Do you remember the last time you looked in the mirror and thought how great and perky your breasts looked? Maybe it was before you had children. Perhaps it was before you lost weight. Or perhaps, like many women, you have never felt that way about your breasts. Your breasts should help you feel beautiful and feminine, not embarrassed or self-conscious. Many women deal with too little or too much volume, sagging, and other breast issues. With a breast lift performed by a skilled board-certified plastic surgeon, you can have the breasts that help you feel more confident when you look in the mirror.
Plastic Surgery for the Breasts
It’s easy to name the things we don’t love about our bodies. Many of those imperfections can be resolved with simple improvements in our diet and exercise habits. Whether you want to lose weight or you want to tone up your muscles, you have the ability to reach those goals on your own. With breast problems, however, it’s a different story. You can’t use exercise or a healthy diet to fix sagging breasts. Some cosmetic issues require the talents of a well-qualified plastic surgeon. If your breasts droop and are taking your confidence down with them, it might be time to look into mastopexy.
Mastopexy, more often called a breast lift, is a surgical procedure that corrects sagging and drooping of the breasts. The procedure has seen tremendous growth in popularity, increasing in demand by 114 percent since 2000 (according to the latest statistics provided by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons). Women seek out the surgery when factors such as aging, gravity, pregnancy, or weight loss have caused their breasts to sag, droop, or appear deflated.
A breast lift is a procedure that involves multiple steps to achieve a more youthful look. The removal of extra skin and breast tissue allows your breasts to sit in a higher position. Stretched areolas are reduced in size to match the new shape of the breasts. The nipple is also moved up to sit higher on the breast to help with forward projection and help your breasts look perkier overall.
Breast Lift Techniques
You can choose from several different types of incisions to rejuvenate your breasts. The method you select will depend on the results you want and the amount of ptosis (or sagging) you have. Do some research and talk to your plastic surgeon about which approach would best fit your needs.
- Crescent Lift: This method is one of the lesser-used ways to achieve a breast lift, as it addresses the mildest amount of sagging. The crescent-shaped incision follows the top half edge of the areola, resulting in minimal scarring. Plastic surgeons use a crescent lift when the patient has very little sagging or minor drooping of the nipples. It can be used when combining a lift with breast augmentation.
- Donut Lift: Patients with fairly mild sagging benefit from the single-scar donut lift (also known as a peri-areolar lift). The incision outlines the outer edge of the areola. Like the crescent lift, it addresses a minor amount of sagging and is often performed in addition to breast enhancement with implants.
- Lollipop Lift: The most common of all breast lift techniques, the lollipop or vertical lift is meant to resolve moderate sagging. This method involves more than one incision, but it creates more dramatic results than the single-scar lifts. Your plastic surgeon makes cuts around the outside circle of the areola and vertically down the bottom half of the breast in a lollipop-like shape.
- Anchor Lift: Women with tubular, pendulous, or severely sagging breasts may need a more substantial amount of skin and tissue removed. Your plastic surgeon achieves this by making incisions around the areola, vertically down the bottom half of the breast, and horizontally under the crease of the breast. Breast reduction patients often benefit from the anchor lift.
Every approach to mastopexy involves scarring. Fortunately, the scars will fade over time if they are properly cared for. And, no one will even be able to see the scars except for you and those who see you without clothes. According to RealSelf, 95 percent of women say the procedure is “worth it.” Most patients find that the improvements in their breasts are more than worth the hidden scars. Talk to your doctor about whether the advantages of mastopexy would be worth it for you.
Breast Lift Candidates
If you are unsure if mastopexy is right for you, a simple test you can do at home can offer more insight. Place a pencil horizontally under the crease of your breast. If the pencil stays put when you let go, you may have enough sagging for a lift. Additionally, if your answer is yes to any of the following questions, you may want to talk to your doctor about the possibility of a lift for your breasts.
- Do your nipples point down instead of forward?
- Are you unhappy with how much your breasts sag or droop?
- Do your nipples sit below the crease of your breasts?
- Are your breasts different sizes?
- Are your breasts long, flat, or pendulous?
Watch the video below to learn more about mastopexy.
Pairing a Breast Lift With Other Procedures
Sometimes a lift is all that is needed to fix what bothers women about their breasts. But, if you want to add volume or reduce your bust size, you should consider adding a breast augmentation or a reduction to your lift to achieve those results. A lift alone will rejuvenate your breasts, but it will not change their size by much.
If your breasts have only mild sagging, the addition of breast implants may be enough to provide the lift you need. Breasts that sag more severely and lack the volume you want can be transformed by combining mastopexy with breast augmentation. After having these two procedures done together, your breasts can be fuller, perkier, and have more forward projection. Women have several options for breast implants, including saline, silicone gel, and IDEAL IMPLANT ® Structured Breast Implants. Talk to your doctor about which type would best help you achieve your cosmetic goals.
