This page gives detailed information
about Breast lift (mastopexy)
Richard V. Dowden, M.D., C.M., F.A.C.S.
Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery, Inc.
6770 Mayfield Road, Suite 410
Cleveland, Ohio 44124
Breast lift (mastopexy)
Perhaps the most important characteristic of an attractively-shaped breast is the balance between the volume of the breast, and the surface area of the skin holding that volume. If these two are in the correct proportion, then usually an attractive shape results. When there is a mismatch, that is there is too much skin for the breast volume, then the breast is too "relaxed" or "droopy" or "saggy" with a downward descent below the normal level. Correction of this problem then requires either increasing the volume, as with an implant, or decreasing the skin area, called a mastopexy, or sometimes both these methods are needed. The use of an implant is discussed in detail elsewhere.
Removal of skin must always result in a scar someplace on the breast. Almost always, the descent of tissues has included the nipple-areola which becomes too low for an attractive look, and so the minimum scar is usually one which goes all the way around the nipple-areola ("The Circle" or the "Binelli"). For mild degrees of descent, that scar around the nipple-areola is all that is necessary. If more skin than that has to be removed, then there will have to also be a vertical scar downward from the nipple-areola so the scar will be a circle with a line downward ("The Lollipop"). If the breast relaxation is even more severe than that, then there will also be a horizontal scar from side-to-side under the breast so the scar will be a circle with a line down and then a curved line under the breast ("The Anchor"). Only at consultation can the extent of the scar needed be estimated. It is known, however, that attempts to correct a severe degree of breast relaxation using only the scar around the nipple-areola generally result in severe problems, and often lead to complications.
Sometimes patients will say that they are "having trouble deciding between the Circle, the Lollipop, or the Anchor" and ask which is better. But it doesnt work like that. The amount of skin that has to be removed will determine which scars are needed.
There is an ongoing debate among plastic surgeons as to the wisdom of performing a lift at the same operation as the insertion of an implant. Although this is usually successful, it has been shown that the chance of complications is somewhat higher when both the lift and the implant are done together. Moreover, quite often the amount of lifting produced by the implant may be sufficient to produce an attractive proportion and breast shape, in which case the breast lift was not really needed in the first place, making the scars unneccesary. These factors can only be evaluated during a consultation.
Complications are very unlikely after breast lift, but can occur in a very small percentage of patients, even in the hands of a highly skilled and qualified plastic surgeon. Any operation carries the possibility of anesthetic risks, bleeding, infection, suboptimal scarring, and poor healing. Rarely there can be numbness, skin irregularity, poor circulation, and discoloration after breast lift (mastopexy). Complications are less likely if the patient has never had radiation therapy to the surgical area, is a non-smoker, is not overweight, and avoids medicines that promote bleeding, such as aspirin and related drugs. To state that the other way, the chance of complications is greatly increased by radiation, excessive body weight, or nicotine, all of which will be discussed at the consultation with Dr. Dowden.
It is not usually necessary to stay overnight after breast lift (mastopexy). Recovery time varies from one person to another, and depends upon the person's age, body weight, and the nature of their work and activities, and of course upon which procedure has been done.
Breast lift (mastopexy) without implant:
Image Copyright © R.V.Dowden, MD, 1993.
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If you are interested in breast lift (mastopexy) and want to find a board-certified Plastic Surgeon in your area who is qualified to do it, call the referral service of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons at (800)-635-0635, or check
http://www.plasticsurgery.org.To find out if a surgeon whose name you have been given is truly a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, put the name into the search engine at http://www.abms.org to find out.
Images Copyright © R.V. Dowden, MD, 1993.
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Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery
6770 Mayfield Road, Suite 410
(Mayfield Heights) Cleveland, Ohio 44124
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Last Update: 7:03 PM on 08/01/2012
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