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Plastic Surgery Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Plastic Surgery

Breast Lift

How do I know if I need a breast lift?

This is a question your plastic surgeon will help you answer. A common thought among patients is the pencil test, i.e. if a pencil can be held in the crease of your breast then a lift is needed. This is sometimes but not always true. In general, the lower the nipple is from the crease of the breast and the more stretched skin there is, the higher the likelihood of needing a breast lift.

Can I breast feed after a breast lift?

Most breast lifts allow you to safely breast feed following the procedure. The less disruption of the milk ducts, the higher the chances of success. Speak with your plastic surgeon to determine the specific technique to be employed.

What can be done about the scars from a breast lift?

Breast lift scars take many months to mature and reach their final appearance, often as long as a year. The following methods are used to reduce scarring:

  • Taping the scars
  • Intense pulse light
  • Silicone sheeting
  • Silicone based gels
  • Topical steroids
  • Bleaching creams

Is the nipple removed with a breast lift?

No, the nipple is typically not removed with a breast lift. The nipple is moved to a higher position on the chest and the excess skin is removed to form and shape the breast to a more youthful appearance.

What is an autoaugmentation?

Autoaugmentation is where the drooping portion of the breast (below the crease) is placed behind the nipple to give the appearance of a full rounded breast, similar to that of a breast implant, only it's your own tissue.

How long does a breast lift last?

Most breast lifts last several years depending on the technique used, skin tone, and weight gain or loss; these all factor into how long the operation will last.

Will I lose nipple sensation from my breast reduction?

There is a risk of losing nipple sensation although this is not always the case.

Is the nipple disconnected during breast reduction?

This is not usually the case except with extremely large breast reductions. The nipple is not removed in our practice.

Can large breast reductions be done with a short scar?

Yes, this is possible, but the skin tone must be good and the patient must be an appropriate candidate.

What is the difference between a breast lift and a reduction?

Usually breast lifts are cosmetic operations designed to restore the youthful appearance of the breast. Breast reductions are performed to reduce breast size for the relief of back, neck, and shoulder pain.

Are all breast lifts the same?

No, all breast lifts are not the same. Different pedicle techniques may produce different shaped breasts (pedicle is the method by which the nipple is kept attached and the breast volume is preserved).

Dr. Spence uses 5 different types of pedicle techniques depending on the shape of breast he wishes to create:

  1. Superior pedicle
  2. Medical pedicle
  3. Inferior pedicle
  4. Central pedicle
  5. Bipedicle (a combination of pedicles)

I have a very narrow waistline with a well-rounded buttock, but my breasts are flat so I look disproportioned. What can be done about this?

A superior pedicle technique with autoaugmentation works very well for this problem; it produces well-rounded, projecting breasts with maximum preservation of breast volume.

I had a breast lift 15 years ago and my breasts are now drooping again; can I safely have another breast lift?

Yes, a breast lift can be safely repeated. With repeat breast surgery there is always a slightly higher risk to the blood supply to the nipple. Discuss this risk with your surgeon.

Will my stretch marks be removed with my breast lift?

Stretch marks on the lower portion of the breast and those immediately around the areola will be removed. Those at the top of the breast will remain.

I am 23 years old. I have never had children but I have drooping breasts with stretch marks. I am very distressed by this, as I always thought that a breast lift is an operation for older women after pregnancy.

There are a percentage of very young women with drooping breasts. The reason why this happens is not always known. Sometimes the breast tissue responds dramatically to weight changes and develops stretch marks. A breast lift can alleviate this problem but there are scars involved; depending on your skin type these scars will fade over time. Discuss with Dr. Spence how you can shorten these scars as much as possible, along with measures to minimize scarring.

With pregnancy I developed very large areolas and drooping breasts. What can be done about this?

Dr. Spence will use a special suture technique, called a blocking suture, to control the size and shape of your areolas during your breast lift.

What is the best bra to purchase after my breast lift?

Although Dr. Spence cannot endorse any specific vendor, a description of an ideal bra will be provided to you during your consultation. A soft supportive, well-padded bra with wide straps and no under wire is usually best. There are special circumstances where a push up bra will be recommended.

My nipples are very large. It actually appears as if I have 2 nipples side by side on each breast.

Duplicate nipples, or extremely large nipples, are not uncommon. This can be reduced at the time of your breast lift surgery or as a separate procedure under local anesthesia.

I underwent gastric bypass 1 year ago and lost 100 lbs. Now my nipples are down to my belly button, but my breasts are flat. Do I need a reduction or a lift?

Many gastric bypass patients have lost a lot of breast volume with their gastric bypass leaving large amounts of excess skin. When this excess skin is removed with a breast lift, many times only modest amounts of breast tissue remain.

The responses to Frequently Asked Questions listed here are not intended to be medical advice, but are the practice of Dr. Spence and will vary from surgeon to surgeon and patient to patient.

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To schedule a consultation with Dr. Spence at Orlando Plastic Surgery, call 407-999-2585 or request a consultation online.