Breast Lifting Procedures
Ptotic, or droopy breasts are a real concern for many women. Weight loss, a severe diet program, pregnancy, and breast-feeding can all contribute to the development of droopy breasts. Women with pendulous or droopy breasts of satisfactory, comfortable size are good candidates for a breast lift. The problem may be that the breasts lack substance or firmness, nipple areolae point downward, and nipple position is below the breast crease. The “pencil test” is a good way to determine eligibility-if a woman places a pen or pencil underneath her breast and the item stays in place without assistance, she would benefit from a breast lift.
The most common patient is one who has had two children and has breast-fed them. After pregnancy and breast-feeding, the top half, or superior aspect, of the breast loses some of its fullness due to involution of breast tissue. Some patients are luckier than others and actually develop fuller breasts after pregnancy, but this is rare.
The most common breast lift operation is the mastopexy. It involves repositioning the nipple areolar complex to a location higher on the chest wall. The incisions are located around the nipple areolar complexes. This operation is usually performed with the patient under general anesthesia in a surgery center. This procedure is usually 1-1/2 to 2 hours long.
All types of breast lifts require an incision to remove excess skin so that the remaining skin can be repositioned. There are several types of breast lift surgery techniques available that differ in the incision made and the procedure used to lift the skin.
Standard breast lift surgery uses an anchor or keyhole incision, which starts at the base of the breast in the crease and extends upward around the areola – creating an anchor shape. It is most often used for extensive ptosis (drooping), resulting in the most noticeable scarring.
Doughnut mastopexy, which is also called a Benelli lift or periareolar lift, is much less invasive than
the anchor breast lift procedure because the incision is limited to a circle around the areola. A piece of skin around the areola is removed and the surrounding skin is reattached to create a lifted look with minimal scarring.
Vertical mastopexy is a procedure resulting in an incision around the areola and then vertically down
the breast. This avoids the horizontal incision under the breast that results from a standard breast lift.
For the best result, Dr. Manolis often recommends combining breast augmentation with breast lift (mastopexy) surgery when there is both surgery of the breasts and a significant loss of volume. The two procedures are generally performed at the same time, although revision surgery may be required for an ideal result.
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