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How do I determine if a breast lift is needed?

Many women come into my practice desiring youthful breast contour procedures but are unclear whether they need a breast lift or not. In an oversimplified way, breast lift surgery is needed when a woman desires a more lifted or perkier appearance of the breast tissue. Ptosis, or droopiness, occurs when there is a mismatch between the outer covering of the breasts, that is the skin and nipple areolar complex with respect to the inner breast, which is the gland and fat. Too much skin and not enough glands and fat under the skin result in sagging breasts. This can be corrected in cases where there is minimal or a low degree of ptosis by a small breast implant or augmentation if the patient also desires to have a larger volume. Ladies who have a relatively large volume of breasts and are happy with their size when not in a padded bra, benefit most from pure breast lift techniques, as this reduces and reshapes the excess breast skin and gives the newly shaped breasts a more rounded breast profile without altering the volume. Many women will fall in between and desire slightly larger breasts, which can be accomplished with breast augmentation, however, the implant that they choose will not be adequate to fill the skin and nipple-areolar complex envelope or remedy the breast sag. So, they will still also need a breast lift procedure. The intersection of breast augmentation, breast lift, and breast lift augmentation together is a topic best addressed in a one-on-one consultation with a plastic surgeon.

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