Dr. Lawrence N. Gray
Atlantic Plastic Surgery Center
Portsmouth, New Hampshire

The number of women choosing breast lifts has increased by 70% since the year 2000, according to new statistics released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, ASPS. Although breast implants remain the most popular cosmetic surgery for women, breast lifts are growing at twice the rate of breast augmentation surgeries. In 2000, less than 53,000 breast lifts were performed by ASPS member surgeons. In 2013,the number of breast lift surgeries performed grew to more than 90,000. In 2013, more than 290,000 breast augmentation surgeries were performed by ASPS members, up 23% from 2000.

Breast lift surgery, ormastopexy, elevates the breasts by removing excess skin and by tightening surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour. A woman?s breasts often change over time. They can lose their firmness and youthful appearance and the areola can become enlarged with age.These breast changes and loss of skin elasticity are most often from pregnancy and breastfeeding, weight gain or loss, aging, and hereditary factors, such as skin elasticity or amount of breast tissue. A breast lift can correct this giving a woman a younger look by lifting the breast to the position they were in when she was in her teens and twenties.

The surprising growth rate of breast lifts surgeries is due to a number of factors. Plastic surgery has become much more familiar to us all. People are aware that it can help them feel better about how they look and are much more comfortable with the concept of making physical improvements. The increasing use of 3D imagers can show patients that implants alone may not correct sagging or nipple position. If the patient has sagging, the 3D imager will demonstrate how the nipple will still be low or point downward even with implants if a breast lift is needed. Another possible reason for the increase are more choices for types of breast lifts, which can result in smaller scars than in past years. As smaller incision techniques become popular, plastic surgeons are able to offer alternatives less scarring, making a breast lift much more appealing.

“Here at Atlantic Plastic Surgery Center, Dr. Brannon Claytor and I performed a combined total of 52 breast lift surgeries in 2013, up from 40 the year before,” commented Dr. Gray. “More women are coming to us who’ve had children, whose breast volume is decreased and who are experiencing sagging. We are also seeing increasing numbers of older patients who often have more skin laxity. A breast lift is good for patients of all ages who have sagging breasts. Often, women will have a breast lift at the same time as an augmentation procedure. I find that women who do both procedures together are usually between the ages of 35 and 60. The imager helps patients visualize that an implant alone will not achieve the look they want and they will need to have a lift to improve nipple position.”

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