Over time, the effects of gravity and the loss of the skin's natural elasticity begin to have an effect on the appearance of a woman's breasts. These factors, combined with pregnancies and nursing, will often cause the breasts to lose their youthful shape and firmness. A breast lift, or mastopexy, is performed to return youthful shape and lift to breasts that have sagged as a result of weight loss, pregnancy, loss of the skin's natural elasticity or simply the effects of gravity. The procedure can also reduce the size of the areola (the darker skin surrounding the nipple).
The traditional technique for this procedure entails an incision that encircles the areola, continues vertically down the breast, and traces the inframammary fold. The resultant breast shape and lines of closure will be aesthetically pleasing, and the breast shape conical and rounded, not boxy or square.
A different approach to this procedure is referred to as the vertical mammaplasty. This technique was modified by Madame Madeline Lejour, M.D., a Belgian plastic surgeon, in 1989. The vertical mammaplasty, or Lejour technique, as it is often referred to, entails an incision around the areola with a vertical limb only. There is no horizontal incision beneath the breast mound, and liposuction at the breast base is used to improve overall contour. This distinguishing feature, as well as the creation of a final breast shape, which is consistently conical, make this technique, in select individuals, preferable to the traditional approach described above. Dr. Walden will determine if this procedure is appropriate for you at your consultation.
Dr. Walden performs both the traditional technique and the vertical mammaplasty. In her opinion, the vertical mammaplasty, for appropriate patients, is preferred because it leaves less scarring. The procedure can be performed alone or in combination with breast augmentation.