Breast Augmentation is a way of “filling up” the breasts from lost volume, whereas a Breast Lift is a way of lifting and re-shaping the breasts. We utilize several different techniques to remove weak or excess skin and breast tissue, to form a more attractive looking breast and reposition the nipple-areolar complex in its normal position.
Why are breast lifts performed?
There are three main factors that influence the size and shape of the breasts: weight change, age, and pregnancy. Many women who have had children, will undoubtedly realize that their breasts may change a considerable amount. The breast tissue and skin is designed to stretch with pregnancy and breast feeding, unfortunately it does not always want to go back to that young and perky state. Many women may then be left with adequate volume to the breast, but they are too “ptotic” or saggy. The nipple may sit below the level of the breast fold, and the breast may take on a deflated or “pancake” like appearance. This can be very disheartening to a young mother who may feel she like she has lost the attractiveness of her breasts. That is where a breast lift comes into play.
Before & After Photos
The ideal candidate is one that has at least Grade 2 Ptosis, with the nipple hanging below the level of the fold, and desiring rejuvenation to the breasts. The ideal candidate is one in good health without significant medical problems. They should be have reasonable expectations of outcome and understand the potential risks and complications that may occur. Current or very recent smoking history is a contraindication to this surgery given the high risk of wound complications in smokers, and Dr. Arslanian will advise you to quit prior embarking down the road of surgery.
During your consultation, you will meet with Dr. Arslanian and his staff and have the opportunity to discuss your individual situation as well as your concerns and aesthetic goals. Dr. Arslanian will will take detailed measurements of your breast and body and perform a complete examination. Photos will be taken to help Dr. Arslanian point out certain things and explain his approach to breast lift. If you are deemed a good candidate, he will discuss the various options for breast lift and make sure you are happy with your decision. He will also show you photos of other patients before and afters to help determine what size and look you are trying to achieve. After answering all your questions, you will then sit down with the surgical coordinator to discuss timing, pricing, and any other questions you might have.
Periareolar or “Doughnut” Mastopexy
In this technique the incisions are kept around the areola. It can be a complete incision around the areola, or in sometimes just a crescentic incision above the nipple. This technique is limited and can only reposition the nipple up a few centimeters. In addition, it does not afford much ability to reshape the breast itself. The incisions hide very well in the natural areolar border.
Vertical or “Lollipop” Mastopexy
This is a much more powerful technique in that it allows for removal of excess skin and reshaping of the breast mound into a much perkier and attractive shape. The incisions are placed around the areola and then another incisions is extended from the base of the areola down towards the breast fold giving the shape of a lollipop. This is the most common mastopexy technique and the preferred one for patients with moderate excess skin and ptosis.
Wise Pattern or “Anchor” Mastopexy
This is the most powerful technique for reshaping the breast as it allows for removal of redundant tissue in both the vertical and horizontal direction. It also allows for the greatest movement of the nipple. The scars are similar to the Vertical technique with the addition of a scar in the breast fold. This gives the appearance of an anchor. Even though there is much more scar in this procedure, they all tend to heal really well and can be very unnoticeable a year after surgery. This technique is required in patients with severe, Grade 3 ptosis, in order to create the best possible shape to the newly formed breast.
Prior to surgery you will be given instructions on the day, time and location of your procedure. You will be given your prescriptions that Dr. Arslanian prescribes, and all of your paperwork including consent forms will be signed. In some cases you may need to obtain medical clearance from your physician or specialist, and possibly meet with the anesthesiologist and undergo additional lab work depending on your medical issues and personal situation.
The procedure will be performed as an outpatient in an accredited surgery center with a board certified anesthesiologist in the safest conditions possible. The surgery will be performed under general anesthesia. Pre-operative markings will typically be made the morning of surgery.
After you are asleep, Dr. Arslanian will start by making his incision which will depend on which procedure was selected: periareolar, vertical or wise pattern. He will then create a “pedicle” which serves as the blood supply to the nipple-areolar complex. He will then remove any excess skin and breast tissue. The final step is to reshape the breast using internal sutures, and then closing the skin over the top to achieve the final result. You will likely be placed into a support garment after surgery. The use of drains is rare and Dr. Arslanian will discuss this with you if he thinks it is necessary.
You will go home the same day of surgery and rest. Over the course of the first week you will begin range of motion exercises to keep your arms and shoulders from tightening up. You will follow up within the first week at which point dressings will removed and any sutures that were placed on the skin. You will be given instructions on wearing your garment and increasing activity. Most people can be back to work within 3-7 days depending on if they work at a desk or have a more labor intensive occupation. By 2 weeks most patients are almost back to normal. You will then be able to start increasing activity, excising and start lifting heavier weight. There will be some expected post-operative pain that typically resolves within a few days to a week, which you will be given pain medication for.
Patients should expect their results to take 3-6 months to fully develop. After a breast lift, the breast can often look “upside down” for several weeks. The upper portion of the breast will be round and full, and the lower portion will be flatter. As the breast stretches and settles, it will return to its natural state. Scars will flatten and begin losing their pigmentation after 6 weeks. Final results are typically seen at 6 months or later.
The price for a breast lift will vary depending on a number of different factors. Dr. Arslanian will be able to go over these factors at the time of the patient’s consultation and provide them with a detailed customized quote.