Posts Tagged ‘mastopexy’

All About Breast Lifts

breast lift mastopexyAs women age, they often notice changes to their breasts, especially following childbirth and breastfeeding. While it’s true that changes like sagging or drooping are part of the normal aging process, the good news is that if you are unhappy with the look of your breasts, there is a relatively simple procedure called a breast lift that can help reposition, reshape and rejuvenate your breasts to restore a more youthful appearance.

What is a breast lift?

If you’re happy with the size and volume of your breasts but want a perkier look, then a basic breast lift (mastopexy) — a procedure that reshapes and lifts your breast tissue — may be just right for you.

During this procedure, your surgeon will likely remove a substantial amount of skin to help your breast go back to a more aesthetically pleasing position. If you also want to reduce the size of your nipple and its surrounding area (areola), it can be done at the same time.

If you’d like your breasts to be more lifted and larger, you can get those results with a mastopexy with a breast augmentation procedure. Your surgeon will reposition your breasts, and also use a breast implant to increase their volume.

And finally, if you’d like more lifted and smaller breasts, your best option is a mastopexy with a breast reduction. If you currently have implants you’d like to have replaced with smaller implants, we can offer several options.

Where are the incisions made?

Excess skin is removed from all over the breast. The exact location of the incisions depends on how much skin needs to be removed. However, there is always one incision around the areola and one that goes in a straight line down to the fold of the breast. Sometimes, a small incision is also needed in the fold underneath the breast. Your surgeon will discuss with you your unique needs and will be able to show you where your incisions will likely be prior to your surgery.

How long will it take me to recover?

While it may take several months to see the final results from your breast lift, your actual recovery typically happens within a few weeks. You can expect to have some bruising and swelling during that time. You’ll also have stitches and bandages covering your incisions.

Since the procedure doesn’t affect the muscles of the chest, the pain is usually minimal and easily managed. In fact, many patients are able to go off pain medication within a few days after surgery, and back to work within 10 days.

You should plan to avoid intense activities, such as upper-body workouts, for four to six weeks.

Am I a good candidate for a breast lift?

A breast lift can produce remarkable improvement in the appearance of your breasts, but there are limitations to what the surgery can accomplish. As long as you’re in good health and have realistic expectations, you’re a good candidate. Some lifestyle choices, like smoking, increase your risks and can have a negative impact on healing, so being a non-smoker is ideal.

Your surgeon will talk with you about your medical history, as well as assess your current health, before scheduling any cosmetic procedure.

Emory Aesthetic Center

At Emory Aesthetic Center, we’re committed to making your cosmetic surgery experience a positive one. Our team of highly skilled surgeons are happy to answer questions that you may have, so you fully understand what you can expect during and after your breast lift procedure.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and speak to a cosmetic surgeon about the approach that’s right for you.

About Dr. Miotto

Gabriele C. Miotto, MD, is an assistant professor of surgery in the division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Emory University School of Medicine, and the associate program director of the Emory Aesthetic Center Fellowship Program. She is fellowship-trained in aesthetic and oculoplastic surgery and certified by the Georgia Composite Medical Board as well as the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and Brazilian Society of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Miotto is also certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners.


Request an appointmentor call us at 404-778-6880.

Mastopexy: What to Expect from Breast Lift Surgery

The shape of the breasts can change over time. They may lose elasticity and firmness causing a sagging effect. This can be contributed to a number of factors, including weight gain, pregnancy, breastfeeding, aging, and the effects of gravity. When the breasts descend down the chest wall, we call this ptosis. A mastopexy, or breast lift, is used to raise the breast back to its original position and restore a youthful shape. Below are frequently asked questions about breast lift surgery and what to expect.

What Steps are Involved in a Mastopexy Surgery?

There are four general components to mastopexy surgery. First, we restore the breast or nipple-areolar complex to its normal position, and possibly resize it if needed. Second, if the patient requests it, there can be a volume adjustment. Breasts that are too large can be made smaller, and breasts that are small can be made larger with breast implants. Then, the overall shape of the breasts is restored. Having achieved this, there is generally some excess skin that will need to be removed as the final component of a breast lift.

How Long Does it Take to Perform a Breast Lift?

The length of the operation depends on the specifics involved in the surgery. If it is a straightforward mastopexy, it takes approximately 2 hours. If a breast reduction is performed with the breast lift, it takes approximately 3 hours. And if implants are involved, the time can fluctuate from there. Your plastic surgeon will be able to inform you of the operation length once all components of the surgery are finalized.

Is There Pain After Mastopexy Surgery?

