you have additional questions or would like to be evaluated by one of the board-certified cosmetic surgeons at the Emory Aesthetic Center, call us for a complimentary consultation to determine what would be best for you and your desires.

About Dr. Anderson

Erica Anderson, MDErica Anderson, MD, is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and currently holds an appointment as Assistant Professor in the Division of Plastic Surgery at Emory University. Dr. Anderson completed her general surgery residency and plastic surgery residency at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and associated hospitals in Denver, CO. She completed a year of advanced training in Aesthetic Surgery at Grotting Plastic Surgery in Birmingham, Alabama.

Dr. Anderson returns to Emory University after being in private practice in Arlington, Virginia. While there, she maintained a busy aesthetic and reconstructive practice and also served as Medical Director for the Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center at Virginia Hospital Center.

Dr. Anderson’s academic and research interests are largely focused on clinical outcomes with regards to cosmetic surgery. Her areas of clinical interest are diverse including cosmetic surgery of the breast and body as well chest wall reconstruction and wound care.

Dr. Anderson is married with 3 children, Trent, Connor and Fiona, and 2 vizslas, Max and Mimi.

Breast Implants with a Breast Lift: Do You Really Need Both?

Decide on Breast LiftThroughout the years plastic surgeons have often had strong opinions about when to do a breast lift alone, when to just put in breast implants, and when to do both. In addition to this, over the past several years there have been new developments in breast augmentation surgery, including short scar breast lifts (or mastopexy), fat grafting, and new breast implant options. These have provided surgeons with even more tools to help patients obtain more youthful, uplifted breasts. If you look in the mirror and you don’t like what you see – perhaps the breasts have become droopy after children or weight loss, or they just seem to have deflated after breastfeeding – there are now more options than ever before. But how do you know what is right for you – breast implants, a breast lift, or both?

Every surgeon has a different way of guiding patients through these options, but the first, most critical step is to really understand what your goals are. Patients may come in for a consultation saying something like “I’m not sure what I want, really. I just know I don’t like the way my breasts look now. I want to look fuller up top, but I don’t want to be too big either, and I want to look natural.” This is very helpful; however, it doesn’t answer the question about a lift, an implant, or both. Separating a lift or implants in your mind can bring a lot of clarity. One way to do this is to simply hold your breast up (replicating a lift) so that the breast is no longer in a low hanging position. This is something your surgeon can do for you during your consultation, or you can even do at home in front of the mirror. This will help you get a sense of your actual breast volume without an implant. If you like the relative size when the breast is manually lifted up, then you may be a great candidate for a breast lift alone. On the other hand, if the breasts are held up and the size just doesn’t give you what you want, then you need to think about breast implants, either with or without a lift.

To figure out this part, you’ll want to rely heavily on the judgment of your surgeon, who will make some measurements of the breast and note the degree of ptosis, or droopiness. If there is very little ptosis, then an implant alone (without a lift) will probably serve you very well. If the ptosis is severe, then putting in an implant alone will not look right, as the breast will appear to “fall off” of the implant. Therefore, a breast lift would be needed in addition to the implant. Not infrequently, however, a patient may lie in a gray zone somewhere in between: in these cases an implant alone may suffice, however will give a more mature or slightly low hanging appearance. The decision then becomes one of personal preference. If you feel that getting the breast as “perky” as possible is important, then a lift in addition to the implant is in order. If you feel that a more mature look is desirable, then you can forgo the lift and the additional scars that are required.

Of course there are advantages and disadvantages of each of the options – a lift alone, a lift with implants, or implants alone. Implants alone typically have the shortest scar, but have only a limited effect in making the breast look more uplifted. When implants are placed there is also the risk that the implants may become mal-positioned, may become encapsulated (firm with scar), or may need to be replaced, all of which may require additional surgeries in the future. A lift alone typically produces longer scars; however, it doesn’t carry the implant-related risks for additional surgery. A combined implant-lift provides control over both breast size and shape, but it also produces both the longer scars and the risk of additional “maintenance” surgeries related to implants. The differences in recovery between these options are usually small, and most women feel they can return to work in about a week after any of these options.

The surgeons at the Emory Aesthetic Center are experts in helping you think through all your options. We use the most up-to-date techniques, implants, imaging systems, and adjunct therapies (like scar therapy) to help you achieve the results that you want. We’ll take the time to thoroughly explore your goals and get a deep understanding of your desires. At the same time, we will work hard to make sure you really understand what options will give you the best results in the long run.

About Dr. Eaves

Felmont Eaves, MDDr. Eaves recently returned to Atlanta, Georgia, to head the Emory Aesthetic Center as Medical Director, having previously completed his plastic surgery residency as well as a fellowship in endoscopic and minimally invasive plastic surgery at Emory University, The Emory Clinic, and associated hospitals. Before joining the Emory Aesthetic Center, Dr. Eaves was a partner in Charlotte Plastic Surgery for more than fifteen years and served as group president from 2010-2012.

