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Mastopexy is the medical term for this procedure, or less commonly referred to as boob lift.
The idea of the surgery is to lift either the nipple, the breasts or both nipple and breast to a higher position of the chest wall. Breast lifts can be combined with a breast implant to increase volume. Conversely, a breast reduction will not only make the breasts smaller, but they will also lift the breasts into a perkier position.
Breast lifts almost always involve reducing the areola.
The main trade-off with all breast lift procedures is improved shape for a scar. As a rule, the more the breast must be lifted, the more incisions, and in turn, larger scars required. The addition of a breast implant may either increase or decrease the size and location of scars. Like every procedure in plastic surgery, you’re best off discussing your desires with a board certified plastic surgeon.
Breast lifts come in various forms, ranging from small incisions to large incisions. The amount of incisions (or scars) will depend on how much the area needs to be lifted. The idea of a mastopexy is to raise the breasts higher on a chest wall to a more youthful position. The reshaping with a mastopexy creates a perkier look, and reduces the size of the areola. Mastopexy does not enlarge the cest. In fact, some tissue (skin) is actually removed during the procedure. The resultant lift can sometimes make the the appearance a little smaller. In cases where a woman wants both a lift AND a bigger bust, a mastopexy and augmentation can be performed – either in one operation, or staged. (More on staging below). In some cases, an augmentation alone can lift the breast. This can be accomplished with the right candidate. Women who can benefit from a mastopexy with breast augmentation alone have breasts that are not too saggy (ptotic). As a general rule, the more saggy or droopy, the more work (and hence, “incisions”) are needed.
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Mastopexy or Augmentation with large implants combined with abdominoplasty and flank liposuction.
Is a Breast Lift Right For You?
A woman’s chest area can change with age, pregnancy, breast feeding, weight fluctuations, gravity, and heredity. They lose their youthful shape and firmness.
In addition, the areola often enlarges over time. A breast lift will reduce this as well and restore small, younger looking areola.
If you are interested in a perkier look, with smaller areola, then a breast lift may be for you.
Mastopexy Augmentation: One or Two Stages?
Mastopexy combined with an augmentation is sometimes done in one operation or two. Staging has become a more common trend over the last 5 years. While the disadvantage of staging is added cost and the need for two surgeries, the advantage is often a superior cosmetic result, and overall increased safety with respect to blood supply issues to the nipple. While one could make the argument that single stage operation may give the desired appearance, and that a revision of any imperfection is no different than a two stage surgery, that isn’t entirely true. For one, a combined augmentation mastopexy in the first stage requires longer operating room time – infection rates correlate with operating room time. Perhaps even capsular contracture does, as well. Secondly, the issue isn’t purely cosmesis – it is safety. Mastopexy augmentation generates two opposing forces simultaneously. One force is making the breast envelope tighter to restore perkiness. The other force is enlarging this tighter envelope. These opposing forces in the first stage can lead to overzealous resection of tissues and more demand on blood supply to the nipple and areola, increasing risks of nipple necrosis and poor healing.
However, there is a role for single stage mastopexy augmentation. When the nipple needs to be raised just a few centimeters, a single stage mastopexy augmentation is appropriate as it doesn’t add the risks mentioned above.