Plastic Surgery is an ever-evolving specialty that continues to make improvements in the management of deformities. Breast Ptosis or sagginess is a common situation that many women develop after childbirth, weight loss or it may have been present throughout their adult life. The basic problems are that the nipples are too low and there is too much skin for the volume of breast present. Thus the breasts are too low and sometimes elongated. Many women have a normal amount of tissue. It is just in the wrong place on their chest.
There are many techniques of Breast Lift (Mastopexy) and the specific one chosen depends on the anatomy of the patient and the experience of the surgeon. Some patients desire the volume of the breast to be reduced at the same time. The other name of this procedure is a Breast Reduction. I tell my patients that the only difference between a Breast Lift and a Breast Reduction is that in one you also remove some breast tissue along with repositioning the nipple and removing extra skin.
In contrast, many patients desire to increase their size at the same time as the Breast Lift. In the vast majority of these patients a breast implant is utilized to enhance the size while the shape is improved with the Breast Lift. Some patients would rather forego the implant if possible.
Enter the Lejour Verticle Mastopexy. Madeline Lejour is a Plastic Surgeon from Belgium who described an operation where she actually reshaped the breast with internal suturing and fixed the tissue higher up on the chest with additional sutures. In certain modifications flaps of tissue are fashioned and suture fixed to reshape the breast to give upper pole “perkiness.” Lejour’s contribution was a great advance over the traditional skin-only “anchor” Breast Lifts as they tended to last longer and required less of a scar (Lolli-pop vs. Anchor). I have been doing these procedures since 1996 and have been very happy with their long-term results.
One wonderful advantage of Lejour Breast Lifts is that they allow the surgeon to pull the saggy tissue that ends up below the armpit back onto the chest and become part of the breast volume. In doing so, I have actually been accused of putting a breast implant into a patient (who didn’t want one!). She was actually angry until the healing process was complete and she noticed she appeared bigger with an attractive shape.
I noticed years ago that Lejour Breast Lifts are capable of simulating an augmentation in some patients. Since you are using the patient’s own tissue to get this effect, you could call it an “Auto Augmentation” (self-augmentation).
Well it appears the latest “New Breakthrough” in Breast Enhancement is the procedure called “Breast Lift with Auto Augmentation.” Although certain surgeons claim it is new, you now know that the technique has actually been used since the middle 1990’s. There have been several well-known authors that have described various modifications to the original techniques and some improvements have been made. Surgeons such as myself (and many other excellent board certified Plastic Surgeons across the country) have incorporated these modifications as appropriate for our patients. It’s not a new technique, just a new name and marketing term.
In fact, many patients are simply not candidates for this “new” advance and would be better served with an implant along with their Breast Lift.
The best option is one that is agreed upon by the patient and her experienced Plastic Surgeon. Plastic Surgeons with credentials and experience similar to mine are most likely to be well versed in all the techniques of Breast Enhancement including Breast Implantation, Breast Lifts and Reductions. My credentials include Board Certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery as well as membership in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. If you are not seeking Breast Enhancement in the Sacramento Valley, these credentials are a good place to start when choosing a surgeon for Breast Enhancement.
As a final note, always beware of “News-flash Breakthrough” procedures that may be discussed on Television shows or found on the internet. All it takes to be seen on national TV (even on Oprah. I know, say it isn’t so) is a good public relations firm and money. The majority of these promotions are “rebranding” of a procedure well known to experienced Plastic Surgeons or, unfortunately, simply too good to be true. I can tell you honestly that the majority of state-of-the-art and ethical Plastic Surgeons are too busy performing surgery to find time for in-your-face promotions. Your best bet is to discuss your options with an experienced Plastic Surgeon who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.