After surgery, expect to be uncomfortable for a few days. You will likely feel pain and soreness around the incisions. For the first week, you may need pain medication. In my practice, patients have not reported very much discomfort after a mastopexy. I have had women state that it feels like they need to breast feed after the procedure. However, if breast implants are done concurrently with a breast lift, it tends to be more uncomfortable.

Will There Be Scars After Breast Lift Surgery?

The biggest drawback to mastopexy are the resulting scars. Fortunately, in most instances, the scarring gradually gets better and better during the recovery so that at the end of the healing process they become very inconspicuous. Women (and their plastic surgeons) want to minimize scars whenever possible, but the procedure that leaves the smallest scar may not always 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. It is important that when a plastic surgeon is interviewed that you see examples of incisions during the course of recovery so that you know what to expect after the operation is undertaken.

Emory Aesthetic Center

The plastic surgeons at the Emory Aesthetic Center are experts in helping you think through all your options for mastopexy. 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 breast lift options will give you the best results in the long run. To get started, simply schedule a complimentary consultation with one our expert plastic surgeons.

About Dr. Zubowicz

Vincent Zubowicz, MD, assistant professor of Surgery, division of Reconstructive Surgery at Emory University, is a renowned leader in the Atlanta medical community where he has practiced for over 35 years. He is triple board-certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners, the American Board of Surgery, and the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Zubowicz is not only a leader in Plastic, Reconstructive, and Maxillofacial Surgery, but also a leader in patient communication. He is one of the Top 50 Contributors on Real Self, the nation’s premier online communication resource for patients, where he serves on the national media committee. As an advocate for open patient communication, Dr. Zubowicz has written over 18,000 individual answers to patients seeking insights on both surgical and non-surgical procedures. Dr. Zubowicz is a prevailing voice of medical expertise for the Atlanta media, most recently appearing on CNN to discuss the selection and safety of free-standing aesthetic surgery centers.

Request an appointmentor call us at 404-778-6880.

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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Breast Lifts: How Are the Results Achieved?

Breast LiftWe are all aware that the shape of the breast can change over time. This can be contributed to a number of things such as weight loss or gain, pregnancy, breastfeeding, aging, and the effects of gravity. There may be a loss of volume so that it is difficult to fill out your bra completely, a lack of firmness to the breast tissue, or a descent of your nipples so that they now point toward the floor. A breast lift can help improve the appearance your breasts. But how are these results achieved? Let me explain the procedure and the techniques available so you can decide if it is right for you.

A breast lift, also referred to as a mastopexy, raises the position of the breasts on the chest wall by reducing the skin envelope and re-coning the breast. The breast’s firmness and contour are therefore restored. Typically the areolae also become enlarged as an effect of changes to the breast; therefore, with a breast lift, the areolae can be reduced in size to better match the rejuvenated breast.

There are many different types of breast lift procedures, and it is important that the technique used addresses your concerns and fulfills your expectations. The techniques can most easily be described by the scar patterns produced.

A periareolar lift, also called a donut mastopexy, results in a scar isolated to the circumference of the areola. It is typically the procedure used when a minimal lift is needed or in cases where implants are utilized to add volume. You might be a candidate for this technique if you are correcting volume and/or a minimal droop of the breast.

A vertical lift, or lollipop mastopexy, is often referred to as a short scar technique as it results in a scar around the areola plus a vertical scar extending from the areola to the crease of the breast. This technique produces significant re-coning to the breast resulting in a firmer, perky shape. You are likely a candidate for this technique if you have a modest degree of drooping and are willing to accept an additional scar beyond the areolar circumference.

A Wise pattern technique results in an anchor pattern of scarring that extends around the areolar complex, vertical to the breast crease, and along the breast crease. It is significantly more scarring than the vertical technique and is reserved for long, pendulous breasts or breasts with little skin elasticity. This technique may be required in cases where significant weight loss has contributed to the breast shape.

Breasts can also have a degree of lifting by placing an implant. This is particularly true after breastfeeding where it is mostly a loss of volume that creates drooping. The breast can be restored with an implant alone resulting in a minimal scar either in the breast crease or partially around the areola.

As you can see there are a number of techniques available, and many of these methods can work and work well to achieve your goal. What is most important is to understand the technique that is best for you. During a consultation at the Emory Aesthetic Center, we will evaluate your current breast shape, volume, and skin elasticity. We will listen to your concerns and get a complete understanding of your goals and expectations. At the completion of your consultation, a surgical plan will be created specific to you.

If you are considering a breast lift, let the surgeons at the Emory Aesthetic Center help you define your goals and customize a plan using the best technique for you.

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