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Factors impacting both the breast’s and nipple’s shape are pregnancy, nursing, weight loss and gains and forces of gravity. These stresses usually cause elongated breasts with wide and lower nipples.  In other words breast go from the” shape of a cone” to a “tube sock” over time.    Correction of this shape and reduction of the diameter of the nipple areolar complex often requires a breast lift.  (The areola is the darker skin surrounding the nipple.)

Breast implants can be inserted in conjunction with mastopexy to improve the size, shape, projection and upper pole fullness of the breast.  It is more common to perform a breast augmentation with a breast lift.

Candidates of breast lift

BreastLift Web ImageThe best candidates for a breast lift in Shreveport, or neighboring communities are healthy, emotionally stable women who are realistic about what the surgery can accomplish.  Also it is preferable that a woman have a stable body weight and has had all her children.  The best results are accomplished in women with small to medium size, sagging breasts, but with proper support the shape of even larger breast can maintain with acceptable appearance.  Many times a woman will elect to have an implant placed under the breast to augment the shape and size of the breast.  Natural breasts, many times, are unable to hold the projected and rounded shape in the upper breast over a time.  This is due to the fatty nature of the breast which often doubles after pregnancy.

What should I expect from the consultation?

The consultation in our Shreveport office is the first step before considering breast lift. Your personalized one-on-one meeting with Dr. Bridges will assess your physical and emotional health. This is followed by a discussion of your specific goals for the surgery.

You should arrive at the consultation of the breast lift in our Shreveport office prepared to provide complete information about:

  • Previous surgical procedures
  • Mammogram history
  • Past and present medical conditions
  • Family history of medical conditions, particularly about breast cancer and prostate cancer
  • Medications you are taking, including herbal remedies or nutritional supplements.

When examining your breast, Dr. Bridges will evaluate:

  • The quality of your breast tissue.
  • The location of any existing scars.
  • The degree of skin laxity and stretch marks.
  • The size of your breasts and differences between the two breasts.
  • The nipple size and location and the differences between the two.
  • The location of your bra line and the differences between each side.

Photographs may be taken for your medical file.  Dr. Bridges may have other suggestions for procedures to improve your results. For example, if your breasts lack volume and projection he may recommend a small breast implant to improve the results.  Dr. Bridges will describe in detail the procedure, risks and limitations, scaring that will result, anesthesia used and the type of facility where the surgery will be performed.

Understand as a patient receiving a breast lift you will probably not get a result that you see in a magazine or like your friends. Everyone is different and “what you bring to the table will be different than what someone else brings to the table.”

What are complications related to breast lift?

As with any surgery there is always a possibility of complications or a reaction to the anesthesia. Bleeding and infections following a breast lift are very uncommon. Mastopexy does leave noticeable, permanent scars, although they are usually thin and can be covered by a bra or bathing suit. (Poor healing and wider scars are more common in smokers, so it is recommended that one stops smoking 4 weeks prior to the operation.) There is a possibility of unevenly positioned nipples due to postoperative swelling which can stretch the skin and displace the operative positioning.  There is a small possibility of permanent loss of feeling in your nipples or breast.

Planning your surgery 

You may be required to have a mammogram before surgery due to your age and family history. Specific instructions will be given to prepare you for surgery.  These will concern eating and drinking the night before surgery and the avoidance of smoking and certain vitamins and medications. A breast lift is an outpatient surgery. Also be sure to arrange to have someone drive you home after the surgery.  We are happy to perform a breast lift in Shreveport, LA or if you are from one of our neighboring communities, we will happily perform them as well, for instance if you were searching for a breast lift in Alexandria, LA.

The operation 

Anesthesia is usually general anesthesia.  You will be asleep throughout the surgery.

Mastopexy takes approximately two to three hours depending on the severity of breast distortion.   The procedure usually involves an anchor-shaped incision following the natural contour of the breast.   I am not a big fan of the “lollipop” incision.  Despite the claims of a shorter scar, the scar that is used is still the most visible one.  The incision along the bra line for a Wise-Pattern (anchor-shape) is the least noticeable.  I find the resultant shape of the breast is much better than the “lollipop” incision.  I like to use techniques that give great results instead of the “flavor of the day” techniques.  The length of the horizontal incision will be determined at the time of surgery depending on the degree of skin elasticity.

Dr. Bridges will mark your breasts just prior to the surgery with you in a sitting or standing positions.  These markings will outline the area of breast skin to be removed and define the new location for the nipple. When the excess skin has been removed, the nipple and areola are moved to the higher position. The skin surrounding the areola is brought together to reshape the breast. Stitches are usually located beneath the skin around the areola, in a vertical line extending downwards from the nipple area, and along the lower crease of the breast. Patients especially those with relatively small breasts and minimal sagging may be candidates for a modified procedure requiring less extensive incisions. One such procedure is the “doughnut” (or concentric) mastopexy,” in which circular incisions are made around the areola, and a doughnut-shaped area of skin is removed.  The use of this is only in highly selective situations.

If you are having an implant inserted along with your breast lift, it will be placed in a pocket directly under the breast tissue, or deeper, under the muscle of the chest wall.

After the surgery

Your breasts will be bruised, swollen, and uncomfortable for a day or two, but the pain shouldn’t be severe. You’ll wear an elastic bandage or a surgical bra over gauze dressings. Any discomfort should be relieved with medication prescribed by Dr. Bridges and an cool compress lying over the breast. Within a few days, the bandages or surgical bra will be replace by a soft support bra. You’ll need to wear this bra around the clock for three to four weeks, over a layer of steristrips. The stitches will be removed after a week or two.

Getting back to normal

Healing is a gradual process. If your breast skin is very dry, apply a moisturizer several times a day except to the suture areas. Loss of feeling in your nipples and breast skin is commonly caused by swelling after surgery. This numbness usually fades as the swelling subsides over the next six weeks or so. In some patients however, it may last a year or more, and occasionally it may be permanent.

You may be up and about in a day or two, but you might have to wait a week or more to return to work depending on how you feel. Avoid lifting anything over your head for three to four weeks. If you have any unusual symptoms, don’t hesitate to call the office. If you become pregnant, it may affect your ability to breast-feed since your milk ducts and nipple may be modified. It is important to remember that mastopexy scars are permanent. In a few patients they may remain lumpy and red for months, then gradually become less obvious, sometimes eventually fading to thin white lines. Also keep in mind that a breast lift won’t keep you firm forever – the effects of gravity, ratio of fatty tissue to breast tissue, pregnancy, aging and weight fluctuations will eventually take their toll again. Usually pregnancy and excessive weight gain have the biggest impact on the shape of the breast. Again, if you are searching for a breast lift in Alexandria, Shreveport or anywhere in Louisiana your satisfaction is likely to be greater if you understand the procedure and if your expectations are realistic.

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