Breast Surgical Procedures
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A woman’s breasts are a significant part of her feminine identity. With the vast differences in shape, size, and appearance, her breasts further help to define her as an individual. Consequently, changes to the breasts can be distressing and make a woman feel that she is losing her youth, her vitality, and even her femininity. The breasts do undergo changes just like all areas of the body as a result of factors such as genetics and aging, pregnancy and breast feeding, weight gain (or loss), and hormonal fluctuations. Once-firm and shapely breasts often begin to sag and droop, taking on a heavy, loose appearance. A mastopexy, or breast lift, can restore breasts to a firmer, shapelier position, which improves body contours and gives the breasts a youthful, attractive appearance.
Breast Ptosis and Surgical Technique
Loose, excess skin is excised as part of a breast lift procedure, while the remaining skin is tightened. The result is an overall improvement to the shape of the breasts, lifting them to a more upright, youthful position. Dr. Gabriel will assess the specific degree of sagging of your breasts, or ptosis, to determine what procedure will work best for you. There are essentially three designated degrees of ptosis. These are classified as minor, moderate, and severe, and are determined by the areola’s position as it relates to the sternum and the inframammary fold. If the areola rests at the inframammary fold, ptosis can generally be said to be minor. The breasts have moderate ptosis if the areola is roughly one to two centimeters below the inframammary fold. In cases of severe ptosis, the areola may reach two to three centimeters below the inframammary fold and even rotate downward. Basically, there are four breast lift techniques. These are the periareolar, circumareolar, vertical, and anchor techniques, and are used to correct various, increasing degrees of ptosis.
Breast Lift Recovery
Following your procedure, Dr. Gabriel may recommend that you wear a compression garment, likely for several weeks. The purpose of this tight-fitting garment is to help to reduce swelling by preventing fluid build up. It can also provide support and comfort while your body heals itself. Should surgical drains be used, they will likely be removed within a few days along with any bandages. Non-dissolvable sutures may stay in place for one to two weeks. Some minor pain, bruising, and swelling are normal, as well as numbness around the areola. These should subside in several weeks, however, as the healing process progresses. While you may feel well enough to return to work in as little as a week, any strenuous activity such as exercise should still be avoided for three or four weeks, as it is important to allow your body sufficient time to heal.
Additional Breast Procedures
Content courtesy of plasticsurgery.org