The single greatest issue to understand about breast reduction or breast lift surgery is the incision or scars. You cannot have a lift through the armpit or with tiny hidden incisions. This is unrealistic and never done. Breast lifting and breast reduction surgery requires incisions on the breast to perform the operation. These incisions are permanent. They fade. But they are the main concept to understand if one is considering this operation. What are the incisions going to look like? Am I going to be scarred? The “Real-Reality” of breast lifting or breast reduction is understanding the requirement for the incisions and what to expect.
Three main incision patterns are used. The first is around the nipple called a circumareolar incision. The areola is the pigmented aspect of the nipple. The second major pattern is around the nipple and down to the crease beneath the breast, where the wire is in a bra. This is typically called a “lollipop” pattern. The third main pattern is around the nipple, down to the crease, and also underneath the breast. Sometimes this is called a “keyhole” or “anchor” pattern. This is the operation with the largest incisions. Breast lift cost is not determined by the incisions.
The circumareolar incision pattern is the least frequently done around the country. It is a pattern everyone wants to have and the one doctors want to use. Remember, the doctor, and the patients both want the smallest incisions, because they have the same goal. The goal is pretty breasts with the smallest incisions possible. However, the “Real-Reality” is that small incisions allow for only a small amount of skin removal. Larger incisions allow for larger amounts of skin removal. If you have a fairly small amount of hanging of the breasts then you might only need a very small amount of skin removal. Most women seeking a breast lift have greater degrees of hanging and hence need greater amount of skin removal. You cannot have significant lifting of the breast without significant removal of skin. This same concept applies to a tummy tuck and facial rejuvenation surgery also. Small incisions allow for small removal of loose or excess skin. Bigger incisions allow for bigger degrees of skin removal, and hence bigger degrees of rejuvenation or lifting. A tummy tuck with bigger incisions allows for more dramatic skin removal and hence greater degrees of flattening of the stomach, compared with operations with small incisions such as a mini tummy tuck. With a face-lift, longer incision patterns allow for greater rejuvenation of the face, compared with short scar techniques. These concepts cannot be changed. This concept applies to breast surgery, abdominal surgery, facial rejuvenation, and most aspects of cosmetic surgery. With today’s technology, with the greatest and best state-of-the-art techniques, this understanding is important to grasp the “Real-Reality” of surgery. Understanding this will help a woman understand what incision pattern she will need and why. Most women having a breast lift or breast reduction do not need the big incision beneath the breast unless they have really large breasts or a lot of hanging. Most women can be lifted with the “lollipop” incision pattern. Adding breast implants with a simultaneous breast augmentation can help with excess skin and minimize the need for longer incisions. This operation is called a breast lift and augmentation.
This topic of breast lift and breast reduction incisions will be covered further in an upcoming writing in the near future. Look for this soon.
Dr. Saunders is a board certified plastic surgeon who practices exclusively cosmetic surgery. Delaware cosmetic surgery, West Chester cosmetic surgery, and Media cosmetic surgery patients are encouraged to come in for a complimentary consultation and to check out Dr. Saunders’ deluxe state licensed surgical center.
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