Many women, whether it be through pregnancy, the passage of time or significant weight loss, experience a change in the shape of their breasts. Gravity and volume loss can both cause the breasts to ‘sag’, which many women find distressing – especially if they were happy with their breasts before.
This can understandably drive many to seek a surgical solution. But without professional advice, many women are not sure what the correct procedure is for them – breast implants, breast lift, or both.
Breast implants vs breast lift
A significant number of women seek breast implants unnecessarily. They see that their breasts have changed shape, and assume they need to ‘fill out’ the breasts in order to regain their youthful roundness.
While this may be true in some cases, it is not always needed. It may be that they have enough volume, but the way the breast tissue is distributed may have changed over time. Gravity tends to make the breast tissue ‘pool’ lower down eventually, so the breasts become more bottom-heavy. This means that even if no breast tissue has been lost, the breasts lose projection and appear less full as a result.
In these cases, breast lift (sometimes known as uplift) would be the best approach. During breast uplift surgery, the plastic surgeon makes a ‘lollipop’ shaped scar around the areola (the coloured area around the nipple) and running down the breast. The areola and nipple are moved into a higher position on the breast, changing the appearance of the breast to be more ‘pert’ and youthful.
Combining breast procedures
But women don’t necessarily have to make a choice between the two procedures. Breast enlargement can be very successfully combined with a breast lift, adding volume as well as lifting the position of the nipples and areolas.
This offers the most dramatic improvement after surgery – effectively a complete breast makeover in one procedure. This is a particularly popular procedure as part of a so-called “mummy makeover”, which often also includes a tummy tuck to remove loose skin and tissue left behind after pregnancy.
With plastic surgery being such a dynamic industry, advances in breast surgery are being made all the time, with ever more choice for women.
Adrian Richards, a specialist breast surgeon who runs UK plastic surgery group Aurora Clinics, has responded to the increasing demand for breast rejuvenation by developing his own new technique:
“Many women aren’t driven by a desire to have ‘perfect breasts’ – they just want their former breasts back. At my clinics, I offer a technique that combines an enlargement, uplift, areola reduction and nipple lift in one – all performed through incisions around the areolas. And there are lots of other plastic surgeons offering their own take on complete breast rejuvenation, giving women more options than ever before.”
The way forward
If you are seriously thinking about breast surgery, the absolute best way to find out which technique may be right for you is to speak to at least three specialist breast surgeons. Do your homework, choose your surgeons carefully and research their credentials online (the BAAPS website is a great place to start).
Once you’ve narrowed down which surgeons you’d like to speak to, make sure you attend the consultations armed with a list of all the questions you want to ask, as well as a clearly defined idea of the result you are looking to achieve. Ask if the surgeon feels they will be able to help you achieve it – and ALWAYS ask to see photos of their previous patients.
Remember, you only have one body, so leave nothing to chance when entrusting it to a surgeon. There are a lot of fantastic breast surgeons out there – so make sure you find one, and you’ll be well on your way to getting the results you dream of.
Kerry Greasley is a Copywriter with particular interest in cosmetic surgery and medical aesthetics.