Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
Sagging, deflated breasts can contribute to an aged appearance. Pregnancy and aging can cause your breasts to lose their attractive, youthful appearance. Many women struggle to accept the changes in their breasts, especially the loss of shape and lack of fullness. Many women have breasts that still have adequate volume but simply droop downwards. Breast lift surgery tightens and supports sagging breast tissue for firmer, more youthful breasts.
Women seeking breast lift surgery are in overall good health and have realistic expectations about the possible results. Ideal patients for breast lift surgery have satisfactory breast volume but weakened breast tissue. Tissue laxity may be the results of pregnancy, weight loss, or the natural aging process. Women in need of a breast lift may experience stage two, or higher, of ptosis (sagging).
- Grade One – Normal breast tissue, no sagging is present. The lower breast tissue sits above the breast fold and the nipple points outwards.
- Grade Two – Mild skin laxity and sagging present. The lower breast tissue sits on the breast fold and the nipple points outwards.
- Grade Three – Moderate skin laxity and sagging. The lower breast tissue sits below the breast fold, and the nipple has begun to droop downwards.
- Grade Four – Severe skin laxity and sagging. The lower breast tissue sits significantly below the breast fold and the nipple points downwards.
Breast Lift Procedure
Dr. Kao performs breast lift surgery as an outpatient procedure with the patient under propofol sedation or general anesthesia depending on the patient. The type of incision he uses depends on your breast size and shape, the degree of breast sagging, and size and position of your areola. Dr. Kao removes excess breast tissue and skin and pulls the tissues together to reshape the breasts. If needed, he also repositions the nipple/areolar complex, so they maintain a natural and youthful position. Dr. Kao places sutures deep within the tissue to help hold your lifted breasts in place.
Breast Lift Techniques
Dr. Kao is renowned for his breast lift incision techniques that result in little to no scarring. Incision placement and closure plays a significant role in determining how natural your breast lift results will appear.
- Circumareolar Mastopexy: Dr. Kao prefers this incision technique because it allows him the most control over the scar that develops. Dr. Kao makes an incision around the colored edge of the areola, which provides access to the breast tissue. Although other surgeons perform this technique, they often have many problems, including scarring, flattening of the breast mound, pleating of the skin around the areola, only able to move the nipple/areolar complex up to two centimeters, and not able to accomplish much of a lift in the breasts. Dr. Kao has been perfecting the circumareolar incision technique for 15 years. With his patience and meticulous work, Dr. Kao can achieve an almost perfect result, including:
- No visible scarring
- No pleating of the skin around the areola
- Maintaining the roundness of the areola
- Controlling the shape of the breast mound
- Able to move the nipple/areolar complex up to eight centimeters
- Inverted-T Mastopexy: Dr. Kao uses this incision technique for women with very heavy breast tissue and Grade 4 ptosis. This technique is most effective for women who have lost a massive amount of weight, have post-pregnancy/breastfeeding breasts, and poor skin elasticity. Dr. Kao makes an incision around the areola, down the lower breast tissue, and along the natural curve of the inframammary fold. When closing the incision, Dr. Kao places five layers of sutures. These layers of sutures control any tension placed on the bottom of the wound and prevent stretching of the incisions that can cause more extensive scarring. Dr. Kao reserves the inverted-T incision for women with larger breasts because it results in visible scarring. Dr. Kao takes great care to control the shape and quality of the scar, so it is as pencil thin as possible. Most patients feel that the thin, mild scar is well worth the support and results achieved.
- Internal Bra Mastopexy: For women with large, cumbersome breasts that require extra support but absolutely refuse an inverted-T scar, Dr. Kao performs the internal bra mastopexy. This technique combines the circumareolar incision for the skin and inverted-T shaping of the breast tissue underneath the skin, with an ACD Matrix for added support. The internal bra mastopexy is a revolutionary technique that provides long-lasting support to the breasts without inverted-T incisions on the skin. If you think you would benefit from an internal bra mastopexy, click here for additional information.
Improve the Appearance of the Areola
Along with the full shape of the breasts, the shape and placement of the areola help create a natural breast appearance. Dr. Kao’s incision techniques allow him to control the shape of the areola. During your surgery, an areola reduction might be performed to improve the size of the areola. For patients who are unhappy with having any scar around the edge of the areola, Dr. Kao offers tattooing of the areola to mask scars. It is Dr. Kao’s goal to provide a beautiful and natural-looking breast appearance with long-lasting results.
Combining an Augmentation With Your Lift
Patients with weak, sagging breasts who also desire an increase in breast volume should consider combining a breast augmentation with their breast lift surgery. Performing an augmentation in conjunction with your breast lift can restore an attractive fullness and strengthen the breast tissue during a one-time procedure.
Combining breast implants with your breast lift requires expert skill. Dr. Kao takes great care to balance tissue removal with implant size. The current size of your breasts compared to your desired implant size will impact the amount of tissue removed during your lift. Dr. Kao’s expert eye and attention to detail allow him to craft a new breast appearance that looks and feels natural.
If you desire implants to be placed during your breast lift, Dr. Kao will use a circumareolar incision. The combination of his pencil-thin incision technique and his meticulous attention to detail helps prevent any visible scarring. By minimizing scarring along the areolar border, Dr. Kao can preserve the natural appearance of the breasts.
You will experience some bruising, swelling, and redness following your procedure. You may be required to wear a compression garment following your surgery to minimize swelling, facilitate healing, and help improve your results. You might experience some mild discomfort, but oral medication will be prescribed to control any associated pain. You should avoid strenuous physical activity for three to four weeks following your procedure.
All of Dr. Kao’s patients have the option to stay at an aftercare facility following the procedure. Serenity is a post-surgical care facility situated just across the street from Dr. Kao’s surgical facility and is located in a federally and state-licensed healthcare center.
Breast numbness and loss of nipple sensitivity are usually only temporary. You can return to work after one week and resume your normal exercise routine after four weeks. Most major swelling should begin to subside after six weeks, at which time your final results should become apparent.
Breast lifts are designed to provide long-lasting correction to the appearance of your breasts. However, your breast tissue is still subject to the natural aging process, and you may develop additional sagging over time.
If you wish to restore the youthful appearance of sagging breasts, schedule your consultation today. Dr. Kao is a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. He and his helpful, friendly staff are available to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Contact our office at 310-315-9211 or fill out our online contact form for additional information.
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