Sagging breasts can be improved in one of three ways. By lifting the breast to a more youthful, rejuvenated position, a patient can maintain her current state of breast volume. Additionally, if the patient is unhappy with the amount of volume in her breasts, an implant prosthesis can be inserted into the breast for a fuller, more voluptuous look. A breast lift and breast augmentation can be combined if the patient is unsatisfied with both the fullness of her breasts and the sagging appearance of her skin.
The empty sagging breast is the classic lady who comes along to you, usually post-babies or post-weight loss. There are some big questions to ask with the empty sagging breast. First of all, is the patient happy with their volume? If the patient is happy with their volume, and the breast is sagging, then we need to do a breast lift. We can lift that breast up, bring it back into a more youthful, rejuvenated position and shape by resuturing gland and getting rid of excess skin, but leaving you with the same volume essentially. Just removing skin, but they stay with the same volume, but the breast is lifted to more youthful shape. If they’re lacking volume, and they’re a bit saggy, it’s possible under certain circumstance that we can use prosthesis to fill up that envelope and fill out the emptiness. Obviously, we need to use a prosthesis of appropriate size. It will get to a point where there is so much excess envelope, or skin, that the prosthesis would have to be ridiculously big to fill it up, or a size that’s intolerable to the patient. So when you get to that circumstance you need to do both lift the breast with surgery and put as few scars on the breast to do that, and use a breast augmentation as well, a breast prosthesis, to add the extra volume to the breast to get the desired result. This all goes around the key to assessing this problem is to find out which of those the patient fits into. Obviously, there’s different, again, patients have individual desires about the shape they really want, they’re prepared to tolerate, or etc. But this is basically the essences of assessing the empty saggy breast. It’s recognized with this surgery that, in certain circumstances, this is a medical procedure. Certainly, there is very strict criteria to be met by Medicare. Basically, if your youngest child is between one and seven years of age and your nipple is below the inframammary fold then there are Medicare items applicable. Unfortunately, if you fall outside those criteria, there are not Medicare items applicable. But certainly, you note that that group of people, then there are Medicare items that can very significantly decrease the potential cost of the surgery. It’s usually surgery which is day surgery. It’s usually tolerated very well. The recovery is usually quick and good. There’s not a large functional down time associated with the surgery. But with all surgery we do, there’s really a matter of individual assessment of the patient. Both of their physical characteristics and the personal desires of the patient and what they’re trying to achieve.