Breast Lift Surgery
The effects of time, pregnancy, and weight loss can produce dramatic changes to the appearance of the breast. These changes include loss of breast volume, loss of skin elasticity, descent of the nipple below the crease, stretch marks, a flattened look of the breast with loss of projection, and a widened areola. Patients wanting to reverse these changes can benefit from a breast lift. This operation places the nipple at a higher position on the chest. The breast mound is reshaped to restore a youthful well-rounded appearance. Patients with uneven breasts can benefit from a breast lift to correct any such asymmetry. Schedule your consultation today at 407-999-2585 with Dr. Kenrick Spence at Hillcrest Plastic Surgery. Also feel free to browse through our Breast Lift Before & After Photos.
Evaluation for Breast Lift
- Overall health evaluation
- Evaluation of the breast, chest, and torso to detect any asymmetry to be corrected
- Outline of new nipple position
- Discussion of different kinds of breast lifts and the scars associated with each
- Detailed discussion of the breast shape and breast volume to be achieved
Preparation for a Breast Lift
- Mammogram as needed
- Stop all blood thinning agents prior to surgery
- Must stop smoking 6 to 8 weeks prior to the procedure
Procedure: Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
There are several different kinds of breast lifts performed by Orlando plastic surgeon Dr. Kenrick Spence. Each procedure produces a different shape to the breast and different extent of scarring.
Types of scars from Breast Lift Surgery:
- Periareolar - scar around the nipple hidden between the dark skin of the nipple and the light skin of the breast
- Vertical scar - "lollipop" - a scar around the nipple and a single vertical scar down the underside of the breast
- Anchor scar - scar around the nipple, down the underside of the breast, and across the crease of the breast (Wise pattern)
The vertical scar lift, with a technique called autoaugmentation, has become very popular at Dr. Spence's practice. This technique uses the lower drooping portion of the breast tissue like a breast implant. This is sewn to the chest wall producing a full rounded natural appearance to the upper portion of the breast. Many patients have commented that this technique gives the appearance of a natural body breast implant.
Risks of Breast Lift Surgery
- Loss of nipple sensation
- Poor healing (more common among smokers)
- Poor scarring: breast lift scars will take several months to reach their final appearance
This is a short list of risks associated with breast lift surgery, when you meet with Dr. Spence about your breast lift surgery, you will be given a more extensive list and the preventive measures to reduce these risks.
Breast lifts are as much an art as they are a science. Your plastic surgeon should be committed to breast lift surgery, body contouring and must be properly credentialed. The focus should be well-balanced body proportion, a restoration of youth and femininity. To schedule a breast lift consultation with Dr. Spence at Hillcrest Plastic Surgery, call 407-999-2585 or request a breast lift consultation online.
Plastic Surgery Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
This is a question your plastic surgeon will help you answer. A common thought among patients is the pencil test, i.e. if a pencil can be held in the crease of your breast then a lift is needed. This is sometimes but not always true. In general, the lower the nipple is from the crease of the breast and the more stretched skin there is, the higher the likelihood of needing a breast lift.
Most breast lifts allow you to safely breast feed following the procedure. The less disruption of the milk ducts, the higher the chances of success. Speak with your plastic surgeon to determine the specific technique to be employed.
Breast lift scars take many months to mature and reach their final appearance, often as long as a year. The following methods are used to reduce scarring:
- Taping the scars
- Intense pulse light
- Silicone sheeting
- Silicone based gels
- Topical steroids
- Bleaching creams
No, the nipple is typically not removed with a breast lift. The nipple is moved to a higher position on the chest and the excess skin is removed to form and shape the breast to a more youthful appearance.
Autoaugmentation is where the drooping portion of the breast (below the crease) is placed behind the nipple to give the appearance of a full rounded breast, similar to that of a breast implant, only it's your own tissue.
Most breast lifts last several years depending on the technique used, skin tone, and weight gain or loss; these all factor into how long the operation will last.
