Breasts play a significant role in how a woman perceives herself. Breast enhancement–whether that means breast augmentation, a breast lift, a breast reduction or a combination, gives the patient a heightened sense of confidence, a more balanced figure and a boost to their femininity. If you are one of the many women considering breast surgery, Dr. Lee will help you explore all your options to choose the right procedure for you.
“I see women in consultation every day that are self-conscious about their breasts. They may feel that their breasts are too small, too large, or just not as pretty as they once were. Delivering great results with breast surgery is not as straightforward as it may seem. Whether a patient is seeking breast augmentation, a breast lift, or breast reduction, there are many variables that need to be considered. There is no replacement for experience. I have years of high volume aesthetic breast experience that allow me to perform the operations at a very high level. Creating beautiful breasts is one of my favorite things about being a plastic surgeon. That’s because I have the ability to help patients achieve their goals and improve the shape and size of their breasts. It’s truly amazing to see the transformation that can take place.” — Michael Lee, M.D.
To reduce pendulous breasts or large breasts that are bothersome, a breast reduction surgery might be the procedure you are looking for. “Some of the happiest post-operative patients are those who elect a breast reduction. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard patients say they wished they would have had the surgery years before” according to Dr. Lee. Patients report some of the breast reduction benefits are noticeable immediately after surgery. Less neck and back pain on the drive home is not uncommon when the discomfort resulted from excessively large breast.
A breast reduction is similar to a lift. The difference is we are removing a significant amount of tissue and skin. Breast reductions are considered functional. Very large, pendulous breasts often begin in puberty and persist. Physical problems may include pain in the neck, back and shoulders; rashes in the crease of the breast and poor posture. Women with very large breasts have trouble finding proper clothing and are unable to participate in activities others take for granted. Prospective patients often speak of being self-conscious and inhibited. By reducing and reshaping the breasts, less weight is being carried and a more active lifestyle is possible. The objective is to bring a sense of proportion to the patient. While it’s not uncommon for a patient to ask that their JJ cup size be reduced to a C cup size, breast characteristics and nipple location will determine the final size of the breast since enough tissue must be preserved to make a pretty breast.
When seeking a surgeon to perform their breast reduction —a patient should only consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Dr. Lee is a double-board certified Plastic Surgeon with years of high-volume aesthetic and reconstructive breast surgery experience. Over the years, Dr. Lee has performed hundreds of breast augmentations, breast lifts, and breast reductions. It is this experience that patients should seek out when selecting a surgeon to take care of them.
Because of the popularity of breast procedures, there are many practitioners offering breast procedures without the training or experience necessary to deliver the best result. It can extremely difficult to perform a revision surgery to correct a situation where the tissue was damaged, the nipple was compromised or scars are conspicuous. “Getting the correct procedure done the first time is very important. Choose a surgeon with whom you find it easy to communicate so you are confident you have the right surgeon for the right surgery to achieve your goals” advises Dr. Lee.
A note about recovery: You must be willing to firmly respect and agree to all post-operative guidelines, especially those regarding exercise routines, strength training and lifting. Dr. Lee wants you to have the very best results possible and following these instructions are an important part of the process. These instructions are instrumental in that result.
Be certain that your surgeon is experienced and formally training in breast reduction surgery. Familiarize yourself with your own asymmetries and appreciate anatomic parameters such as difference in breast size and shape. Understand that while rare, it is possible for your breast tissue to regrow. “Should you need another surgery in the future, there is value to finding a breast surgeon who can follow you throughout your lifetime and take care of you,” says Dr. Lee
A well done breast reduction takes longer than either an augmentation or a breast lift. Because it is an operation sought to relieve symptoms caused by heavy breasts (back and neck pain) it is classified as functional. Dr. Lee considers every breast reduction aesthetic as well as functional. It is a philosophical point of view—one that involves both time and technique. The time he takes in the operating room is evident in the final result which not only makes the breasts smaller, but “enhanced” as well. “My design takes more time and thought but spares the patient from having a scar that goes towards the middle of their chest. Scars in the middle of the chest are more visible and occasionally don’t heal as well. I think the extra time spent in surgery is worth the result I get.”
Dr. Lee spends as much time as it takes in his breast reductions to be sure they are not simply smaller, but aesthetically pleasing as well. Type and location of the incisions are discussed at consultation and are dependent upon anatomy. Incisions are typically made around the areola, vertically down from the areola to the breast crease and may also include a horizontal component at the breast crease. If at all possible, Dr. Lee will do a shorter, vertical incision. This technique takes more time in surgery, but in Dr. Lee’s experience, creates a prettier breast. Excess fat, skin and tissue are removed through these incisions and the nipple is repositioned to match the new breast shape. Although the nipple is relocated, it remains attached to the blood vessels and nerves in order to optimize sensation and appearance. Liposuction can accompany a breast reduction procedure to further sculpt the chest and underarm area though this portion is considered aesthetic.
Patients often ask, “How do I know if I need a lift?” It is very rare that a “virgin” breast would need a lift unless a congenital abnormality exists. However, the majority of women who have had children or have experienced significant weight loss usually require a breast lift for the prettiest result. During pregnancy and nursing, the skin and tissue stretches out, but doesn’t necessarily rebound. Nipples descend and breast volume decreases. A lift essentially raises the nipple up and tightens the surrounding tissue. An implant will not lift a breast that has significant droop (ptosis.) Placing an implant in a breast that is droopy, with a nipple that is below the mammary fold will simply create a larger, droopy breast. Additionally, there is no such thing as a scarless lift, so it is important that tradeoffs are discussed and agreed upon. My years of experience doing breast lifts give me the confidence to offer a wide variety of lift options including those that use minimal scarring techniques. A breast lift with an implant creates a beautiful result because I can sculpt and shape the breast for an ideal outcome. It is a very artistic operation.
Historically, manufacturers recommend changing out implants about every 10 years. Today’s implants are much more cohesive and made better than ever. As a breast surgeon, my point of view is, it’s all about long term follow up. I make it clear that implants are not lifetime devices and at some point, they will need to be exchanged. Sometimes the devices fail. Sometimes a patient wants a new size or a lift as time goes on. Once I operate on someone, I plan to take care of that patient for life. Annual visits are important to be sure there are no obvious changes in either the implant, breast, or the patient’s desires. It provides my patient and me peace of mind.
Fat grafting has enjoyed quite a bit of popularity in recent years. We now have a better understanding of fat behavior and survival than we’ve had in years past. However, it still remains more of an adjunct procedure and is reserved for select cases. The reason is that fat grafting is simply less predictable in terms of results. Not all of the fat placed survives, and the survival is often related to an individual’s breast characteristics. In patients seeking fat grafting to increase their breast size, a discussion during consultation on the benefits and down sides are necessary to decide on the best course of action.
Lots of thought goes into an implant recommendation which is why you want a surgeon who is familiar with what each implant can accomplish for your particular desires. There are literally hundreds of implants on the market. The size, shape, filling, and projection options offer a veritable supermarket from which to choose. It is good to keep in mind that it is a vastly different process than choosing a bra. Very specific measurements must be taken of your chest. Your tissue characteristics are also important. In other words, the type of implant is predicated on a host of variables, not the least of which are your expectations and the recommendation of the surgeon once the consultation and physical exam are complete.
Contact our office to schedule a private consultation with Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Michael Lee. This is the next step to determine which Park Cities Cosmetic Surgery procedure is the best option, giving you the desired outcome after surgery. Dr. Michael Lee will spend time with you to learn about your medical history and your expected outcome for surgery, as well as explaining the procedure in detail and answering all of your questions.