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A woman's breasts may droop as a result of the natural effects of aging, heredity, gravity, pregnancy, breastfeeding, or weight loss. A breast lift, also called a mastopexy, is performed to return youthful shape and lift to breasts that have sagged or lost volume and firmness.
Breast lifts rejuvenate the breasts by trimming excess skin and tightening supporting tissues to achieve an uplifted, youthful contour. A breast lift improves the appearance of your breasts in several ways. It elevates your breast tissue, removes excess skin from the lower portion of your breast and then reshapes your remaining breast skin. At the same time, it relocates your nipple and areola (the pigmented skin surrounding your nipple) to a higher position. If your areolas have stretched over time, they can be reduced in size. Women who have their breasts lifted often may decide to also have them enlarged. If this is the case, an implant is placed behind the breast tissue or chest muscle (Mastopexy with Implants).
If you have no serious health conditions, are not prone to keloid scarring and have noticed that your breasts have started to sag and the effects of gravity are wreaking havoc -- you may be a candidate for Mastopexy. An ideal Mastopexy candidate should be mentally and emotionally stable and have realistic expectations as well. When a woman ages, the breast skin loses elasticity and firmness and the breasts may tend to droop as the years creep up. Mastopexy can reduce the extra skin and give the breasts their former, firmer shape and feel.
Mastopexy is usually performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia and lasts from one to three hours. A commonly performed breast lift technique uses incisions that follow your breast’s natural contour. The resulting scar, which is permanent, will fade to some extent over time. It encircles the areola and then extends vertically down the breast and horizontally along the crease underneath the breast. There are other breast lift techniques that may eliminate the horizontal incision, the vertical incision, or both. The use of any particular pattern of incisions depends on individual patient factors and your surgeon’s recommendation.
Most patients are immediately satisfied with their new breasts and can typically return to work one to two weeks following the procedure.
Following surgery, your breasts will be wrapped in a gauze dressing or placed in a surgical bra. You may be instructed to wear a supportive bra for several weeks. Swelling and discoloration are to be expected but will gradually subside. The scars will be red and raised for several months -- gradually fading in color and flattening out. Nipple sensation is generally preserved with this operation. The incidence of loss is usually less than 5%. You may experience decreased breast or nipple sensation, which usually is temporary. You should be able to return to work within one to two weeks.
A Mastopexy, or Breast Lift, with breast augmentation is a combination procedure that lifts sagging breasts while also increasing the cup size of the breast. Aside from improving the size and overall appearance of the breasts, a Mastopexy with Implants benefits patients by keeping breasts firm and perky for many years. Gravity does not have the same effect on implants as it has on natural breast tissue, so implants will retain their height and shape more easily.
Like the rest of the skin and tissue of the body, the breasts sag with age. As we age, the structures that support the breast become stretched and weaker. This sagging can be intensified by pregnancy, genetics, stretch marks on the breasts, and weight gain or loss. Many women seeking a breast lift with implants wish to regain the full, perky breasts that they had as a teenager along with increasing the size of the breast.
Breast implants will add to the overall results of the breast lift procedure by lifting the breast and increasing your cup size in a single step. Many women also benefit from the combined mastopexy and implant procedure by extending the results of a breast lift. Gravity, pregnancy, and changes in weight can all cause your breasts to sag, even after breast lift surgery. Implants, however, are less affected by gravity than human breast tissue. When you undergo the breast augmentation and mastopexy procedure, your breasts will typically remain full and perky for longer and may not require the need for future procedures.
If you have sagging breasts and a loss of fullness in the top portion of your breasts, you are likely a good candidate for a combined breast augmentation and mastopexy procedure.
The combination Breast Augmentation and Mastopexy/Breast Lift procedure is performed using methods similar to a standard Mastopexy, only with an implant inserted into the breast beneath your pectoral muscle during the procedure. Dr. Conkright will first make an incision to remove the excess skin that causes your breasts to sag. Before your surgery, Dr. Conkright will discuss with you the type of incision to make. The three most common incision types are two rings around the areola in a doughnut shape, around the areola and down to the breast crease in a lollipop shape, and the lollipop with an additional half-moon incision along the breast crease, in an anchor shape, which is the standard method of breast lift. The type of incision used depends on your breast shape and size. Dr. Conkright will then insert the implants and close the incisions.
