The type of incision most commonly used for this surgery resembles a “key-hole” pattern. (In select cases, depending on the size and shape of a woman’s breast, alternative types of incision patterns may be employed.) The nipple is usually left attached to a pedicle of breast tissue underlying it and placed onto a higher position on the breast. Thus, a breast lift is incorporated as part of the procedure. (In unusual cases where a woman has an exceptionally long breast, it may be necessary to reposition the nipple using a skin grafting technique.) The surrounding excess breast tissue and skin are removed.
Using this technique it is possible to make an enlarged or stretched-out areola more circular and proportionate to the size of the breast. When the incisions are closed, the resultant scar resembles that of an “anchor shape,” with there being a circular incision around the areola, a small vertical incision from the bottom of the areola to the crease, and a longer horizontal incision along the crease underneath the breast. The scars usually fade well over time, but certainly there is no expectation that they will be invisible. Therefore, a woman must take into consideration the degree of discomfort she is having and the need for the surgery in view of the potential for permanent scarring on the breast. Also there is a small risk of loss of sensitivity in parts of the breast, including the nipple, though the vast majority of patients tend to maintain their sensation.
This surgery is performed under general anesthesia, and most patients will be able to go home the same day as the procedure. It is wise to plan a 2-3 week period out of work for re-cooperation, and we advise waiting a minimum of 6 weeks after surgery before resumption of any aerobic exercise or strenuous activity.