A recent report by the National Clearinghouse for Plastic Surgery shows that sine the year 2000, the number of Breast Lifts (or “Mastopexy” as they are referred to) performed in the United States has grown at a rate of 70% per year or twice the rate of Breast Augmentation. And while Breast Augmentation is still the number one Plastic Surgery procedure performed, the demand for lifts has caused our profession to take notice. In 2013 alone, ASPS members performed over 90,000 breast lifts.
So what accounts for this growing demand? In my opinion, there is probably not one single factor responsible for this growth but, instead, several which have led to a change in what women are coming to see us for.
First, the attitude regarding Mommy Makeover procedures appears to be changing. We are seeing a large number of young moms (generally in their 30’s and 40’s) who are not happy with the appearance of the breasts following childbirth. Whereas, in years past, it was thought acceptable to portray stretch marks and drooping breasts as almost a badge of honor after pregnancy, women no longer share this thinking. While they are happy mothers, they are not happy with what pregnancy rendered to their breasts. And, they are more educated now than ever and realize that they have options. This fact alone has probably more to do with this growing trend than an actual change in technology since the breast lift procedure hasn’t really changed much over the last 10 years. For all intensive purposes, the procedure itself has undergone more subtle revisions as compared to other surgical procedures such as body contouring where we have seen a huge influx of technological advancements that have changed not only how we perform these procedures but also how our patients are healing and the results they are seeing. The same is not true with the breast lift procedure. And while the breast implants commonly used in combination with lifts have changed over time, the actual lifting procedure really has not.
Coincident with this changing attitude among young moms, there is also an expansion of online educational resources which have allowed this same population to not only visualize what can be accomplished with the breast lifting procedure but also specifics of the procedure and how truly easy the recovery from it is. This improved knowledge base has potentially led to a more reassured consumer and a client more eager to move forward.
Finally, over the years we have seen a growing acceptance of Plastic Surgery worldwide and with that has come a more proactive consumer. Whereas in years past I was listening to my patients justify why they were undergoing these elective procedures, I am now hearing a more confident and determined patient base who make no excuses for their decision to undergo breast refinement other than the fact that they would feel better with it. These patients are not vain nor are they looking to change anything inside. They simply realize that the external appearance of their breasts no longer matches how they feel internally.
Another group of patients are those who have seen changes to their breasts as a result of the aging process. But like the young moms, they too have changed in their determination to seek breast enhancement. They are older but are leading active lives. They may be dating and wish to spruce up their appearance to help boost their self-esteem. But the key factor here is the fact that they are not afraid to age…they simply wish to age gracefully and with a little more control over the process.
I would suggest that these are a few of the main reasons behind this explosive growth in popularity of the breast lift procedure but I would add that there are undoubtedly other factors which we have yet to realize. The fact remains that the Breast Lift is an effective option for addressing lax or dropping breasts and the results obtained when performed by an experienced, can be impressive. So how do you choose a surgeon qualified to perform your Breast Lift procedure? I suggest looking for the following:
- Board Certification in Plastic Surgery
- A practice focused in the area of breast enhancement
- Extensive experience in both primary (first-time) breast procedures as well as secondary revisions
As I tell my patients, it is far easier and far less costly to have surgery performed right the first time than it is to have it fixed it the second time around. I welcome your comments, feedback, and insights.
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