What is a Breast Lift?

Someone once said, “You can’t defy gravity.”  This is an awesome place to start when thinking about a breast lift, or as we like to call it a “mastopexy.”

There is a perception out there that a breast lift literally means taking the sagging tissues of the breast and physically moving them north (upwards).  As an added bonus, the nipple-areolar complex (NAC) is lifted and the loose saggy skin (or breast envelope) is tightened, making the breast more firm, perky and compact.

In actuality, this is only partially true.  Oh, if not for the physical laws of our natural world, the well-meaning plastic surgeon could perform this gravity-defying “mammary miracle. “  It is true that the NAC can be raised upwards, even made smaller (or rounder) and more defined through nipple corrective breast surgery.  It is also true that the skin envelope can be tightened somewhat, giving a more compact appearance to the breast.  However, that’s about where the patient’s wishes end.  The breast itself cannot be lifted and be expected to stay up there for any appreciable length of time.  Gravity works its negative influence as soon as the surgery is finished and the patient resumes life in the upright position.

The “look” of a lifted breast can, however, be approximated by some clever maneuvers performed by your plastic surgeon.  If we realize we cannot lift the actual tissue, then what’s left is removing saggy tissue and somehow adding volume where we want it – in the upper breast – the area that makes “cleavage.”  There are two main ways to do this.  Saggy tissue from the lower part of the breast can be rotated up and under the breast, thus producing more fullness here and eliminating sagginess below.  Many surgeons feel that this is the same thing as trying to “lift” breast tissue and that this method doesn’t last for any significant length of time.

The other method involves removing the sagging lower breast tissue and adding an implant which is placed to augment the upper zone of the breast.  This procedure is commonly known as an “augmentation mastopexy” because it involves removing sagging tissue, repositioning the NAC, tightening the skin envelope AND adding an implant to volumize the upper zone of the breast.

This method simulates “lifting” the breast because it removes volume or fullness where it’s not wanted (hanging down below the breast fold) and it places fullness where it is desired (in the upper breast – or cleavage area).  One needs to be aware that the placement of a breast implant carries with it it’s own unique set of potential risks and complications, including descent of the implant over time, but this is for another blog.

Undergoing a breast-lift or, mastopexy may seem like a daunting procedure, but with our amazing staff at Fairview Plastic Surgery you will have a delightful experience leaving you feeling and looking like a brand new you! Contact us today for a consultation.

 

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