During the course of a woman’s life, the breasts change in appearance and oftentimes sag. Don’t worry, this is NOT an uncommon condition. In fact, the clinical term for female breasts that sag is called ‘breast ptosis.’ There are many causes of breast ptosis including pregnancy, cigarette smoking, high body mass, gravity and the natural aging process. There are also different degrees of ptosis as shown in the illustration below. Fortunately, breast ptosis can easily be treated with breast lift surgery.
In addition to a breast lift, many women also consider having other procedures performed at the same time to enhance the overall result. For example, a “mommy makeover” is a combination of different surgical procedures reserved for women who have been pregnant and want to look like they did before the pregnancy. This may include a tummy tuck, liposuction surgery and breast enlargement or breast reduction. There is also a cost savings of having multiple procedures done at the same time.
The surgeon makes incisions in the skin, usually on the crease under the breast, around the areola and along the underside of the breast. After removing excess skin, the doctor will move the areola and nipple to a new, higher position, pull the skin down to reshape the breast, and then stitch the incisions. Usually, the procedure requires general anesthesia. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons provides a detailed description of the surgery.
Case 47: This patient’s primary surgery left her with valve collapse, nostril notching, persistent tip rounding and hanging columella. Secondary surgery involved correction of these issues with repositioning and reconstruction of the tip cartilages to improve tip contour. Although she is still a little swollen in the after photos, she is already happy with her new nose.
Case 69: This patient was bothered by his prominent ears and a sense of width to his nose that made it feel bulky and unrefined in his view. While still preserving his ethnic identity, he was able to achieve a meaningful improvement in nasal balance. Bringing his ears back into the vertical plane helped to make them less noticeable and remove them as a source of focus for him.
A: It’s difficult to answer “how much” sensitivity you can expect to lose after breast lift surgery but most patients report that they are able to retain complete or near complete sensation. During the initial postoperative period, there may be a temporary loss or decrease in sensation primarily due to swelling. As the swelling subsides, the sensation will return. There is the potential that you may experience a change in the sensitivity of your nipples and the skin of your breast. On occasion, patients have reported that their nipples are “supersensitive.” In this case desensitization, exercises can be performed to diminish the sensitivity. This involves gently rubbing the nipples with cotton ball and then progressing to a more course material.
If your doctor recommends breast reduction or breast augmentation, these are additional costs. Average cost of breast reduction is $6,500 to $12,000 while the average cost of surgery for breast augmentation is $5,000 to $10,000. In many cases, if your combining procedures there will be a discounted rate. Remember that the more experienced the plastic surgeon, the more expensive the surgery could be. However, you are investing in yourself by choosing an experienced surgeon.
Each year, thousands of women undergo breast lift procedures to restore the shape and volume of their breasts for a more youthful breast contour. Oftentimes breast lifts are combined with other procedures such as breast augmentation or breast reduction. In cases like these, the breasts are lifted as they are increased or decreased in size. The result are breasts that look and feel better!
Dr. Miller says it’s also important for patients to have realistic expectations. “It’s not a good idea to take a wide, thick nose and turn it into one that’s thin and tiny,” he says. “But if the steps are done properly, we can make the desired changes.” Thick nasal skin that makes it challenging to refine the nasal tip needs to be thinned out, for example. It’s important to find a board-certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in ethnic rhinoplasties.
Case 96: To see how well our results last, see these photos of our patient 8 years after rhinoplasty and facial fat transfer! Her rhinoplasty involved softening her look and removing the convexity on the bridge that made her tip look downturned. Fat transfer under the eyes has stood the test of time and really helped to reduce her under eye hollows to noticeably brighten her appearance.
Case 44: One of the hardest things to accomplish in a nose job is giving a person a smaller version of the same nose. In Los Angeles, where small differences can mean everything, doing Finesse Rhinoplasty is common. Even at 6 months, you can see that, on profile, this patient’s tip is less projected but he still has a strong masculine profile. On base view, you will also notice the deprojection and the fact that alar base reduction can be done with no visible scars and maintenance of the natural nostril curve.
Case 88: The goals of this septorhinoplasty were to straighten her crooked nose and improve breathing. She also hated how her nasal hump and length brought attention to her irregular profile. In our opinion, the mark of a good rhinoplasty is that the nose should become a background feature, and she’s very happy to have achieved that goal with her Profiles rhinoplasty.