Does a Breast Reduction Always Require a Lift?
For the millions of women each year in the US who receive a breast augmentation, breast reduction sounds like a foreign concept. But for women who have struggled with excessively large breasts since their teens (and for women whose breasts became too large later in life), the problems they encounter because of their breasts are all too real. On top of the emotional self-consciousness, large breasts also tend to cause physical discomfort or even long-term health problems, like shoulder pain and back pain. For these women, breast reduction is a welcome relief. But because women so often hear breast reduction and breast lifts discussed together, many of them ask: can I just have a reduction, or will I need a breast lift as well?
For the most part, yes, a lift is a necessary step of the breast reduction process. Because of the effect gravity has over time, the skin of large breasts tends to sag much faster than smaller breasts do, and while sagging may not be as noticeable when your breasts are at their largest, it will be much more pronounced after the necessary breast tissue is removed. It’s the same issue that is typically seen in people who lose an extreme amount of weight and are then left with sagging skin that has not been able to tighten back to their slimmer shape. The reality is that when underlying breast tissue and fat is removed, it will amplify breast sagging, so a breast lift is typically necessary in order for patients to be happy with their results.
But here’s the good news: lifting the breast is simply built in as a normal part of breast reduction. In other words, while your breasts will need both a reduction in size and a re-shaping, all of this can usually be done within the same surgery, so you receive all of the benefits of these two procedures while only being in the operating room once. The surgery typically involves what is known as the “anchor” incision, which forms a circle around the areola, a thin line extending down from the areola, and a curve that aligns with the crease where the bottom of your breast meets your rib cage. This allows for the precise amount of breast tissue, fat, and skin to be removed in order to both lift the breast and reduce its size. The nipple and areola are then repositioned while the breast is given a “perkier” and more youthful shape, and if needed and desired, the areola can be made smaller as well.
Whether you’re having plastic surgery for the emotional or the physical benefits, the results can be truly life-changing. To start discussing your cosmetic surgery options, schedule your consultation today. Or, for more plastic surgery tips, helpful information, and the latest health news, follow me, Dr. John L. LeRoy on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
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