His professional and institutional committee memberships and offices include an impressive list of national, international and local plastic surgery organizations, societies, boards, task forces, advisory councils, coalitions and foundations, including having served as President of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) from 2010-2011 and Trustee (2011-Present).

Dr. Eaves’ primary areas of academic inquiry have been in minimally-invasive and endoscopic aesthetic surgery, patient safety, system and process improvement in plastic surgery, evidence-based medicine applied to plastic surgery and recontouring surgery after massive weight loss. He has received several patents for new medical devices he developed, and has made major clinical service contributions to his field. Dr. Eaves has published more than 100 articles, book chapters and book reviews on plastic surgery in peer reviewed publications, as well as manuals, videos, computer programs and other teaching aids and has coauthored the first textbook on the topic of endoscopic plastic surgery.

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Understanding Breast Augmentation Revision Surgery

Breast Augmentation Revision SurgeryStudies show that the vast majority of women are satisfied with the results of their breast augmentation surgery. Women report that the decision to enhance their breasts was a positive process and they would recommend it to others. There are times however, that patients may not achieve the results they were expecting. And more often, as bodies alter with weight loss, gain or pregnancy, the result changes such that a patient may want a revision. There are even cases when implants become hard and painful that women look for alternative solutions. Whatever the reason, physicians at the Emory Aesthetic Center can help you explore your options for breast augmentation revision surgery. Let’s consider some common scenarios to help guide your decision making process.

Scenario 1: You recently had a breast augmentation and you think the size is wrong. Is it too big or do you wish you had gone bigger? Either way, make sure you do not decide too quickly. Allow time for swelling to subside and implants to settle. Allow time for you to incorporate these changes into your body image. If at approximately 6months after surgery you still are unsatisfied, it is reasonable to consider an exchange of implants to better match your desired size. Implant exchange is relatively straightforward and recovery time is minimal, typically less than the recovery of the initial surgery.

Scenario 2: You have been happy with your saline implants but you have a friend with silicone gel implants that feel much more like natural breasts. An exchange from saline to gel can be done with relative ease, particularly if your overall size and shape remains acceptable to you. Recovery time in this case is also minimal.

Scenario 3: Your body has changed after pregnancy and the breasts do not look as they did when they were first enhanced. Sometimes in this case, decisions need to be made about the implants. If you are happy with overall volume, a breast lift – also known as a mastopexy – can be done leaving the implants in place to correct the droop but maintain the volume. If the size of the breasts is now too large, the implants can be removed and a breast lift performed. Alternatively, if you have lost volume in your breasts, implants can be exchanged for larger ones and a lift can also be done to correct the shape. Recovery from a mastopexy combined with changes to implants can be slightly longer than the cases mentioned above.

Scenario 4: There is a progressive hardening to the breasts that has become painful. You are likely experiencing capsular contracture. Though it is reasonable to be concerned about this process, it does not generally cause any significant health problems and it can be fixed. In these cases, the implants and the scar tissue are removed. When replacing the implant, the location is typically changed, i.e. from below the muscle to above or vice versa. Additional materials, such as biologic mesh (e.g. Strattice) can also be used in difficult cases to help prevent recurrence of the problem.

As you can see, there are many reasons for revisional breast augmentation surgery. The basic approach involves identifying the issue and then creating a surgical care plan that addresses the problem. The answer may be a simple solution of implant exchange with little recovery and downtime. Or the solution may be more complicated requiring a breast lift with conversion of the implants. Either way, the surgeons at the Emory Aesthetic Center can help guide your decision process and make breast augmentation revision surgery a success for you. Come in today for a consultation to determine what approach is best for you.

About Dr. Anderson

Erica Anderson, MDErica Anderson, MD, is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and currently holds an appointment as Assistant Professor in the Division of Plastic Surgery at Emory University. Dr. Anderson completed her general surgery residency and plastic surgery residency at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and associated hospitals in Denver, CO. She completed a year of advanced training in Aesthetic Surgery at Grotting Plastic Surgery in Birmingham, Alabama.

Dr. Anderson returns to Emory University after being in private practice in Arlington, Virginia. While there, she maintained a busy aesthetic and reconstructive practice and also served as Medical Director for the Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center at Virginia Hospital Center.

Dr. Anderson’s academic and research interests are largely focused on clinical outcomes with regards to cosmetic surgery. Her areas of clinical interest are diverse including cosmetic surgery of the breast and body as well chest wall reconstruction and wound care.

Dr. Anderson is married with 3 children, Trent, Connor and Fiona, and 2 vizslas, Max and Mimi.