Breast Lift (Mastopexy) in Raleigh NC
Located in Raleigh, North Carolina serving patients in Raleigh, Cary and Durham NC.
An unavoidable consequence of aging is the loss of elasticity, or tone, in skin and soft tissues. This process, which may be compounded by changes, which occur during and after pregnancy, will ultimately lead to ‘drooping’ of the breasts. A variety of surgical breast surgery techniques can be used for restoring the breasts to a more youthful position and shape. The goal is to both relocate the nipples to a higher position, and to restore breast projection (and to maintain projection for the long term).
Having a breast lift operation involves making a decision to trade an improved breast shape and contour for some (well-placed and concealed) surgical scars on the breast. For the Raleigh breast lift patient who is displeased that her nipples are downpointing, it may be a relatively easy decision. The surgical incisions are strategically placed to be as minimally noticeable as is possible. One component is around the areola, which is usually well concealed by the color difference between breast skin and areolar skin. The second component extends vertically from the ‘6 o’clock’ position of the areola to the fold below the breast, and as the majority of this scar faces downward, it is usually quite acceptable.
Traditionally, breast lift or mastopexy surgery has involved a long, horizontal incision below the breast (in addition to the circumareolar and vertical scars), but a relatively new technique allows elimination of this incision completely.
The ‘vertical scar’ breast lift
For several years I have been using a ‘vertical scar’ technique for breast reductions, which eliminates the long, horizontal incision in the inframammary fold below the breasts. I have also adapted this technique for breast lift surgery, and have been extremely pleased with the results. As with breast reduction patients, this new technique not only eliminates the horizontal incision, but also creates more impressive breast projection and maintains it better over time. The breast lift procedure I perform not only removes breast skin but also moves some lower pole breast tissue to a higher position, increasing the projection of the nipple/areola area.
Breast lift (mastopexy) surgery works well for patients who have enough existing breast tissue which allows the surgeon to build a projecting and aesthetically pleasing breast, and who do not have a severely ‘deflated’ appearance from pregnancy or weight loss. In many patients, however, it can be difficult to create substantial, long-lasting fullness in the upper aspect of the breasts (the cleavage area, which surgeons sometimes refer to as the ‘upper poles’ of the breasts) by means of a routine mastopexy surgery alone. This is particularly true in patients who have experienced significant deflation following pregnancy and lactation, and in patients who have experienced major weight loss.
This need for increasing upper pole fullness can be accomplished in one of two ways: by using the patient’s own lower pole breast tissue (‘auto-augmentation mastopexy’), or by placing a breast implant. Auto-augmentation mastopexy is a surgery in which some of the patient’s own lower polebreast tissue (from the area of the breast below the nipple/areola complex) is moved into the upper pole of the breast. A pocket is created behind the upper pole of the breast and the lower pole tissue is advanced, with its blood supply intact, into the upper pole pocket. This truly remarkable procedure can create a mastopexy appearance that previously has only been possible by means of breast implant placement. Not all patients are good candidates for this procedure, as there must be an adequate volume of lower pole tissue available to produce significant upper pole (cleavage area) breast fullness. Most patients undergoing auto-augmentation mastopexy in this practice have a full B cup to D cup breast volume preoperatively.
For patients who do not have enough lower pole tissue available to allow an aesthetically ideal auto-augmentation mastopexy, or for patients who desire a larger breast volume than can be achieved by use of their own tissues, I recommend that they undergo augmentation mastopexy. This surgery combines a breast lift with the subpectoral placement of a breast implant usually of a moderate size, which produces lasting upper pole fullness. This procedure is often the ideal choice for patients with an A cup or small B cup breast volume preoperatively, who are interested in having a C to D cup breast profile postoperatively.