By Janette Ewen
On a Friday night out with the girls, my svelte and sexy friend Sonia* announced she was getting a breast lift. I always thought breast lifts were for moms whose breasts sagged after breast feeding - not child-free thirtysomething singletons.
Sonia didn't want implants since she was already a C-cup; what she wanted was the breasts she had in her 20's: "taut and perky, a perfect C!" Instead of bulbous breasts, a lift would giver her breasts a natural shape, look and feel. Sonia's realization made me reconsider my own breasts.
As a 34B I had considered implants in my 20's, but after seeing the results of several friend's surgeries (round, huge breasts - it was the height of Baywatch popularity, after all), I decided implants weren't right for me. I wanted a natural look, so that people would comment on my figure, not my implants. Now, in my 30's, my breasts had started to sag and my nipples pointed downward. Wearing a strappy camisole without a bra was out of the question. Could a lift work for me?
To get some answers, I booked an appointment with Dr. Mitchell Brown, a plastic, reconstruction and cosmetic surgeon based in Toronto. He explained the variety of options available to help women create fuller breast - implant, lift the breast with implant combination - and the ideal candidate for each procedure.
If the breast lacks fullness but the nipple has not moved below the fold of the breast, a cohesive gel implant is an effective solution to add volume and improve proportion and projection. This surgery required little recovery time and leaves minimal scarring. Designed to mirror the natural aesthetics and appearance of the breast, the cohesive gel implant increased cleavage and breast size without producing undesirable and unnatural upper breast fullness (a.k.a the bowling-ball effect). "Cohesive gel implants are available in a wide variety of sizes," says Dr. Brown. "And because of their shape they evenly and naturally fill the breast." As well, with cohesive gel's rough texture and flexible substance, there's no risk of leakage, rippling or shifting.
A breast lift is an ideal option if your breasts are at least a C-cup and the nipple has moved below the breast fold. The procedure removes underlying breast tissue and moves the nipple up to a more central location on the breast. Scarring can occur around the nipple and under the breast, but laser treatments and creams can reduce the appearance of scars. Dr. Brown explained that since I didn't have much breast tissue in the upper breast area, a lift would leave me half a cup size smaller and without much cleavage.
Implant + Lift
The combination of a lift and a cohesive gel implant is ideal for women whose breasts lack fullness and if the nipple has moved below the breast fold. Excess skin is removed and the nipple is placed higher (still leaving scarring) but the cohesive gel implant acts as a support system, adding fullness to the upper breast region and providing the entire breast with a natural teardrop shape. "Patients will need to increase their size slightly (minimum half a cup) with this procedure," says Dr. Brown.
The ideal breast-lift candidate isn't determined by age, body size, weight or number of children under her breast. The type of augmentation a woman undergoes depends on the breast size and amount of tissue. Sonia's full breasts and substantial breast tissue allowed her to get a lift and go bra-free afterward. For me, a little implant with my lift was just what the doctor ordered.
Price of a perk
Implants Saline: $5,000 - $7,000 Cohesive gel implants: $7,000 - $9,000
Breast lift: $5,000 - $6,500
Implant and lift: $7,500 - $11,000 (depending on the amount of lift and type of implant)
*Name has been changed
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