For women the natural aging process brings with it a variety of changes. Your body may become susceptible to the effects of gravity, pregnancy, weight fluctuation, and stress. When your breasts lose their tone and shape, you may be unhappy with the way they look. The skin becomes stretched, the breast structure overhangs the fold under the breast, and the upper portion of the breast becomes hollow.
Deciding how to correct your breasts can be difficult. There are a number of different strategies that are available. It all depends on your goals and on finding a surgeon who understands your goals and who can recommend a procedure that matches them.
There are times when breast implants can provide a nice solution to settled breasts, but you have to know their limits. Some surgeons mistakenly place very large implants in an attempt to correct significantly settled breasts. This is usually not a good long term solution. If your breasts are settled but the nipples sit above the level of the natural fold under the breast, breast implants may provide a good solution, as long as you want the overall volume of the breasts to be larger. In breasts that have a greater degree of settling (referred to as “ptosis” by plastic surgeons) implants alone will not be a good solution. You will just end up with large droopy breasts and will lose natural breast tissue.
The first question to ask yourself is this: “Is the main issue the fact that the breasts are settled or is it that I want the breasts to be larger?” If you are reasonably happy with the appearance of your breasts when they are supported by a structured bra or swimsuit, then the best choice is a breast lift (mastopexy).
Many plastic surgeons place implants with every breast lift procedure. The reason for this is that most conventional breast lift techniques will settle over time, leaving the upper portion of the breast hollow. Implants solve this problem to a degree, but this also adds additional volume to the breast, which is something you may not be looking for. Many patients would prefer to avoid breast implants.
Fortunately there is a good solution for the woman who is happy with the size of her breasts, but who simply wants to restore the breasts to their original position on the chest and to improve their tone and balance. This procedure is the Structural Breast Lift, one of the procedures in which Dr. John Q. Cook specializes.
When Implants Are Out of the Equation
Breast implants are one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures, particularly because they help to bring a pleasing fullness to the upper portion of the breasts. At the Whole Beauty® Institute our patients have an extremely high level of satisfaction with the results of breast augmentation surgery. Our emphasis is on creation of a natural appearing breast shape.
Implants are not problem free. Every patient needs to realize that with implants comes the possibility of additional surgery to replace the implants or correct capsular contracture, a process where scar tissue forms around the implants and makes them firm. Many patients are willing to accept these possibilities in return for the increased volume that implants provide.
If you really don’t want your breasts to be larger, it makes little sense for you to have breast implants. The structural breast techniques allows us to use your natural breast tissue to restore a pleasing fullness to the upper portions of the breast, while bringing the breasts to a harmonious position.
The Structural Technique
Many breast lift techniques are limited by several disadvantages. If the breast is lifted just by the skin it is just a matter of time before the skin stretches further and the breast begins to droop. Another problem is a lack of fullness in the upper portion of the breast, which becomes even more noticeable as the breast settles over time. A third disadvantage with some techniques is the presence of a scar that runs along the fold in the inner portion of the breast. This scar may limit the choice of swimsuits and dresses.
These disadvantages are addressed directly with the structural technique. Rather than just relying on the skin to hold the breast in position, the deeper structures of the breast are anchored at several levels. We believe that this holds the breast in a better position over the long term than occurs with skin lift techniques.
With the structural breast lift Dr. Cook shifts tissue from the lower portion of the breast to the upper portion, so that you can obtain a pleasing fullness in this area without implants.
The structural technique also avoids any scar in the inner portion of the breast, which gives you a wide range of choices for swimsuits and clothing.
Good as the structural breast lift is, it is not the solution for every breast. Dr. Cook has extensive experience in a wide range of breast lift techniques. These include the classical breast lift (sometimes called the anchor lift), the vertical breast lift (sometimes called the lollipop lift) and the periareolar breast lift. Dr. Cook will analyze your goals and map the dimensions of your breasts so that he can suggest the breast lift operation that makes the best sense for you.
Of course, it’s impossible to stop natural aging and gravity from impacting the quality of your skin. Although the results of your breast lift may be long-lasting, the effects of aging will eventually cause another decrease in skin elasticity. With the structural technique the skin does not have to do all the work of lifting.
With structural breast surgery, the technique requires multi-level anchoring that stabilizes the position of the breasts. Along with tightening the surrounding skin, Dr. Cook can restore volume within the upper portion of the breasts and maintain their position over time.
If you would like the benefits of the structural technique, but you would also like your breasts to be larger it is possible to do a structural lift and place implants at the same time. This is referred to as augmentation mastopexy.
For the breast lift techniques that do not provide adequate support, implants are often used to fill out the upper portion of the breasts. While an augmentation and lift procedure are acceptable methods for improving the contours of the chest, the combination of surgeries is not always needed. If a breast lift is performed with proper anchoring techniques, implants may not be necessary unless you simply have a desire to increase your breast size.
Is a Structural Breast Lift Right for You?
With the variety of breast lift techniques at work, it’s challenging to determine which is right for you. Although the structural breast lift is designed to produce long-lasting results, it may not be the right method for your particular needs.
Upon your consult with Dr. Cook, you can learn more about the technique that will best suit your body and cosmetic goals. Depending on the current size of your breasts and the degree of skin laxity surrounding your chest, you could benefit from one of the several procedures that produce the results you desire.
The goal of a breast lift is to reverse the unwanted changes that natural aging has created. If your breasts have lowered past what you consider attractive, have flattened or have developed nipples and areoles that descend downward, a breast lift may be a treatment option to think about.
Regardless of the technique used to lift your breasts, the goal is to reposition them so that your body looks young, toned and proportional. Breast lift surgery may even be combined with additional procedures, like a tummy tuck and liposuction, if you need additional contouring.
Beautiful, Lifted Breasts Await You
If you are interested in learning more about the structural breast lift procedure or would like to find out whether the technique is suitable for your breasts, contact Whole Beauty® Institute at 312-751-2112 and schedule a consult with Dr. Cook.