Excessive breast drooping is a problem for many women. Breast drooping is especially a problem after pregnancy or multiple pregnancies. Significant weight gain or weight loss can also lead to breast drooping. Some women just need some lift, others need a lift with some restoration of volume or breast size. Some even need a lift and breast reduction. We can now use the SmartLipo laser as a tool to help in all these areas.
How Can a Liposuction Tool Like the SmartLipo Laser Help with Breast Drooping?
The primary advantage of SmartLipo is the ability of the laser to tighten the skin. Studies have shown that SmartLipo can give as much as 30% greater tightening of the skin than liposuction alone. The SmartLipo laser has also been used without liposuction to tighten the skin and reduce cellulite. Added to the breast, it can tighten and lift the skin above the nipple to lift the nipple to a better position. We also use the SmartLipo on the lower breast when needed to tighten the skin there and lift as well. The scarring from SmartLipo is minimal and recovery and potential complications much less than traditional breast reduction surgery.
What is Standard Breast Reduction Surgery?
Standard breast reduction surgically removes the extra skin and breast tissue. Most commonly, a lollipop or anchor scar is the final result of a breast reduction procedure.
Frequently, a breast implant is added at the time of breast reduction. The implant can give added volume and lift while supporting the breast and preventing future droop. Breast reduction surgery is typically done in a surgical center or hospital. The surgery usually takes several hours. Recovery usually takes several weeks.
Advantages of Standard Breast Reduction Surgery:
The advantages of standard breast reduction surgery from an experienced surgeon include:
- Significant lifting of the breast and nipple
- A large amount of control over post-operative breast size
- A highly predictable result on size and nipple position
- Ability to reduce nipple/areola size when needed
What is SmartLipo Breast Surgery?
SmartLipo breast surgery is a minimally invasive procedure done under local anesthesia. SmartLipo breast surgery can be done with any of three options:
- SmartLipo laser combined with fat transfer to the breast to increase size and lift
- SmartLipo laser alone for lifting of the breast when no size change is desired
- SmartLipo laser combined with breast liposuction for lift and breast reduction
How is SmartLipo Breast Reduction Performed:
SmartLipo breast reduction is done using two or three small incisions:
The decision between two or three incisions is dependent upon which of the three above options is used. The procedure is done in the doctor’s office and typically takes 1-2 hours. Recovery is minimal with typically some mild bruising. Some results can be seen in as soon as 3 months, but final results are not seen for 12 months. When reduction is also done, improvement may be seen as late as 15 months.
Advantages of SmartLipo Breast Reduction:
Advantage of SmartLipo breast surgery include:
- Minimal scarring
- Mild recovery
- Rare complications
- Ability to lift only, lift and enlarge or lift and reduce
- No hospital stay
- Lower cost
Drawbacks of SmartLipo Breast Reduction:
The drawbacks of SmartLipo breast surgery include:
- Less total lifting of nipple/areola than standard surgery
- Less predictable lifting results for the entire breast
- Less predictable volume results
- At least 12 months before final results are seen
Many women may prefer standard lifting/reduction surgery because if its high predictability. However, for those who are reluctant to do standard breast reduction surgery or who need some lift but not enough to justify a large procedure, SmartLipo breast surgery represents an excellent option.
How do the Results from Standard and SmartLipo Breast Lift/Reduction Compare?
Using SmartLipo or other laser surgical tools for breast lift and reduction is a relatively new technique. Since laser breast surgery is new, there are no published studies. However, information is available from centers around the United States that keep statistics on their patients. From their data, the amount of nipple/areola lift from laser breast surgery is about 60% of the lift seen from a standard breast reduction surgery. On average, the nipple goes up 1-1.5 inches with laser breast lift. The amount of reduction varies greatly based on the need. In general, we will usually reduce the breast with liposuction a little less when using SmartLipo than with standard breast reduction.
What Can be Done to Further Enhance my SmartLipo Breast Surgery?
Good question, we get asked in a lot. The cutting edge in skin tightening is to add radiofrequency skin tightening procedures early in recovery. We are now starting to begin these treatments at about week 3 postoperatively. We use a device called Legend. Legend feels like a warm gentle massage. Legend takes about 20 minutes on the breast and requires no recovery. We recommend 4-6 treatments during the recovery period. An additional 4-6 treatments at about 9-12 months should also help give lift to the breast.
In addition, fat transfer to the breast can be done after about 6 months. This can add to the volume and the lift without an implant. If fat transfer was done initially, this would be a touch-up procedure. If reduction liposuction was done, it is best to wait until about 12 months before deciding to add volume.