A breast lift (mastopexy) can be considered when the breast tissue droops or hangs lower than normal as a result of the loss of elasticity and structural support over time. Many factors can lead to this situation including aging, weight fluctuations, genetics, pregnancy, breastfeeding, smoking, drinking and gravity. For many women, this less than voluptuous appearance can be quite distressing, affecting their self-image, confidence and even their libido and sex life.
It is the rare exception that placement of breast implants alone will resolve this issue. The reason for this is that implants, while providing for a breast enlargement, do not truly elevate the tissues. Unfortunately, I have seen far too many cases where surgeons (most often not plastic surgeons) have elected against performing the necessary mastopexy for any of a number of reasons. Instead, they try to take up the lax, stretched out skin by inserting massively large, disproportionate implants above the muscle. This ultimately makes the situation far worse by accelerating the stretching of already poor quality skin (due to the heavy weight of the large implants resting on the skin) as well as thinning it out even further.
This breast lift avoidance approach is a very poor choice and its correction can be complex, time consuming and costly.
Even in more ideal situations where a breast lift and enlargement is performed, most women do show continuation of their drooping (though slower in comparison) starting within the first several months following their mastopexy. This is the reason why many of the mastopexy photos that are shown by physicians are of results that are well less than a year postoperatively.
The following case of mine demonstrates a long term result in a 41 year old woman who consulted me in order to improve the appearance of and augment her small, droopy breasts (photos A, C, and E). Nothing short of a complete breast lift and enlargement would have appropriately provided her with the desired results and so that’s what I did. She underwent a full anchor shaped breast lift along with a breast augmentation using high profile 400cc silicone implants placed in a submuscular pocket.
Her four and a half year postoperative results seen in the photos (B, C and F) demonstrate that she has actually maintained most of substantial improvements in shape and size of her breasts from surgery despite the passage of a considerable amount of time and the relentless effects of gravity and aging.
Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona