Breast Lift After WLS
A breast lift, or mastopexy, is a common plastic surgery procedure which removes excess skin from the breasts and creates a fuller, perkier breast contour. With age and weight fluctuations, breasts tend to drop and lose fullness. This is especially true for women who have lost significant excess weight, like through bariatric surgery. Fat tissue contributes to breast fullness, so as we lose fat, breasts often become deflated. A breast lift offers a solution that removes excess skin on the breasts and shifts the existing breast tissue upward into a perkier, fuller breast mound, without adding volume to increase the size of the breast. When breasts begin to droop, many women seek to revive their breasts with a breast lift.
How Does it Work
During a breast lift, the plastic surgeon will evaluate the relationship of the breast tissue and the nipple placement. To restore a more youthful position and fullness, the surgeon will align the nipple with the inframammary fold, where the breast creases against the body. How much tissue is removed and how much remains will vary based on the goals you have discussed, the shape and size of your existing breasts, and the frame of your body.
Different plastic surgeons will use different techniques to rearrange the breast tissue and replace the nipple, but most often patients will have a scar around the nipple as well as along the crease beneath the breast and up to the nipple in the shape of an anchor which excess skin is removed. A small amount of breast volume is typically removed during a mastopexy, however much less than is taken during a breast reduction.
Other Breast Considerations
Natural breasts are a combination of glandular breast tissue and fat, but the combination and balance of each differs from patient to patient, meaning the density and fluctuations in volume with weight loss vary greatly from woman to woman. With significant weight loss, some women lose a lot of breast volume and wish to restore breast volume while others do not lose much volume and wish to reduce their breasts.
Women with very large, dense breasts may want to consider a procedure like a breast reduction to help relieve stress from their back and shoulders and help to eliminate irritation and pain caused by the breasts. You can also address how the breasts volume fits in proportion to the body. A breast reduction procedure may be covered by insurance in the case that documentation exists or can be obtained that details the persistence of health issues caused by the breast size. Each insurance company has their own guidelines available to subscribers to help them navigate the authorization process. Medical records may be requested by your insurance company that prove sustained weight loss, physical therapy for back, neck or shoulder pain, persistent infection beneath the breast, or other breast related ailments included in the policy guidelines. When insurance is involved, a specific amount of breast tissue may be required to be removed, which could differ from what you feel is ideal.
In the opposite circumstance, where the breast is more heavily fat tissue, weight loss can cause a greatly deflated look and a patient may wish to restore volume and lift the breast for a more youthful and famine look. To do this, a plastic surgeon can utilize a breast implant or a technique called autologous fat grafting to transfer a patient’s excess fat to the breast. Breast augmentation is frequently accompanied by a lift, when the patient’s goals warrant it.
Having an open discussion with a board certified plastic surgeon about your goals is always an important first step to achieving your best outcome. As with any plastic surgery procedure, it is ideal to have surgery when you have reached your goal weight and your weight has stabilized for at least 6 months. It is ideal that you do not plan to gain or lose weight after a plastic surgery procedure to achieve and maintain your best results.