Time, gravity, pregnancy, and breast-feeding all take their toll on the female breast. The youthful and natural shape of the breast loses volume and begins to sag over time. In fact, for each additional baby a woman has, her breasts can become less full and firm. Over time, many women can even develop flat, or apparently empty breasts sometimes referred to as “pancake breasts” but medically the term is “breast ptosis.” Luckily, there are several plastic surgery solutions to this and a woman suffering from breast ptosis can get her “pre-baby” breasts back surgically.
The Breast Lift
For many years plastic surgeons have lifted breasts (referred to as a mastopexy). The most common breast lift involves creating incisions on the breast, removing extra skin, and re-suturing the remaining skin tighter. This leaves what is known as an anchor scar, so called because the pattern of incisions that are made resemble the shape of an anchor. There is a circular scar around the areola, a vertical scar down the middle of the breasts from the areola to the breast fold, and a horizontal scar in the breast fold. Depending on the patient and the degree of ptosis, Dr. Kaczynski will have three options for performing the breast lift. The Anchor Method is for the most severe, then the “J” Breast Lift, named because the resulting scar is in the shape of a “J,” and the Benneli Breast Lift, otherwise known as a Circular Scar Breast Lift.
In Comes Dr. Benneli and the Benneli Breast Lift
In the mid-1980s a French doctor named Dr. Louis Benelli developed a Circular Scar Lift which eliminated all the scars except the circle. I was fortunate enough to be studying in France at the time and learned this technique directly from Dr. Benelli himself. Basically, a circle or doughnut of skin—and only skin—is removed from around the nipple. The nipple always stays attached. The breast is then both lifted and tightened underneath the skin. A purse string suture is then placed in the doughnut incision and tightened. This lifts the breast and tightens the skin all in one move. Since most women lose volume with age and breast-feeding, an implant is also often used with this particular breast lift technique, returning the breast to its more natural volume, as well as position and shape. Technically, this is referred to as a breast lift with breast augmentation and is a longer surgery than a simple breast lift.
The Benelli Breast Lift (also known as concentric mastopexyor donut lift or circular scar breast lift) is revolutionary because it eliminates 90% of the scarring resulting from previous techniques. Those previous, and more scarring procedures understandably discouraged many women from ever getting a breast lift. The scarring from the Benelli Breast Lift is so very minor, and as a result, so much more discreet. For most women, the scars are essentially invisible after about six months. But not everyone is a candidate for the Benneli breast lift, the amount of breast ptosis is the deciding factor and the only way to determine this is to have a consultation with Dr. Kaczynski to find out if a Benneli breast lift is the solution for you.
The Benelli Breast Lift procedure also allows alterations to the areola if desired. During the surgery the areola can be made smaller, or reshaped, or even moved to the left or right. For those who are candidates, the Benelli Breast Lift is an almost ideal operation: minimal scarring for maximum lift and fullness, all done in one simple procedure.
A breast lift, or mastopexy, can be done alone or as part of a series of procedures often referred to as a “mommy makeover” which may include Vaser Hi Def liposuction, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), and breast augmentation with breast implants.
The following breast lift before and after pictures show examples of the different types of breast lifts: