Nashville's Leading Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Nein, Gives A Guide to Breast Augmentations, Implants and Lifts

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Dr. Alexander Nein explains the purposes of breast augmentations, implants, and breast lifts, and why one procedure may not be enough.

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We see many women who come in for a breast augmentation who are surprised to learn that they need a breast lift as well

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, there were 330,631 breast augmentations performed in the U.S. in 2012 alone. In addition, an estimated 89,000 breast lifts were performed that year – many of these on women who’d also had augmentations.

“We see many women who come in for a breast augmentation who are surprised to learn that they need a breast lift as well,” plastic surgeon Alexander Nein mentioned in a blog post.

The combined procedure, Dr. Nein says, is most common among women who have had pregnancies or undergone major weight loss. “A straightforward breast augmentation only enlarges the existing breast. It doesn’t really change the fundamental characteristics of the breast. What I mean is, adding an implant to a breast will make it larger in the area where the implant is placed. The amount of skin between the collarbone and the nipples doesn’t change nor do the more common differences between each breast change. For example, if one nipple is slightly higher than the other, or if one breast is larger than the other, a breast augmentation alone will not change those things,” says Dr. Nein. “An augmentation will give more fullness to the upper portion of the breast,” Dr. Nein continues. “It will increase the amount that the breast protrudes from the chest. It will make the breast fuller and it may even make it wider. For most women, this is exactly what they desire and no more is needed.”

By contrast, a breast lift – also known as a mastopexy – changes the shape of the breast, not the size. Dr. Nein explains, “Using various techniques, the nipple can be raised, the breast tissue can be repositioned, the size of the aureolas can be reduced, and excess skin that causes sagging and projection loss can be eliminated. The shape of the breast is changed while the volume of the breast remains the same.”There are several methods for determining if a breast lift is needed. As a general statement, [considering] a breast lift combined with a breast augmentation,” Dr. Nein says, “if the nipple is above the bottom of where the breast protrudes from the chest, then a lift is not necessary. On the other hand, if the nipple is below this line, then a breast lift is needed. Ideally, we want the nipple position to be over the point of the breast where there is the greatest fullness or projection.”

“The only downside,” he continues, “is that a breast lift requires a slightly longer surgical incision than an implant alone. These incisions usually heal quite well,” the surgeon assures. “They are always covered by clothing a woman would wear in public and with modern techniques of scar care are fairly inconspicuous – usually only thin lines.”

Dr. Nein says that some women who seek an implant will resist getting a breast lift as well, if their plastic surgeon recommends it, despite the surgeon’s expert insight. “They (the patients) are primarily concerned about the incisions, and the cost. I would suggest, however, that if a breast lift has been recommended, it is important to incorporate this procedure with the breast augmentation. Not having it done, when recommended, can lead to an unsatisfactory appearance – in my opinion,” Nein emphasizes. It might even be “a worse appearance than having had nothing done.”

To learn more about the breast lift and breast augmentation procedures, please contact Dr. Nein for a private consultation by calling 615-327-0201.

About Alexander Nein, M.S., M.D.:

Dr. Alexander Nein is a graduate of Purdue University and the University of Alabama, where he earned his Doctor of Medicine degree. He completed his plastic surgery residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He has a solo, private plastic surgery practice in Nashville, Tenn. Dr. Nein is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, and the International Confederation of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

You may learn more about Dr. Nein online at His practice is located at 2400 Patterson Street, Suite 202, Nashville, Tennessee 37203. For more information please call his practice at 615-327-0201.

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Anthony Zecco

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