Breast lift, also called mastopexy, is one of the most popular of all cosmetic breast surgeries for good reason. The aesthetic improvement created by the surgical technique certainly addresses the anatomical issue of breast ptosis, but more importantly, helps to resolve the painful emotional issues often associated with sagging breasts.
Breast ptosis is the medical term for degeneration of the breast tissue, leading to a hollow, stretched out, elongated or flat appearance. Depending on the size and shape of the breasts, these changes might be minor or may be extreme, but are always noticeable to the affected woman. Larger breasts are more prone to complete degeneration of the tissue, leading to an overall downward projection of the entire breast mound. Smaller breasts might be less affected and the smallest might only suffer ptosis of the nipple/areola complex. Degenerative breast tissue changes are the result of age and activity, but can be hastened by breast size, genetics, pregnancy, breastfeeding and lifestyle factors.
This ptotic process is normal and is not painful or damaging to the health or function of the breasts. However, ptosis definitely affects the body image, self worth and inner confidence of many women who see the changes as a defect in their physical bodies. Ptosis can have wide ranging effects including lack of *** interest, depression, anxiety, feelings of inferiority, changes in social interactions and even the development of psychosomatic conditions such as gastrointestinal concerns, headaches, back pain and other repressed stress related syndromes.
Ptosis in itself is enraging to the inner self and is insulting to the id. In general, women are very sensitive to age related bodily changes and some women are absolutely devastated by the cruel alterations enacted by the never ending passage of time. Ptosis is not any less serious than any other bodily change and might be even more injurious; since the breasts are one of the primary symbols of the female gender identity and help to define every woman as the person she truly is, inside and out.
Breast lift comes in a variety of forms, ranging from minimally traumatic to ultra-invasive. The goal of every lift is to optimize the aesthetics of the breast by improving the placement of the breast mound, firming the underlying tissue and raising the nipple position. Overall, these changes lead to a higher, more youthful looking and feeling breast which is pleasing to the eye and hand. . .
Traditional full breast lift (also called wise pattern or keyhole lift) is typically performed using an anchor incision, which is actually a set of 3 incisions which completely resculpt the breast mound. This technique is known for being able to create huge changes in breast placement, appearance and feel, but does so at the expense of sometimes noticeable scarring. A popular and more enlightened technique is the vertical mastopexy (also called lollipop or LeJour lift), which eliminates the large and noticeable inframammary incision from the full lift. Modified breast lifts come in even less invasive varieties, such as the Benelli lift (also called the donut, concentric or areolar mastopexy) or the least intrusive crescent lift (also called periareolar mastopexy).
Breast lift may be performed as a stand alone procedure or might be combined with breast augmentation for a total breast rejuvenation surgery. Using breast implants to enhance the lift technique is ideal for women who have lost a significant amount of natural tissue after breastfeeding or women who simply want to be bigger and anatomically lifted. The best part about a combined augmentation/mastopexy operation is the surgical synergy enjoyed by the doctor and patient. Incisions can be used for both procedures and anesthetic and operative risks can be shared; which is always preferred, when compared to 2 individual surgeries.
Deciding on the best breast list procedure for you is a matter of individual tastes and circumstances. The size and general condition of your breasts will help your cosmetic surgeon to recommend the best technique to meet your needs and expectations. It is crucial to research all your options carefully so that you understand exactly what you are undertaking and what you should realistically expect from the surgery. Most important of all, you should choose your surgeon very carefully, since no single factor will influence your final surgical results more than your choice of doctor. If planned and executed with forethought and understanding, a breast lift can make a huge positive change in any woman's life. The physical change might be the most noticeable, but the psycho-emotional effects will undoubtedly be the most valuable.
Eve Anderson, RN, CSW, is an experienced plastic surgery nurse and a practicing social worker in the field of mind/body medicine. Additional information about Breast Implants and the psychological aspects of breast lift can be found on her website, Breast-Plastic-Surgery. Org