Breast Lift repositons fat and glandular tissue from the breasts. For most women the dilemma in considering this procedure is whether they still have sufficient breast volume.
A rough guide is that if, with a supportive bra on, you feel comfortable with your breast volume then mastopexy alone is probably the correct procedure to consider. If, even with your bra on, you feel there is insufficient breast volume, you may need to consider a more complex procedure where, in addition to lifting the breasts, extra volume is added using implants. The breasts can be made smaller during a breast lift but for most women this is not their priority but all procedures are individually planned. Changing the skin envelope can be important in reshaping the breasts. In most cases the nipple and surrounding tissue (the areola) needs to be repositioned and, if it is stretched, it is reduced in proportion to the new breast size. The goal is to achieve balance - breasts of size and shape in proportion to the rest of your body.
Breast droopiness (ptosis) is most commonly seen after breast feeding but can be seen in women who have not experienced pregnancy or breast feeding. As you are more than aware, breast volume increases greatly in the later months of pregnancy in preparation for breast feeding which stretches the overlying skin and support ligaments of the breast. Many women develop visible stretch marks from the over-stretching of their skin. Once breast feeding is terminated the volume of the breast tissue usually greatly reduces. The support ligaments and the skin do not have the capacity to retighten. Without this support, the breast sags. This is what we refer to as breast ptosis. Sometimes asymmetry between the breasts is accentuated, one breast sagging more than the other. Finding appropriate clothing (particularly bathers and bras) can be very difficult which is a social and workplace disadvantage.
The other group of women who may seek this type of surgery are women who have experienced major fluctuations in their weight. Similarly these women experience stretching of the skin and ligaments supporting their breast. As their weight increases and decreases, weight is lost from the breast and they experience sagging of the remaining breast tissue. Active pursuits (sports, swimming, walking, jogging) are often prevented or dreaded for fear of a 'wardrobe malfunction'. A combination of these factors is usually what leads women to enquire about breast lift surgery.
Most women who decide to have breast lift surgery are motivated by physical problems. Most of these women have sagging breasts that cause physical symptoms, are having significant difficulties with self esteem issues, extreme frustration being unable to purchase clothing, as well as their breast ptosis preventing them from participating in preferred activities. Where possible it is always better to wait until breasts are fully developed. In extreme circumstances, where serious asymmetry and ptosis are present, breast lift may be indicated at an earlier age. This is very rare and at the very least is deferred until early adult life.
In general breast lift is not recommended for women who intend to breast-feed again in the future and, where possible, it is optimal to delay a breast lift until you have completed your family. This is intended to protect patients from the risk of further ptosis occurring and having to consider the prospect of repeat surgery.
As with all purely elective surgical procedures, women considering breast lift must take considerable time and effort to understand the procedure; the limitations and risks associated with the procedure; and have realistic goals and expectations of the results. Investigating breast lift should be an active process.
The more information you gather and the greater your understanding of the process the more likely you are to arrive at the correct decision for you. You are also more likely to have realistic expectations and be happier with the results.
You may decide against breast lift if:
To get further information or to make an appointment to get the best treatment for a breast lift contact Dr James Burt's rooms in Malvern, Melbourne.