The same complications may occur in joint breast augmentation and mastopexy that may occur in the separate procedures. As in separate breast augmentation and mastopexy surgeries, however, complications are rare and usually minimal. Some risks associated with Mastopexy with Implants include: lack of implant permanence, capsular contracture, and increase or decrease in sensitivity of nipples or breast skin.
Dr. Conkright performs all of his operations with great care and precision, ensuring that his patients can enjoy a quick and healthy recovery with a very low risk of complication.
Breast reduction, also called reduction mammaplasty, enhances your overall appearance by making breasts more proportional to the rest of your body. Large breasts can cause pain, improper posture, rashes, breathing problems, skeletal deformities, and low self-esteem. Breast reduction surgery is usually done to provide relief from these symptoms. For these reasons, breast reduction generally is considered a reconstructive plastic surgery procedure. In addition to alleviating physical problems, however, it also improves the shape of your breasts and nipple areas. Breast reduction surgery is not recommended for women who intend to breastfeed, since many of the milk ducts leading to the nipples are removed.
The two to four hour operation is performed under general anesthesia and requires an overnight hospital stay. During the procedure, an anchor-shaped incision is made from the new location of the nipple down to and around the crease beneath the breast. Dr. Conkright removes excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin; relocates the nipple and areola; and reshapes the breast using skin from around the areola before closing the incisions with stitches. Liposuction may be needed to remove excess fat from the armpit area, and in some cases when only fat needs to be removed from the breasts, liposuction alone is used for breast reduction.
For a few days after surgery the breasts are bound with an elastic bandage or a surgical bra, and patients may be given surgical drainage tubes for fluid removal. Stitches come out in a week and the surgical bra must be worn for about a month.
A little pain is normal after surgery, whether it’s mild discomfort, swelling during menstruation, a measure of numbness or sensitivity, or random, shooting pains that may last for a few months. Swelling, bruising, crusting and slight changes in breast size are also common. Most patients return to work in about two weeks, although you should avoid heavy lifting for three to four and only gentle contact with the breasts should occur for six weeks. Scars fade with time but will not disappear, although they can be hidden with a bra, bathing suit or low-cut top.
Risks are rare and usually minor but may include bleeding, infection, reaction to the anesthesia, small sores around the nipples, slightly mismatched breasts or unevenly positioned nipples, and permanent loss of feeling in the nipple or breast.
Although rarely discussed, an enlarged male breast, also known as gynecomastia, is a common condition. Gynecomastia affects approximately 40 to 60 percent of men. There is often no known cause for gynecomastia, although there has been some correlation with various drugs or medical conditions. Men who feel self-conscious about their appearance are helped with breast reduction surgery. The procedure removes fat and/or glandular tissue from the breasts, and in extreme cases removes excess skin, resulting in a contoured chest that is flatter and firmer.
Men of any age who are healthy and emotionally stable are considered good candidates for male breast reduction surgery. The best candidates are those who have firm, elastic skin that will reshape to the body’s new contours. In some instances, surgery may be discouraged for overweight men who have not first tried an exercise and diet regimen.
Enlarged male breasts can be reduced by liposuction and/or by cutting out excess glandular tissue. The procedure for male breast reduction takes an average of two hours, and is usually performed on an outpatient basis using general or local anesthesia. If excessive glandular tissue, fat and skin are present, they will be removed. Surgery may be performed alone or in conjunction with lipoplasty, where the suction device will typically be inserted through the existing incisions. For the removal of excess fatty tissue alone, liposuction may be all that is needed; in such cases, scars will be small and barely visible.
Results are permanent, although subsequent obesity can create a gynecomastia-like effect. Some of the benefits of surgery include a firmer, flatter, more contoured chest which may give the male patient a boost in self-confidence. There is little downtime, and you may return to work within one week usually, unless you are involved in strenuous activities. There will be scarring around the nipple of the breast (areola) from this procedure, but this will fade over a period of time and be less visible. There will be some post-operative bruising, swelling, and burning sensations. To assist with the healing process, the patient will wear an elastic pressure garment for 3-6 weeks and must avoid exposing scarred areas to the sun for at least 6 months.
Other considerations include temporary numbness or lack of sensation that could last up to a year. Rare complication may include infection, skin damage, fluid accumulation, bleeding, scarring or pigment changes. Post-operative asymmetry, while rare, is possible; a second procedure may be needed to remove additional tissue.