The medical term for breast lift or breast uplift surgery is Mastopexy. As women age, the ligaments that hold up the breast begin to stretch and the breast sags. Also changes such as pregnancy or large amounts of weight loss can lead to drooping breasts. Medically the breasts are not considered to be drooping unless the position of the nipple is at or below the level of the inframammary fold. The inframammary fold is the crease under the breast. The medical term for drooping is ptosis. Hence, drooping breasts are called ptosis breasts. There are different degrees or severity of droop (ptosis). The mildest form of breast ptosis (breast droop), is when the nipple just drops below the inframammary fold. The most severe form of breast ptosis is when the nipple and areola are pointing toward the floor and are at the lowest part of the breasts. There are many techniques for lifting the breasts and the type of breast lift surgery used depends on the amount of breast ptosis. Obviously, the more severe the droop the more extensive the breast surgery must be to correct the problem. Las Vegas plastic surgeon Dr. Lane Smith is considered one of the best plastic surgeons for breast lift (mastopexy) surgery and will perform the breast lift surgery that best fits the patients needs and with the fewest scars possible.
Sometimes a breast lift (mastopexy) is combined with breast implants. This helps fill the breast when it has a deflated appearance and increases the overall volume of the breast. In general if a patient just wants just to have her breasts lifted we do a breast lift (mastopexy) without implants. If the patient wants her breasts to be lifted and more full, than she will need breast implants in addition to the breast lift. When breast implants are not used, the breasts always become smaller with a breast lift. This is because the breast tissue is tightened with breast lift surgery (mastopexy) and it makes the breasts smaller. If a patient wants the breasts to be the same size as they were prior to breast lift surgery or larger, as lifted, then we do a mastopexy with breast implants. The medical term for this procedure is Augmentation Mastopexy (combination of breast augmentation with breast lift.)
The major benefit of breast lift (mastopexy surgery) is the better position and shape of the breast. After breast lift surgery the breast should be in a more pleasing, uplifted and youthful position. The shape of the breast should also be improved after breast lift surgery. The breasts should be more firm and round. Also, if the areolas are large, they can be reduced at the time of the breast lift (Mastopexy.) With breast lift surgery, it is very important for the patient to have realistic expectations. The goal is improvement in the shape and position of the breasts, they will never be perfect and most likely the breasts will never look as good as a young woman who comes in for a routine breast augmentation.
A breast lift (mastopexy) can make the breasts more youthful looking. Youthful breasts are high round and firm with a conical or slightly sloping shape. The nipples should be near the center of the breast with about 50% to 60% of the breast mass under the nipple and 50% to 40% of the breast mass above the nipple. Even in a young woman, if the breasts are sagging they appear old and it makes that woman’s overall figure appear old. Conversely, even an older woman, if the breasts are high, well shaped and firm, it makes her entire figure appear younger and sexier.
As mentioned above, breast augmentation and mastopexy (breast lift surgery) are frequently combined. This is called an Augmentation-Mastopexy and is primarily done if a patient desires an increase in breast volume or size, as well as a more uplifted breast. Another reason to combine breast augmentation and breast lift surgery (mastopexy,) is to give the breasts a more round appearance. Some patients desire very round shaped or even “fake looking” breasts and for this type of look usually a breast implant is needed. It is more common in the Las Vegas area for patients to request breast implants with their breast lifts.
A mastopexy (breast lift surgery,) can make uneven breasts more symmetrical. If fact, if the breasts have a large difference in breast size, breast shape, nipple position or droop; very frequently some form of mastopexy (breast lift surgery) or mastopexy augmentation (breast lift combined with breast augmentation,) will be needed. If there is a large difference in size, almost always a breast implant will be needed to help make them more even. For example, if one breast is small and not ptosis (drooping,) and the other breast is larger and ptosis (drooping), Dr. Smith may need to place a breast implant in the smaller breast and lift and reduce the size of the opposite breast to get them to match. The breasts will never look exactly alike, but they should be more similar.
The areola is the colored part of the skin around the nipples. They are frequently too large or abnormally shaped especially in drooping breasts. As part of the breast lift (mastopexy,) we frequently reshape the areola. We can make the areola smaller and more round-shaped.
There are many different procedures for breast lift surgery (mastopexy.) After most types of breast lift surgery and breast augmentation surgery, the majority of patients will still be able to breast feed. However, there is an increased chance of not being able to breast-feed after breast uplift surgery and it is a risk. If you are worried about the ability to breast feed after breast uplift surgery or are planning on future pregnancies, you may want to postpone the surgery until after your last pregnancy.
As part of the mastopexy procedure, we attempt to make both nipples the same level and both breasts the same shape. Truthfully the nipples and breast shapes can never exactly alike, just as in nature no two snowflakes are exactly alike. However the shapes and position of the nipples should be similar.
There are many techniques used to lift the breasts. It’s not possible to discuss all of them here. Also since every breast is different, every breast lift surgery individually tailored to the patient by Dr. Smith. The most common technique used by Dr. Smith is called the Vertical Mastopexy, which is also known as the “lollipop lift”. The advantage of this type of breast lift is that is produces a very good breast shape and gives a nice high breast lift that is long lasting. The disadvantage is that there is a scar created around the nipple and straight down the breast like a lollipop shape, hence the nickname “lollipop breast lift.” Typically breast lift surgery is done under general anesthesia. Dr. Smith will mark a keyhole type pattern on the skin prior to surgery. The top of the keyhole will be the new, higher position of the nipple. The skin will be removed around the nipple and below the nipple in this keyhole type pattern. The nipple is not detached from the underlying breast at any time during the surgery. It remains on the breast mound. If a breast implant is to be placed, it is done at this time through an incision in the lower part of the keyhole and the breast implant is placed exactly like a breast augmentation. Dr. Smith almost always places the breast implant under the muscle (sub muscular breast augmentation.) If Dr. Smith is not placing a breast implant, he will take some of the breast tissue and fold it underneath placing it in a new higher position. This gives fullness to the upper part of the breast. Dr. Smith will also place sutures to in the breast tissue itself to pull the breast together to make it more round and firm. At this point, the remaining breast skin is then pulled together and closed with sutures. This tightens the “breast envelope” and contributes to lifting the breasts. The final scar will be around the nipple and straight down the bottom half of the breast in a lollipop shape.
With rare exceptions, there must be a large amount of skin removed to lift the breast. This requires fairly long skin incisions, usually around the nipple, straight down the breast. Sometimes a smaller incision can be used. However, it is not possible to lift the breast without any incisions or scars. If a patient is unwilling to accept scars on the breast she should not have (breast lift surgery) mastopexy. Fortunately scars fade for 2 to 3 years and can often become nearly invisible and difficult to see.
The best way to learn more about breast lift surgery (mastopexy) or breast uplift surgery with breast implants (mastopexy-augmentation,) and what choices are best for you is to schedule an appointment with one of the best cosmetic surgeons in Las Vegas, Dr. Lane Smith. Dr. Smith, a board-certified surgeon, has numerous satisfied breast lift patients in Las Vegas, Henderson, Utah and California and indeed from all over the world. At the Smith Plastic Surgery Institute, you will find a very helpful, friendly and caring staff that is there to serve you. Appointments can be made by calling 702-838-2455, or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For patients who live a long distance from Las Vegas, online consultations are available.
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