An alternative to conventional breast lifting using Smartlipo has been practised by Dr Ayham Al-Ayoubi. He discusses his technique and results
As people age, body parts begin to sag or droop owing to the loss of elasticity in the skin. This can also occur with significant weight loss. Breasts are no exception - a woman's breasts often change over time, losing their youthful shape and firmness.
These changes can resuIt from pregnancy, breast-feeding, weight-loss, ageing, gravity and be heredity. Women often seek breast-lift treatments to restore the breasts' firm and youthful appearance. Breast lifts, also known as mastopexy, raise and firm the breasts by removi ng excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape the contour.
Masropcxy raises and reshapes sagging breasts by removing excess skin and repositioning the remaining tissue and nipples to a more perky position. If desired, the size of the areola can be reduced during the procedure. After the surgeon removes excess skin, the nipple and areola are shifted to a higher position, and the areola is usually reduced in size. The nipple and areola remain attached to the underlying tissue, preserving the sensation.
In some cases, breast implants may be inserted at the same time to give the breasts a fuller, rounded and natural appearance.
But masropexy does not significantly change the size or roundness of a patient's breasts. If the breasts are desired to look fuller or smaller, breast augmentation or breast reduction surgery should be a considered option. The abiIity to breast-feed may be preserved but it's not guaranteed.
There are many variations to the design of the incisions for breast lifting, such as the size and shape of a patient's breasts or even the use of breast implants to enlarge and fiII the breasts. These factors will help us as plastic surgeons to determine the best technique for the patient.
Fortunately, significant complications from breast lifting surgery are infrequent. Every year, many thousands of women undergo successful breast lifts without experiencing any major problems and are pleased with the results.
But no surgical procedure is completely risk-free. There are potential complications associated with any surgical procedure involving anaesthesia, including complications such as bleeding, infection, permanent or noticeable scarring and mismatched breasts. Some patients may complain of sores or numbness around the nipple areas.
Perhaps the most common risks are the quality of healing and patients' acceptance of the resulting scars. Undoubtedly, this is what led to the less-invasive laser breast-lift technique, which doesn't require knives or needles. Instead, it uses a combination of laser-lipolysis and lasers to lift and tighten.
The skin-tightening effect results from the heat of the laser reaching 38-40°. The technique does not require an overnight stay and produces minimal scarring. The variation of the quantity of fat that one can remove is between 50-100ml of fat from each side of each breast, giving a minimum of 3cm and a maximum of 8cm breast lift. This can be achieved in one session without the requirement of a revision treatment.
There are no limitations; however, I have to ensure myself that I do not remove too much fat tissue. I emphasise that the suction is used with care to ensure not too much fat tissue is removed so there are no indentations formed on the breast.
A Smartlipo scar-free breast lift is the most recent application of Smartlipo technology. Fast, efficient, with permanent results, with a greater effect on slightly droopier breasts caused by breast feeding ageing or weight loss. But it is not a treatment for big breasts-a size D or larger.
Patients with larger breasts should, and are advised to consider breast reduction or traditional liposuction, as there will be a risk of indentation around the breast area once the fat is removed.
Smartlipo MPX technology works by introducing pulsed laser energy through a cannula to liquefy fat, which is then removed from precise sites in the breast area. Fatty deposits are removed from the arm pit area and the treatment boosts collagen production. The laser energy coagulates the tissue, thereby tightening the skin and in turn providing a lifting effect.
It is a safe procedure, as the Smartlipo MPX utilises Smartsense, a safety feature built into the machine that regulates the laser energy delivered corresponding to the speed the headpiece is being moved. This provides constant, uniform energy throughout the treatment.
At first I found it difficult to predict the results of the treatment, as there was no previous technique to use or results to go by. I had to rely on my experience and techniques of Smartlipo.
Another challenge I had to overcome was the asymmetrical results of the breast, whereby I found that applying equal amounts of energy and suction managed to achieve the symmetrical resuIts for both breasts.
The management of patient expectations is another challenge for every surgeon. I have made it my policy to ensure patients are accepted only if they are realistic about the results that can be achieved.
The complete scar-free breast lifting procedure takes one hour. The treatment takes place under a local anaesthetic. There is no need for a general anaesthetic or an overnight stay. This procedure can be conducted on patients not suitable for general anaesthetic.
There are no stitches required, as only small incisions are made that immediately heal after treatment. This results in minimal downtime for the patient. Patients can return to work within two days and can conduct gym activities after about a week or two weeks.
Plastic surgeons have recognised the high demand for less-invasive cosmetic procedures, and patients are willing to have Smartlipo treatments as it provides good results with less scarring. However, it is stressed that this is no short time procedure and patients should be advised that a proper procedural technique is required.
To view Dr Ayoubi in the media click here.