There is a risk of losing nipple sensation although this is not always the case.
This is not usually the case except with extremely large breast reductions. The nipple is not removed in our practice.
Yes, this is possible, but the skin tone must be good and the patient must be an appropriate candidate.
Usually breast lifts are cosmetic operations designed to restore the youthful appearance of the breast. Breast reductions are performed to reduce breast size for the relief of back, neck, and shoulder pain.
No, all breast lifts are not the same. Different pedicle techniques may produce different shaped breasts (pedicle is the method by which the nipple is kept attached and the breast volume is preserved).
Dr. Spence uses 5 different types of pedicle techniques depending on the shape of breast he wishes to create:
- Superior pedicle
- Medical pedicle
- Inferior pedicle
- Central pedicle
- Bipedicle (a combination of pedicles)
A superior pedicle technique with autoaugmentation works very well for this problem; it produces well-rounded, projecting breasts with maximum preservation of breast volume.
Yes, a breast lift can be safely repeated. With repeat breast surgery there is always a slightly higher risk to the blood supply to the nipple. Discuss this risk with your surgeon.
Stretch marks on the lower portion of the breast and those immediately around the areola will be removed. Those at the top of the breast will remain.
There are a percentage of very young women with drooping breasts. The reason why this happens is not always known. Sometimes the breast tissue responds dramatically to weight changes and develops stretch marks. A breast lift can alleviate this problem but there are scars involved; depending on your skin type these scars will fade over time. Discuss with Dr. Spence how you can shorten these scars as much as possible, along with measures to minimize scarring.
Dr. Spence will use a special suture technique, called a blocking suture, to control the size and shape of your areolas during your breast lift.
Although Dr. Spence cannot endorse any specific vendor, a description of an ideal bra will be provided to you during your consultation. A soft supportive, well-padded bra with wide straps and no under wire is usually best. There are special circumstances where a push up bra will be recommended.
Duplicate nipples, or extremely large nipples, are not uncommon. This can be reduced at the time of your breast lift surgery or as a separate procedure under local anesthesia.
Many gastric bypass patients have lost a lot of breast volume with their gastric bypass leaving large amounts of excess skin. When this excess skin is removed with a breast lift, many times only modest amounts of breast tissue remain.
This is a concept that strives to replace missing tissue after a mastectomy by utilizing a combination of fat cells and acellular dermal matrix. Dr. Spence has taken the concept of a Bioengineered breast and applied it to revision breast surgery. He uses this concept in patients that has had multiple breast operations with thin skin, rippling, bottoming out and matipoution among other breast implant complications. Many times the breast tissue is exhausted for the placement of multiple large breast implants. Fat is used to replenish the tissue and Acellular dermal matrix are used to re-enforce the position of the implant.
Dr. Spence sees many of these patients in his Orlando Florida Breast Revision Practice. A complete removal of the implant and all capsule. Using NO TOUCH TECHNIQUE and a 14 point plan he has been very successful in achieving a soft natural appearing breast.
This is called a m snoop deformity (recurrent droop) where the nipple seems to sit below the implant, this may be made worst by a hard capsule which holds the implant up on the chest. Many times the patients are best served by staged procedure. Due to the loss of elasticity for the breast after massive weight loss. The implants are removed along with the capsule and the breast tissue is tightened with a lift once this is healed the implants are replaced due to less weight on the tissue we are able to perform a much more aggressive lift with much better scars.
Dr. Spence revises breast reconstruction patients in his Orlando Breast Revision Practice frequently, he uses the concept of a Bioengineered breast with the use of fat graft and acellular dermal matrix.
By staging your breast revision, removing the implants and allowing the breast tissue to “SNAP” back a smaller implant can sometimes be placed without a lift.
The responses to Frequently Asked Questions listed here are not intended to be medical advice, but are the practice of Dr. Spence and will vary from surgeon to surgeon and patient to patient.