Breast lift or mastopexy is a procedure designed to bring the drooping or ptotic breast back up to a more youthful position. This is accomplished by removal of skin in a fashion that cones the breast into a attractive, more upright shape while elevating the position of the nipple-areolar complex. More modern techniques utilize breast tissue, muscle, Alloderm, Strattice or another acellular dermal matrix or mesh rather than skin as the “brassiere” that supports the elevation of the breast. This is thought to contribute to longevity. All lifting procedures will slowly droop with aging, as would your breast naturally if no surgery was performed. In addition, there is a degree of “drop-out” seen with all breast lift procedures over the first few months. Drop-out is the settling of the breast tissue to the lower half of the breast contour (i.e. below the level of the nipple). This is consistent with a typical youthful (20’s) teardrop shaped contour to the breast. If you deem upper pole fullness (fullness in the top half of the breast) as essential to the aesthetic result, a breast implant would be required in addition to the breast lift. For patients with minimal drooping, a breast implant alone may provide adequate correction without the breast lift and it’s associated scars which resemble those of a breast reduction (see below). There are other procedures used to create lifting in the breast (e.g. circumareolar mastopexy, Benelli mastopexy). Dr. Bass will discuss these in more detail during your consultation if you desire.
Breast reduction or reduction mammaplasty is a procedure designed to reduce the overall size of the breast while preserving an attractive breast shape. This is accomplished by removing breast tissue in addition to removing excess skin as in a mastopexy described above. The procedure is performed in the office operating room or the hospital ambulatory surgery facility. Recovery prior to return to work is generally about 1 week. The principle trade-off in breast reduction is the addition of permanent visible scars on the breast. These will not be visible in clothing or most bathing suits but are visible when you are completely undressed. Modern breast reduction techniques, suitable for most patients, utilize a vertical approach reducing or eliminating the inframammary scar associated with earlier breast reduction techniques. Using these techniques, nipple sensation and breast feeding are not expected to be disturbed.
The symptoms associated with excessively large breasts (macromastia) include neck ache, back pain, shoulder pain -often associated with grooving from bra straps and irritation of the skin under the breasts. Breast reduction is not able to produce an exact cup size, although a result in the range of the desired cup size is generally possible, if compatible with your chest dimensions. Research studies have shown that even modest size reductions are highly effective in reducing symptoms of excessively large breasts.
In an effort to preserve the privacy of our patients, representative images of Dr. Bass’s breast surgery results can only be viewed in the office during a consultation.