Advances in technology are not without their impacts on the field of plastic surgery. The forces of nature are relentless in the face of the human aesthetic, with gravity taking the heaviest toll on a woman’s breasts over the years. Any number of factors can contribute to the deflation of the breasts, but the latest tools now available to surgeons are inspiring quicker, safer, more-sustainable solutions.
Dr. Bruce Van Natta remembers when consultations used to be simple: a patient with one problem traditionally had one solution. Now he’s here to tell us about a couple of new breast lift techniques he employs at his practice can lift and restore your breasts back to where they once were.
Biotechnology gives patients individualized treatment
The plastic surgeon’s toolbox is filling up. More techniques mean more options for patients. Not only does each new method suggest a solution of its own, a customizable combination of methods allows surgeons to tackle the unique complexities of each individual.
Implants are finding themselves with less and less responsibility. More innovative, longer-lasting solutions are making their way into the marketplace, granting more support to the implants so that patients’ breasts stay lifted for longer.
REFINE Suture Suspension
The REFINE Suture Suspension technique involves a permanent suture material traditionally used to repair muscles in highly active parts of the body such as the abdomen.
The technique involves a horizontal suture placed under the pectoral muscle with two vertical sutures anchored in the breast tissue. This allows surgeons to literally pull the breasts up. Dr. Van Natta likens it to a set of suspenders that you cannot feel and does not show up on mammograms.
“Almost any patient having a breast lift or breast reduction is a candidate for this device. In the past, many patients would experience a “bottoming out” effect as gravity took over following their breast lift. With the addition of the Refine System we can maintain some of that fullness for a more natural, youthful look.
Two New Meshes
Van Natta utilizes two different types of mesh that serve as an internal bra.
The SERI Surgical Scaffold is a mesh made of silk from silkworms. It acts as a scaffolding that props up the breast while collagen forms to reinforce the lift. Eventually the mesh scaffolding will be mostly absorbed, leaving the body with its natural collagen reinforcement.
Galatea’s GalaFLEX meshes are made of a polymer through bacterial fermentation. This material is found naturally in the body, so patients need not worry about foreign material. It, too, is put in place to allow for a managed production of collagen reinforcement, giving the breasts or breast with implant a secure, snug lift.
Van Natta has been impressed with the ability of these meshes to lift and hold position longterm, and finds the natural source of the two meshes to be a bonus for patients wary of foreign materials in their bodies.
Mesh and scaffolding in one procedure
While REFINE addresses the upper pole, the meshes are used to address the lower pole. In tandem, the two can provide a more comprehensive, long-lasting solution for patients.
Dr. Van Natta’s main goal is to get the best outcome, which means not limiting himself to one technique or another. These techniques often find their best results when combined with smaller implants and/or fat grafting. New tools do not always replace the old ones but are simply added to the mix. This allows surgeons to treat each patient in the manner that best suits their unique needs.