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Do I Need a Breast LIft?

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Do I Need a Breast LIft?

Many patients ask if they can have implants without a breast lift. While some patients can, so patients will also need a breast lift to achieve an optimal aesthetic result.

In other cases, patients may be satisfied with the size of their breasts but want to address sagging and overhang. These patients will benefit from a breast lift as it allows the breast to sit higher on the chest. However, a breast lift will not address the appearance of deflated breasts; implants (or perhaps fat transfer) are the only options for that problem.

What is a breast lift?

Technically called a mastopexy, a breast lift removes excess skin and tightens tissue for an improved breast contour. It can also reduce the size of the areola which can grow over time. It usually does not make breasts smaller, though they may appear slightly smaller after surgery. Instead, they look higher and fuller behind the nipple.

Three incisions can be used to perform a breast lift:

  • Around the areola,
  • Around the areola and vertically down to the breast crease,

  • Around the areola and vertically down to the breast crease and horizontally along the crease.

After the incision is made, the underlying breast tissue will be lifted and reshaped resulting in improved contour and firmness. The nipple and areola will be moved to a higher, more natural position, and if needed, skin will be excised to reduce the size of large areolas. Finally, excess skin will be removed to improve elasticity.

Many of the scars will be concealed in the breast fold but some scarring may be apparent on the breast and around the nipple. These scars usually diminish over time. Your cosmetic surgeon will suggest the right approach for you following a consultation.

How can I tell if I need a breast lift?

By looking at two aspects of your appearance, you can judge whether or not you need a breast lift. First, does your nipple hang at or below the breast fold? Second, do you have a good deal of laxity in the skin around your breasts?

If you answered yes to either question, chances are good you'll need a breast lift. Implants alone will not improve the situation. That's because without a lift, the implants won't look right. The implants may appear to sit too high on the chest, or the breast tissue may appear to "fall" off the implant.

You may also be a candidate for a breast lift, with or without implants, if your breasts:

  • Have lost volume and shape,
  • Are pendulous, flat or elongated,

  • Hang at different levels,

  • Have nipple and areolas that point downward.

Breast lift surgery is a highly effective way to address these concerns. In fact, it has become increasingly popular in recent years. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number of cases has increased by 70 percent since the year 2000.

To learn more about breast lift surgery, please contact our office today for a consultation. Our cosmetic surgeons will guide you in the best methods to achieve the look you want using breast lift surgery, implants or a combination of both.

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