Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Decisions in breast lift surgery. Incisions, scars, and breast shape.

A frequent discussion that takes place with regards to breast shaping and breast lift surgery is scars. It is no surprise that the desire to minimize and prevent scars on the breast is an important discussion point. The breasts, aside from breast feeding, are an extremely sensual part of the female body. For women who have lost their natural breast shape and have developed laxity and drooping a breast shaping procedure such as a breast lift is usually required to restore the position of the breast tissue, shape and size of the areola, and firmness or skin tension to its natural and most aesthetic level.
My discussion, whenever skin is in excess or there is excess skin and soft tissue laxity, inevitably revolves around the idea that fat and mucsle can be changed through diet and excercise but significant excess skin must be removed surgically. Removal of excess skin by definition involves making an incision. For breast lift surgery, an incision is needed to make the areola smaller, to elevate the areola to a higher position, and to remove the excess skin and contour the breast and breast tissue.
The inevitable questions then becomes, do we accept the needed incisions and subsequent scars in exchange for better breast shape? The simple answer is that the overall shape is always more important than an extra incision. The more detailed discussion goes as follows. An incision that heals well and is in the end a paper thin scar should be accepted in exchange for a significantly improved shape. I have never had one patient that has regretted getting a breast lift. They see the improved breast shape and position and the presence of paper thin scars becomes a very easy tradeoff to make. Remember, we make incisions on the face for facial rejuvenation including incisions on the eyelids and nose for eyelid and nose shaping. It seems that a well healed and positioned incision that delivers the best result possible in terms of breast shape and position should be judged in the same way.
When it comes to incisions and scars two things must be understood. If they are done properly the final scar should be paperthin and nearly invisible when full healing has occured. The second is that a perfectly shaped breast with a thin, nearly invisble incision is much more aesthetic and desireable then a droopy breast with a large areola and no scars. In the end, its the patient who has to decide what they value most. For my family, friends, and loved ones I would certainly steer them toward better shape.

All the best,
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Phoenix/Scottsdale AZ