Breast Augmentation or Breast Lift? How do you know what you need?
Breast implants are wonderful little devices but they can’t solve all problems in a breast. This video explores the issues of when you are a good candidate for a breast implant vs when your breast needs a lift or mastopexy. Since Dr. Tebbetts uses the High Five Measurement® System to plan all breast operations – whether we are augmenting, lifting or reducing a breast – – this decision about what you need gets a whole lot easier. Once again, planning operations by the numbers takes away all the guess work!
Today, I’d like to talk to you about the difference between a breast lift and a breast implant. Some times, the lines between these two procedures gets easily confused, both with patients and with surgeons. It’s hard to know what you really mean.
Not in the Tebbetts world. Tebbetts makes all decisions based on measurement, whether we’re augmenting, lifting or reducing a breast. When you plan operations by the numbers, you take away all the guess work.
So let’s look at some of the things that might determine which procedure is best for you. A mastopexy seeks to make the breast perkier and firmer, not bigger. While, breast augmentation, makes what you have bigger simply by using an implant, but, that’s all it is, simply bigger. A breast implant was never meant to lift a breast or to remove excess skin.
So it’s really really really important not to ask a procedure or surgery to do something it was never meant to do. A breast that needs a mastopexy might look something like this. While a breast that needs a breast augmentation or an implant is going to look something more like this. But what about this picture? See how it can get easily confusing?
So let’s look at some of the anatomic landmarks and measurements that are going to help us make the best decision and provide you with the best operation. There are certain things about a breast that we simply cannot change, for example; where the inframammary fold starts underneath the breast. That crease, or fold, under the breast started developing when you were twelve. We can’t change the position of your breast on your torso. We also can’t change the width of the breast.
However, the breast seems to change over time with pregnancy, weight gain and weight loss, relative to the two anatomic structures that we can’t change. So, instead of having, ideally, nipple above the inframammary fold in profile, like it should look in a bra. We would like it to look this way out of a bra. The nipple should be above the fold. However, with all the changes that happen with our life experiences, sometimes we end up with something that’s more like this, where everything is sitting beneath the fold.
So you have to pick this up and put it in a bra, you have to nestle it in there everyday to get the position that you’d like to have. So, one of the very first measurement we need to look at is nipple to fold and your stretch and you can see here, this distance would be a heck of a lot shorter than this one.
An implant is going to go to the bottom of whatever we give it to go to and begin to fill from the bottom up. So, if there’s too much excess skin like there is here, then it’s just going to make you a bigger saggier version of what you are now.
So this distance, nipple to fold and your stretch is one of the very first thing you measure to determine whether you need a mastopexy or an implant. A mastopexy or a breast lift simply seeks to get the nipple above the fold. Another important measurement to consider when trying to figure out which procedure you need, is how much skin stretch there is. Every once in a while, we see someone who meets the high five criteria in their nipple to fold distance of stretch. They’re borderline, They’re cut-off patients where they can almost go either way, almost have an implant or have a lift. Then you have to factor in how much stretch the skin envelope has had over time.
Remember, every time it got bigger during pregnancy, every time this changes. It retracts some, but not all. So that stretch is a very important number that has to be figured in when planning your operation. If this stretch is too much, even though you meet the nipple to fold criteria it’s going to require way too much implant and way too much weight to augment your breast.
There are limits and by using a scientifically proved measurement system like High-five, you don’t have to guess at those limits. A surgeon can measure and know the best way and procedure to use to change your body. There are several different incisions used to perform a mastopexy, but once again which incision is best for you needs to be determined by the numbers.
The most common mastopexy incision looks something like this. An incision around the aureole vertically down and then the length of the inframammory fold. Often it’s called an anchor or an inverted T. Now, there are shorter versions that’ll look something like this, that they call a vertical or a lollipop and then this one, a doughnut or a benelli. All of these incisions should be discussed thoroughly with your surgeon after measurements have been taken, because the one that’s right for you will certainly be determined specifically by your breast.
I know it’s tempting to choose a smaller incision sometimes, but don’t choose it just because it’s shorter, because a lot of the times if you really need to lift a breast and you choose a smaller incision, it’s almost certain to backfire on you. The incision for a mastopexy is usually a very acceptable trade-off if you truly need a lift then your not very likely to worry about the incision later. Look at what it did for this breast, a lift alone, just look at this breast and the change that it made in this breast in just four weeks. This is a before and a four week post op.
I know it’s hard, if you need a lift, then you’ve probably always been pretty busty, so it’s kind of hard to imagine not having the same type of look or certainly being smaller, but there are certain things you simply can’t change and neither can we. So, it’s best that you know what we know so we can all be on a level playing field and understand what all of our options are, before you decide to make a change to your body, or simply hope that a procedure will do what you want it to do.
The moral of this battle, between lift and implant, is that they should never be on the same battlefield at all. There is a type of breast that needs a lift, there is a type of breast that needs an implant. Rarely, is there a type of breast that can handle both successfully.
So once again, it all comes back to the numbers, it comes back to the measurements. When you measure you can be confident in your decisions to change your body. I hope the information that we discussed today will be helpful as you try to decide which operation is best for you; a breast lift or a breast implant.
Now I know some of you out there are going, wait, wait, wait, wait, what about a breast lift and a breast implant. Well now, that’s a whole subject, a whole video in and of itself and that’s what we’re going to talk about next time. If you found the information in this video helpful, please subscribe to our channel and tell your friends and you can always find out more at thebestbreast.com.