Breast augmentation and mastopexy can be an effective combination for many women, but they do not work together perfectly for every patient. Mastopexy may not be the best choice for women who want very large implants, because the weight of those implants can cause the breasts to sag even further. Your plastic surgeon can advise you on whether the combination of breast augmentation and a breast lift is right for you.
When most people think of cosmetic breast issues, they imagine breasts that are too small or flat. However, there are a great number of women who feel their breasts are too large. An oversized chest is more than just a burden; it can lead to pain and discomfort throughout the body. Women with very large breasts often suffer from problems including:
- Back, neck, and shoulder pain
- Painful grooves from bra straps digging into shoulders
- Skin irritation or rash underneath the breasts
- Embarrassment about breast size
- Decreased mobility
- Neurologic symptoms including tingling and numbness in the arms and hands
If your breasts are too big for your liking or cause you pain, reducing their size can bring much-needed relief. A breast reduction is almost always done with a lift because the surgeries complement each other so well. Plastic surgeons perform the procedures in tandem to provide a more proportionate and shapely bust. The reduction removes excess breast tissue and skin, and the lift elevates the areola and nipple to a more normal position. Stretched areolas are re-sized. The end result is a lighter, smaller, perkier bust and a happier, more confident patient. In fact, Dr. Rowley’s breast reduction patients are some of her happiest clients because of the immediate relief they feel after surgery.
Options For a Mommy Makeover
We love our babies and would do anything for them, but that does not mean we love all the effects childbearing has on our bodies. The breasts begin to sag, deflate, or can even balloon up after breastfeeding. The tummy, after being stretched to the limit, often has a hard time recovering. Loose skin, separated abdominal muscles, and stubborn fat are also common problems for women who have gone through pregnancy and childbirth. A breast lift is a popular procedure for mothers to choose when they are finished having children. Other procedures often included in a mommy makeover are:
- Liposuction – As excited as you may be when you see your pre-baby weight back on the scale, you may not feel that same enthusiasm when you look in the mirror. This dissatisfaction happens for many women whose bodies still carry areas of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise. Liposuction targets these specific spots and gets rid of the fat to reveal and enhance the natural beauty of your own curves. Although it is not a weight loss procedure, liposuction can provide exceptional results on the right patient in the right areas of the body.
- Tummy tuck – Abdominoplasty, or a tummy tuck, has dramatic effects on the abdominal area. After pregnancy or weight loss, the skin around the belly can sag. Sit-ups, planks, and crunches can help strengthen your core, but they can’t get rid of the hanging skin. A tummy tuck removes loose skin and fat, and tightens ab muscles to give you a flat, lean stomach. Although it is not a substitute for healthy eating or exercise, a tummy tuck removes the flabby skin that so many of us seem to gain after pregnancy.
Combining liposuction or a tummy tuck with a procedure like a breast lift can transform your entire look. Patients have found greater satisfaction with their appearance and enhanced confidence in their everyday lives with plastic surgery. If you want to get your pre-baby body back or just want to look better in a swimsuit, talk to your doctor about which procedures could benefit you.
Breast Issues, Solved
Eating right and getting proper exercise can help with many of the things we want to change about our bodies, but breast complaints are on a different level. It is not easy to feel confident in your appearance when you no longer fill out the bras you wore before you had children. It is not fun to carry around heavy, attention-getting breasts around all the time. Sagging breasts do not often help us feel beautiful or feminine. When you are ready to move past these or other common breast issues, plastic surgery may be able to help. A breast lift can restore a youthful, perky look to your breasts and make your confidence soar. Remember to consider the following when deciding to undergo mastopexy:
- Decide if you need the procedure. Ask yourself the right questions and even do the pencil test at home to see just how much sagging you have.
- A lift will not make your cup size go up or down. If you want to add or take away breast volume, talk to your doctor about breast augmentation or reduction in conjunction with mastopexy.
- You may be correcting problems with your breasts caused by having children. If you have other areas that would benefit from cosmetic surgery, a mommy makeover might be a convenient way to achieve your results.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
For more than 20 years, Dr. Jane Rowley has helped her patients achieve their cosmetic goals with plastic surgery. Her world-class training, extensive experience, and elite skills have made her the top plastic surgeon in Lubbock. Not only does Dr. Rowley achieve phenomenal breast lift results, she and her staff also provide patients with a comfortable, safe, enjoyable plastic surgery experience. If you are tired of having sagging breasts or have other problem areas you would like to address, Dr. Rowley will help you understand your options. For more information about which procedure is best for you, contact Rowley Plastic Surgery today to schedule a no-obligation consultation.