After decades of wanting bigger, rounder breasts, women are increasingly choosing altitude over amplitude. And modern science has a new array of breast-lift techniques to give them exactly that.
In the popular conception of breast surgery, women who seek out the operating room are generally there for the breasts they never had. Whether you always wanted the top half of your hourglass to be bigger or smaller, there was a surgical option for you. Now another group of women is growing rapidly. In the past 16 years, the number of patients opting for breast lifts has risen almost 600 percent, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. This suggests that the newest trend in breast surgery isn’t the quest for what you never had, but instead for what you’ve lost. “Patients say, ‘I want my own breasts back,'” says Christina Y. Ahn, an associate professor of plastic surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.
This desire to undo the work of gravity usually begins with noticeable sagging. “Essentially, the envelope of skin encasing the breast and the ligaments beneath have stretched; the filling has shrunk, giving a pancake shape; and the nipple is facing down rather than straight ahead,” says Roger K. Khouri, a former professor of plastic surgery at Washington University in St. Louis, who now practices in Miami. Pregnancy and breast-feeding can speed up this migration southward, and so can weight loss, since fat is a major component of many women’s breasts.
Breast-lift surgery, or mastopexy, is an attempt to reverse the process by cutting away excess skin, redistributing the filling, and restoring the original projection of the breast—and the methods of doing that successfully represent a new era of innovation. Doctors perform mastopexies either alone or combined with a breast reduction or augmentation. They may use synthetic mesh, barbed threads, or the patient’s own skin to support the breast on the bottom and fat suctioned from other parts of the body to add fullness on top. Patients often actually lose a cup size, according to a review of 20 mastopexy cases published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery last summer.
In most cases, the surgeon raises the nipple by making a semicircular incision along the top of the areola and pulling it upward, while remodeling the tissue through another incision that runs downward to the base of the breast. In some cases, the procedure requires an additional small horizontal incision at the base. Many women don’t want scars on this part of the body, but they are unavoidable, says William P. Adams, Jr., an associate clinical professor of plastic surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
By Joan Kron. Shared from Allure.com for our Cosmetic Surgery Blog
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