Breast Lift Charleston

What is a Breast Lift?

Before & After Photos

A breast lift (mastopexy) is accomplished by removing excess skin in such a pattern that closure of the incisions results in a more pleasing breast shape and a more elevated position on the chest wall. The nipple/areola complex is repositioned so that it now is located centrally on the breast mound and points forward instead of downward.

A breast lift is relatively straightforward but it is not magic and two important issues must be addressed.

First the incisions are prominent, at least initially. The incisions vary according to the severity of the problem. In the simplest cases the incision circles the areola. In more advanced cases there is an added vertical incision extending from the six o’clock position of the areola to the inframammary crease. In the most advanced cases, there is also a horizontal incision in the crease itself—the typical anchor-shaped incision that is often mentioned. For the first months the resulting scars are often raised and red (the result of the fact that the skin must be closed tightly). However as time passes, the scars fade considerably and in the long-term are quite acceptable.

Secondly, the breast never stays where it is placed at surgery. Gravity is still operative. The skin will inevitably stretch some and the breast will settle. How much settling will occur, and how quickly, depends on the overall condition of the skin (good or poor elasticity) and the weight of breast tissue left behind (more is not better!).

However in almost all cases the end result will still be a significant improvement over the pre-operative status.

In the most severe cases where most of the breast tissue has sagged below the crease itself, the procedure is modified to surgically reshape the breast tissue and suspend it with sutures to the chest wall.

Am I a candidate for a Breast Lift?

Following pregnancy (especially after nursing and following significant weight loss) it is common for the breasts to lose volume and sag. The breast becomes flatter, more vertical and the nipple points downward instead of straight ahead. The technical term for this is breast ptosis and the technical term for its correction is mastopexy.

Breast Lift and Augmentation

In some cases the result still does not provide enough fullness (especially of the upper half of the breast) to satisfy patient desires and addition of a breast implants may be warranted. This is called an augmentation/mastopexy. In almost all cases (not in smokers!) the two procedures can be performed simultaneously without increased complications. However there are two instances where it may be best to stage the operations.

In the case where augmentation (size increase) is the primary goal but the desired size is not quite enough to correct the problem of excess envelope (breast skin), it may be best to delay the lift. In that way the patient can “live with the result” using her bra to correct the residual sagging. Then it can be her informed decision if she wishes to add additional scars and expend addition money for the final correction

In cases where the lift is the primary procedure, but the amount of sagging and excess skin is so pronounced that prediction of final breast position is difficult, it is often best to place the implant secondarily. The result will then be a better one when we know exactly where to place the implant.

Contact Board Certified Charleston Breast Lift Surgeon Dr. William Terranova

Additional information about mastopexy can be found on our Questions about Breast Lift page. If you are interested in a breast lift or want to learn more about the procedure, please contact the office of Charleston Breast Lift Surgeon Dr. Terranova today to schedule your complimentary consultation.