Breast Lifts and Reductions
A “breast lift” or mastopexy refers to a surgical procedure aimed at giving a woman’s breasts a more youthful appearance. With natural aging, breast feeding, and weight loss breasts may lose volume and the skin may become lax, which can lead to increased breast asymmetry and a “deflated” appearance with descent of the nipples to a lower position over time. An experienced Plastic Surgeon offering mastopexy will help formulate a surgical plan specific for a patient based on her goals as well and her physical exam and medical history. Surgery may include tightening and reorienting the breast tissue to allow them to sit higher on the chest wall, tightening of the breast skin, and moving the nipples so that they point forward and sit on the top of the breast mound. If a patient desires larger breasts than can be achieved by mastopexy alone, it may be appropriate to place breast implants in addition to the lift. This can be done either at the same time as the mastopexy (augmentation-mastopexy), or at a later date as part of a second surgery. Incisions may be around the areola (periareolar), straight down from the areola to the crease, and/or in the crease beneath the breast (inframammary crease). Your surgeon will discuss options specific to you, as well as the pros and cons of these options.
A “breast reduction” or reduction mammaplasty is a surgical procedure in which the breasts are reduced in size with the goal of improving symptoms related to large/heavy breasts such as painful notching of the shoulders from bra straps, recurrent rashes under the breasts, upper back or neck pain, and in some cases even headaches. While the goal is improvement of symptoms, the patient often receives cosmetic benefits from this operation including improvement in symmetry as well as a more youthful breast shape and nipple position. Scars from the surgery typically heal well and will usually be located around the areola (periareolar), straight down from the areola to the crease, and in the crease beneath the breast (inframammary crease). In select patient the inframammary crease incision can be avoided. Surgery can usually be done in an outpatient setting. While no guarantees can ever be made regarding symptom improvement, many patients report significant improvement in back or neck pain within hours of surgery.