The Surgeon Minute

Understanding Breast Lift Surgery

Understanding Breast Lift Surgery

For the right woman, straightforward breast lift surgery may do wonders for lifting up years of aging, as well as lifting the spirits. For women who’ve finished childbearing and ready to look like they once did, a breast lift is one of the best options for rejuvenation.

What Exactly is a Breast Lift?

Breast lift surgery, also known as mastopexy, raises the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour. New statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons show breast lifts have grown 70% since 2000, outpacing breast augmentation 2-to-1 with their explosive popularity. A breast lift can rejuvenate the figure with a breast profile that is more youthful and “perky.”

Breast lift patient.

Changes that introduce sagging and skin elasticity can result from:

  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding
  • Weight fluctuations
  • Aging
  • Gravity
  • Heredity

Dr. Brooke Seckel, a board certified plastic surgeon in Boston, has been practicing more than 30 years and he still loves what breast lift surgery can do for women. “The most common situation where a woman is considering a breast lift is after pregnancy,” Dr. Seckel shares. “Breast lift is part of a mommy makeover which includes abdominoplasty as well as possibly liposuction. The second group of patients who could use a breast lift are patients who have lost a significant amount of weight. Because a significant part of the breast is fat and once they lose a lot of weight the breast can drop and sag.”

How to Tell if you Need Breast Lift Surgery

Dr. Seckel says the answer is fairly straightforward. “There’s one key determinant of whether a patient needs a breast lift or not,” explains Seckel. “And that is the position of the nipple and it’s relationship to the inframammary crease, or the fold of the breast. If the nipple is below the fold, then you need a breast lift. If the nipple is at or above the fold, then a simple dual-plane breast implantation with silicone implant is all you need.”

Breast lift chart.

Are There Associated Scars?

Anytime surgery and scalpels are involved, so, too, will be scars. The trick is limiting the scar through expertise in surgical technique, as well as a follow-up regimen after surgery. Breast lifts are no different; the tissue removed will require scarring to fulfill the goal of the procedure. “Patients are concerned about scarring, but I honestly tell patients I’ve been doing this for 37 years,” says Seckel. “Most patients after healing six or seven months are so happy with the new position of their breasts and the new youthful look of the breast, that they’re not concerned about scarring.”

One thing to keep in mind with any breast enhancement surgery is how you will look in clothing. For some reason, we’re hyper-focused on what the breasts will look like bare, both the results and the scars. This is curious considering for the vast amount of life, they will be hidden and but features of a person’s contour. With this in mind, patients readily accept the scars accompanied with mastopexy, as the boost in contour and youthfulness are what truly matter.

Breast lift change in clothes.

Dr. Seckel also says it’s important not to skip any detail nor fail to answer any patient question. “I think as long as you fully explain what they’re going to undergo, you fully detail about the incisions, scars, etc. how long it’s going to take for them not to be white and as noticeable, I think the satisfaction rate is very high. And I think it’s much higher if you really encourage them to have an implant at the same time.

The Addition of Implants

Breast lift surgery does not always involve implants. For some patients, they may have enough tissue to where the lifted breast has no volume deficiencies. This is not always the case, and it’s why many plastic surgeons will suggest an implant to add volume where there isn’t enough. “I always tell patients who are considering having a breast lift to strongly think about having breast implants at the same time,” explains Seckel. “Some patients will have enough breast tissue and a breast lift alone is likely to be enough.”

Breast lift patient 2.

The decision to have implants is best done in the offices of a board certified plastic surgeon with a deep experience in breast surgery. After measurements and understanding a patient’s goal, these experts will be able to assess what the best choice might be, and can show potential results with 3D imaging. Make no mistake, a breast lift is a technical and complex surgery. To achieve the best results – results that rejuvenate and breathe life back into the breasts for decades to come – it’s always wise to find the best surgeon possible, one that helps you understand the power of the procedure.

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