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What is Breast Augmentation/Mastopexy?

Sep 4, 2007
Many of the patients that I see in consultation have small breasts that they want enlarged. They also may have a problem with sagging of what little breast tissue they have. This is more common in women who have had children and in women who had had significant fluctuations in weight. Evaluation of these patients includes looking at the texture of their skin, to see if there are stretch marks, noting significant underlying damage to the skin's ability to tighten . In addition, it's important to look at the shape of the breast, the areolar size, the asymmetry of the breasts, and the age of the patient.

Plastic surgeons grade the amount of sagging, based on where the nipple is in relation to the inframammary crease (IMC). If the nipple is at or above the inframammary crease, a breast augmentation alone may give an adequate lift. If the nipple is lower, a breast lift will probably be required, especially if the implant is being placed under the muscle. When breast implants are placed submuscular, they tend to sit higher on the chest wall.

Depending on what size your breasts are to begin with, and what size you're planning to be after the augmentation, will influence the extent of mastopexy (breast lift) needed. Usually the breast lift can be done at the same time as the augmentation. Once the implants are placed in the pocket, the patient is raised to a sitting position on the operating room table and the amount of lift can be determined.

Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

Over time, the natural aging process can cause a woman's breasts to sag and lose their shape. A breast lift, or mastopexy, is a surgical procedure that reshapes and lifts a woman's breasts. After the breast lift procedure at our Indianapolis practice, women can expect firmer, shapelier and more youthful looking breasts.

The Breast Lift Surgery

In the most common breast lift procedure at our Indianapolis practice, the surgeon makes an anchor shaped incision along the natural contour of the breast. Working through this incision, the surgeon sculpts the skin and tissue and repositions the nipple to give the breast a new and youthful appearance. Breast lift is usually done on an outpatient basis. Cessation of all nicotine products is strongly urged three weeks pre and post operatively. Smoking before or following breast lift surgery increases the visibility of scarring and causes problems with healing.

Alternative Procedures

A "doughnut breast lift" can also be performed, which requires less tissue removal and involves a much quicker recovery time. In this breast lift procedure, the surgeon executes a circular incision around the areola, and a doughnut shaped area of skin is removed.
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