What is Breast Augmentation / Mastopexy?
A woman’s journey is not easy, and the effects of aging and motherhood can take their toll as early as your 20s. These are natural parts of life, of course, but changes in your breasts can be sped up by factors like multiple pregnancies and dramatic or rapid weight loss. When babies nurse, their teeth can cause damage to breasts and lasting changes in their appearance. You might notice your breasts changing in shape, size, and position. Sagging and downturned breasts, called ptosis of the breast by physicians, is mostly caused by extra skin. This excess can easily be trimmed away during a mastopexy, more commonly called a breast lift.
Mastopexy is the plastic surgery mammoplasty procedure done by the expert surgeons at Pacific Palisades Plastic Surgery for raising sagging breasts upon the chest of the woman; by changing and modifying the size, contour, and elevation of the breasts. In a breast-lift surgery to re-establish an aesthetically proportionate bust for the woman, the critical corrective consideration is the tissue viability of the nipple-areola complex (NAC), to ensure the functional sensitivity of the breasts for lactation and breast-feeding.
The breast-lift correction of a sagging bust is a surgical operation that cuts and removes excess tissues (glandular, adipose, skin), overstretched suspensory ligaments, excess skin from the skin-envelope, and transposes the nipple-areola complex higher upon the breast hemisphere. At Pacific Palisades Plastic Surgery, mastopexy can be performed as a discrete breast-lift procedure, and as a subordinate surgery within a combined mastopexy–breast augmentation procedure.
Moreover, mastopexy surgery techniques also are applied to reduction mammoplasty, which is the correction of oversized breasts. Psychologically, a mastopexy procedure to correct breast ptosis is not indicated by medical cause or physical reason, but by the self-image of the woman; that is, the combination of physical, aesthetic, and mental health requirements of her Self.
The usual mastopexy patient is the woman who desires the restoration of her bust (elevation, size, and contour), because of the post-partum volume losses of fat and milk-gland tissues, and the occurrence of breast ptosis. The clinical indications presented by the woman—the degrees of laxness of the suspensory Cooper’s ligaments; and of the breast skin-envelope (mild, moderate, severe, and pseudo ptosis)—determine the applicable restorative surgical approach for lifting the breasts.
Grade I (mild) breast ptosis can be corrected at Pacific Palisades Plastic Surgery solely with breast augmentation, surgical and non-surgical. Severe breast ptosis can be corrected at Pacific Palisades Plastic Surgery with breast-lift techniques, such as the Anchor pattern, the Inverted-T incision, and the Lollipop pattern, which are performed with circumvertical and horizontal surgical incisions; which produce a periareolar scar, at the periphery (edge) of the nipple-areola complex (NAC), and a vertical scar, descending from the lower margin of the NAC to the horizontal scar in the infra-mammary fold (IMF), where the breast meets the chest; such surgical scars are the aesthetic disadvantages of mastopexy.
What is Breast Hypertrophy?
Looking at popular media, it would be easy to conclude that no woman would want smaller breasts. Despite inconsiderate comments made by insensitive people about women’s breast size, however, many women struggle in silence with breasts that are uncomfortably large. No one should be ashamed to consult a doctor about this problem, because it’s common — and it can be fixed.
This condition, known to medical professionals as breast hypertrophy, results from mammary tissue that becomes overdeveloped. Breasts that are too large can be hard to manage, get in the way of day-to-day tasks and exercise, and even cause physical health issues such as trouble sleeping or back and muscle pain. Furthermore, insecurities from oversized breasts can cause social anxiety, low self-esteem, and embarrassment.
It’s important to note that men also suffer from enlarged breast tissue, which is a condition called gynecomastia that is addressed in another section on this page.
What Should You Know About Breast Reduction?
At Pacific Palisades Plastic Surgery breast reduction procedures differ in scope, depending on the size and shape of the reduction. Sometimes, the surgery can be performed with only local anesthesia, meaning the patient stays awake, but other times, general anesthesia is required. Our expert surgeons at Pacific Palisades Plastic Surgery will consult with you about your desired results and remove mammary tissue, skin, and fat, leaving enough behind to reshape the breasts so they have a normal appearance after healing. Your doctor will work hard to maintain the function of your mammary glands by delicately relocating your areola.
What happens to breast function after surgery?
As with breast augmentation and lift, there is no guarantee that you will retain mammary function after a breast reduction procedure. Even the best surgeons cannot ensure their patients will be able to nurse normally after a breast enhancement procedure.
What happens immediately after surgery?
The initial recovery process is similar following breast reduction surgery to the process following breast augmentation and lift. For the first hours after surgery, we offer recovery monitoring rooms where medical professionals will ensure you are stable and on track for healing before being released to go home. The majority of patients are home within a few hours and should be accompanied by a friend, partner, or family member who can drive them, since the after-effects of anesthetic make driving dangerous.
Someone should be available to you at all times for at least 24 hours post-surgery, longer if possible. This person should make sure you are comfortable, help with meals and medicines, change your bandages, and help you move around. It’s helpful to have someone assisting you for up to two weeks following the procedure.
What does recovery look like?
If the recovery process goes smoothly, which is common with breast reduction procedures, you should be able to return to work and normal levels of activity after two to three weeks. In our experience, patients’ health problems and aesthetic needs are almost always satisfied post-surgery.
However, you should be prepared to experience some discomfort from swelling, bruising, and healing incisions around the surgical area for several months, typically up to four months or longer. You will be the primary person responsible for your healing process, which means wearing compression garments and ensuring that your surgical incisions are well-cared-for. Of course, your doctor will be on hand during this entire process to ensure you are healing well and to respond quickly if complications arise. Every person’s body is different, and our experts will tailor your experience to your specific needs.