New medical advances in the field of breast lifts allow weight loss patients to feel better about themselves. Excess skin makes life uncomfortable and can interfere with comfort, self-esteem and body image, says Dr. J. Peter Rubin, a board certified plastic surgeon from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and an expert in the field of plastic surgery after weight loss. More importantly, says Rubin, “It’s a daily reminder of the state of obesity they’re trying to move away from.” Dr. Rubin is recognized as a national leader in the field of body contouring, and is also Chief of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
By J. Peter Rubin, MD
and Carolynn Grimes
Breast Lift after Weight Loss
Many people find themselves left with extra skin in the arms, abdomen, thighs, and breasts after losing weight. For female weight loss patients, the breasts are of particular concern, says Dr. Rubin. Thanks to medical advances surgeons are now able to re-shape the breast tissue by moving extra tissue from the side of the chest. “We’re borrowing from other areas of the body so that we can get better shape and add some of the patients own natural volume into the breast lift procedure,” says Rubin.
Dr. Rubin re-positions the tissue that is next to the breast, often referred to as a ‘bra roll’. “That’s usually an area where patients would like to have that skin and fat removed anyway. Rather than just removing the tissue and throwing it away, this is a technique where we are able to re-position that tissue and put it to better use,” says Rubin.
The Internal Brassiere is the Key to Breast Re-shaping
Rubin says the difficulty in re-shaping the breast after massive weight loss is that the tissues are stretched out and have lost elasticity. “A lot of the traditional techniques that we’ve used in the past are not always effective; we’ve had to develop new techniques where we create an internal brassiere in the breast using a patient’s own tissues. The internal brassiere helps to support and suspend the structures of the breast without the use of breast implants. This has been very successful allowing us to achieve results that were not possible before with other techniques,” says Rubin.