Do you feel that your breasts would look better with a bit more support? Have you lost weight, or finished breast feeding, and think that your breasts have not returned to their original shape? Or would you just like to have breasts that look more youthful, in line with how you feel? A breast lift, or mastopexy, is a safe way to achieve better shaped breasts.
Breast shape, and the position of the nipple on the breast mound, changes with time. Large weight fluctuations and pregnancy/breast feeding accentuate the effects of time and gravity by stretching the skin over the breast. The amount of skin that rebounds is determined by many factors – genetics, the amount of stretch placed on the skin, how fast that stretch was applied and removed, the general quality of the skin, presence of stretch marks and the amount of support (physical and nutritional) that is provided during the healing.
A well shaped breast is comprises a few key elements
• An upper pole that slopes gently from the collar bone down to the nipple
• A nipple that is at the point of maximum projection of the breast, and ideally above the junction of the breast with the lower chest/abdominal wall
• A rounded lower pole of the breast that joins the lower rib cage at a concise line
As the rest of your body gets into shape, most women feel that their breasts never catch up to the improvements that they are making on the rest of their shape. There is little that anyone can do without surgery that will result in the skin and shape of the breast returning to its prior state.
How do I get breasts that look as youthful as I feel?
The most comprehensive method of restoring the breast to a more youthful appearance is to reposition the nipple to the correct position whilst retaining as much breast volume as possible, and then assess the need for an implant to fill the breast outline. Once this has been established, excess skin and stretch marks can be removed, and this will help support the nipple breast to heal in the new position.
Many of the techniques (or patterns) of breast lift are similar to breast reduction. Most women appreciate that small dress modifications can be made without cutting material, but larger modifications require material to be cut and new seams or hems to be sewn. This same principle applies to breast lifting – there is often a small amount of breast tissue that must be removed to allow the breast tissue to be reshaped into a pleasing result. Most breast lifts can be done through shorter scar techniques, as by definition there is little excess volume and skin requiring removal (as compared to a breast reduction) and less stress on the healing wound afterwards.
In general terms, there are a few common classes of breast lift, or mastopexy, and they all have their role in breasts with differing needs.
1. Periareolar (Benelli) mastopexy.
This type of mastopexy results in a scar that is only at the junction of the pigmented areola and normal breast skin. As there is minimal skin excision involved in this operation, it achieves good results in breasts with mild laxity. It is often combined with a breast implant for best results.
2. Vertical scar mastopexy.
This operation has a similar lollipop scar to smaller size breast reductions, and is suitable for breasts with moderate laxity and reasonable skin quality. It relies on some skin take up to assist with supporting the breast.
3. Inverted T mastopexy.
This operation is suitable for breast with severe laxity and nipples that have dropped significantly. The resulting scar is the same as used larger breast reductions. The scars run around the nipple, down the breast and along the infra-mammary fold, in an anchor shape.
A consultation with Sydney Plastic Surgeon Dr Gavin Sandercoe will inform you of your options, risk and expected results.