A breast lift, or mastopexy, is performed to return youthful shape and lift to breasts that have sagged as a result of weight loss, pregnancy, loss of the skin's natural elasticity or simply the effects of gravity. The procedure can also reduce areolar size (the dark skin surrounding the nipple), and it can be combined with mammoplasty (breast augmentation) for added breast volume and firmness. Breasts of any size can be lifted, but results last longest when they are originally small and sagging.
Women planning to have children are advised to postpone surgery, since pregnancy and nursing can counteract its effects by stretching the skin. However, mastopexy should not affect your ability to breastfeed.
Mastopexy may be performed in a hospital, an outpatient surgery center or a surgeon's office-based facility. It is usually done on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia, and lasts from 1-½ to 3-½ hours.
A number of pre-operative steps are typically taken such as a mammogram, measurement of the bustline, and discussion with your doctor about the desired size and shape of the breast and placement of the nipple. During the procedure an anchor-shaped incision is made from the location of the new nipple down to and around the crease beneath the breast. The doctor then removes excess skin, relocates the nipple and areola, and reshapes the breast using skin from around the areola before closing the incisions with stitches.
After surgery the breasts are wrapped with gauze dressings, over which an elastic bandage or a surgical bra is placed. After a few days this is replaced with a soft support bra which is worn 24 hours a day for about a month. Breasts will probably be bruised, swollen, and uncomfortable for a few days but this will pass. Numbness in the breasts and nipples should lessen as swelling subsides, although occasionally it lasts for months or even permanently. Stitches are removed after one to two weeks, and many patients return to work then.
Large breasts can cause pain, improper posture, rashes, breathing problems, skeletal deformities, and low self-esteem. Breast reduction surgery is usually done to provide relief from these symptoms. Performed under general anesthesia, the two- to four-hour procedure removes fat and glandular tissue and tightens skin to produce smaller, lighter breasts that are in a healthier proportion to the rest of the body.
Breast reduction surgery is not recommended for women who intend to breast-feed, since many of the milk ducts leading to the nipples are removed.
During the procedure an anchor-shaped incision is made from the new location of the nipple down to and around the crease beneath the breast. Dr. Tanovic removes excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin, relocates the nipple and areola, and reshapes the breast using skin from around the areola before closing the incisions with stitches. Liposuction may be needed to remove excess fat from the armpit area, and in some cases when only fat needs to be removed from the breasts, liposuction alone is used for breast reduction.
Although rarely discussed, enlarged male breasts is a common condition. Gynecomastia affects approximately 40 to 60 percent of men. There is often no known cause for gynecomastia, although there has been some correlation with various drugs or medical conditions.
Men who feel self-conscious about their appearance are helped with breast reduction surgery. The procedure removes fat and/or glandular tissue from the breasts, and in extreme cases removes excess skin, resulting in a contoured chest that is flatter and firmer.
Nipple and areola reconstruction can provide a boost in self-confidence to patients who have inverted or stretched nipples or who lack one or both nipples due to mastectomy (surgical removal of the breast), injury or a congenital defect. It is often the final step in breast reconstruction surgery, where the nipple is created after the breast mound has settled into place so that the new nipple matches the appearance and position of the natural one as closely as possible. Nipple reconstruction may be performed using one of several techniques, including tissue and cartilage flaps, skin grafts and tattooing.