Massive weight gain and loss can leave breasts far from ideal. Fortunately, plastic surgery can do much to improve them. There is no single breast procedure ideal for all women who have lost large amounts of weight.
In most situations, a lift is necessary because heavy breasts tend to fall. And after weight loss, breasts tend to flatten and lose projection. For those who also need more volume, an implant can also be placed. If a patient’s breasts are still too large and heavy, a breast reduction can be done. And for the lucky few whose breasts are not droopy but are simply too small, an augmentation alone can be the solution.
The frustrating aspect of breast surgery on massive weight loss patients is that frequently—though by no means always—there is substantial degradation in the quality of the breast skin. It frequently thins and develops stretch marks. Such skin barely can hold up the weight of the patient’s own breast tissue, and adding the weight of an implant to it can cause stretch to occur at a faster rate. This needs to be recognized and the surgical plan needs to take this into consideration.
Men and women who have lost large amounts of weight often have “barrel-shaped” rib cages, which tend to push breasts to the side. A good surgical plan takes this into account.
Some women who have lost a great deal of weight have folds of skin going from beyond the side of their breasts towards their back. Sometimes this laxity extends up towards the arms. Dr. Teitelbaum is adept with designing breast operations for weight loss patients that will improve these areas. There are procedures that remove this roll if it extends all the way to the back, and other procedures remove that excess skin along with excess skin in the arms.