What is Breast Ptosis?
Ptosis is the medical term for droop. For your breast, ptosis is assessed by noting how your nipple relates to the fold where your breast meets your chest wall.
Grade I: At the level of the fold.
Grade II: Below the fold.
Grade III: Pointing at the floor.
Typically, surgery can be expected to correct 1 grade of ptosis (i.e. Grade III becomes Grade II, Grade II becomes Grade I).
There are several options for breast lifting:
The popular benefit of implant surgery is the simplicity. The disadvantage (if you consider it one) is the implant.
The benefit of removing excess breast skin is that it is the most “complete” lift! The disadvantage is that there will be a scar.
If you desire a fuller figure, consider both removing excess skin & breast implant surgery.
If you are already full figured, consider only removing excess skin.
Implant (Augmentation) Option:
While this is the “simplest” choice, it does require placing a foreign implant into your body. For women with limited droop (Grade I and some Grade II ptosis), this is the most common
Removing Excess Skin
There are several ways to remove excess skin:
The dark skinned area around your nipple is the areola. In the Donut Lift, a circle of skin is marked around the areola. After removing the skin, the incision is gathered around the areola, like a drawstring.
Your skin may be “lumpy” until healing is completed. Some changes in skin contour can be permanent. Because the skin of the areola is thinner, during healing, the areola can stretch, appearing larger than desired. Due to the scars, candidates for the Donut Lift often choose implant surgery instead.
This removes both excess skin around your nipple (like the donut lift) and a wedge of skin from the nipple to the fold where the breast meets the chest wall. This technique is the most common skin reducing breast lift performed. About 15-20% of women may need “touch up” surgery.
If your breast is extremely “droopy” (Grade III ptosis), you may require the anchor lift. The scars are the same as for patients undergoing breast reduction surgery. While this is the most “complete” lift, it requires the longest incisions.
Scars can range from as thin as a pencil line to as thick as the pencil.
|Shaded area is removed in anchoring.||Final scars for Anchor Lift.|
Like augmentation only, breast lift surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure, usually under general anesthesia.
Complications of Surgery
Complications include bleeding, infection, scarring, implant malposition, and the possible need for additional surgery. Other complications are possible, but less likely.
For all treatment choices, you will use your old bra as part of your initial dressing. Absorbent gauze is placed over any incisions. Like all surgery, some oozing is expected for the first several days. Older (stain tolerant), comfortable clothing is
You can shower the day after surgery. Most patients can return to work within 1-2 weeks. While complete healing can take up to 1 year, most patients feel their breast have a “natural” feel in approximately 3 months.