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.
A breast lift, also known as a mastopexy, is designed to restore a higher position of breasts that may have dropped. It can be done with or without implants. Dr. Lee points out, the term “breast lift” is often misunderstood. Technically, the breast is not being placed higher on the chest wall, so is not a literal translation. What a lift accomplishes is a nipple that is usually made smaller and placed at a higher location while simultaneously removing excess skin and tissue below the fold and shaping and tightening the existing breast. This rejuvenation of the breast provides a more youthful appearance. Because we are taking out tissue and loose skin, the overall breast size will be relatively smaller. A breast lift will elevate and reshape your breasts, but will not add volume. This is primarily why the vast majority of patients seeking a breast lift also want an implant, which gives the breast fullness. A lift with an implant creates a prettier breast mound, better position, more cleavage and an aesthetic shape. Patients may choose to forgo an implant, but must be willing to accept breast tissue settling over time making the upper pole of the breast less full.
When seeking a surgeon to help them make the desired changes to their breast —regardless if it is a breast augmentation, a breast lift or a 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 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 mastopexy without the training or experience necessary to deliver the best result. It is a lot more challenging to perform a revision surgery to correct a situation where tissue was damaged, the nipple is compromised or scars are conspicuous. “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 strictly 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.
Not all breast lift techniques are the same. There are different ways to lift the nipple and also to determine what tissue is removed. There are also different scar patterns. You will want to accomplish your goals with the least amount of scarring possible. Patients are encouraged to find a board-certified plastic surgeon that discusses not only their technique but explains why that is their technique. Is it because it is the easiest – or because it is a reliable means of delivering the very best result. Be sure you are told the tradeoffs of one technique over another and consult with surgeons who are experienced in more than one type of incision. The operation’s success is predicated not only on your anatomy, but the doctor’s ability to choose the best technique. Also, it is smart to consider the differences between having a breast lift with and without an implant.
Dr. Lee believes that the goal should be the most aesthetic breast with the least amount of scar creation. Dr. Lee’s priorities with a breast lift is to perform the surgery with the smallest, shortest scar possible while delivering an outcome that meets your expectations. He also considers it imperative that each patient understands the difference in results when doing a lift with or without implants. In performing a breast lift with implants, Dr. Lee strives for balance to make breasts beautifully shaped and as symmetric as possible.
Dr. Lee’s goal is to accomplish a breast lift with the least amount of scar possible. With years of experience performing highly sophisticated breast surgery he considers each case a unique opportunity to deliver the very best result while often using a short-scar approach. This short scar approach differs from the anchor incision in that it does not continue towards the middle of the chest. The incision typically goes around the nipple and then down to the breast fold. Larger breast may require and extension towards the side of the breast. Dr. Lee likens the procedure to tailoring clothes. You only make the incision in as much as you need to remove excess.
Anticipating breast lift (mastopexy) – 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.
Longevity of Implants – 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 vs. Implants – 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.
Latest implant types – 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.