Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
A breast lift addresses sagging and uneven breasts, decreased breast volume and drooping nipples and stretched areolas (the darker area surrounding the nipples), recreating a youthful shape and lift to your breasts. If there is too little or too much breast volume, a breast augmentation or breast reduction might be recommended in addition to a lift.
When to Consider a Breast Lift
– Pregnancy, nursing, gravity, weight gain or loss, normal aging, and heredity have taken a toll on the shape of your breasts, resulting in sagging
– If your surgeon thinks that breast implants alone are unlikely to achieve the contour you desire
– If the tissue surrounding the nipple or areola has become stretched
– You will have improved breast shape, projection, and symmetry
– Your breasts will have a more youthful appearance.
– You will look better in and out of clothes and feel more self-confident.
– The effects of a breast lift might slowly diminish over time because of gravity and aging.
– A breast lift leaves scars that will be hidden in a bra or swimsuit.
– Subsequent pregnancy may compromise your surgical results.
Am I a good candidate for a Breast Lift (Mastopexy)?
– Breasts that are pendulous but adequate in size.
– Breasts that lack substance or firmness.
– Nipples and areolas that point downward, especially if they are positioned below the breast crease.
– Breasts that appear different from each other; one breast may appear firm and well positioned while the other does not.
– Breasts that are not equal in size.
– Breasts that are relatively small.
– Breasts that are large and heavy can be lifted, but the results may not be as long-lasting as a breast lift performed on smaller breasts; the weight of larger breasts works against surgical changes.
– You are finished with childbearing and breast-feeding. If you plan to have children, you may want to postpone cosmetic breast surgery. Pregnancy may stretch the breasts and reduce their volume,compromising surgery benefits.
If you are in good general health, have a positive attitude and realistic expectations, you are most likely a good candidate for this procedure.
How is a breast lift procedure performed?
A breast lift is performed under general anesthesia or intravenous sedation in an accredited hospital or surgeon’s office equipped with a surgical suite. Different techniques for removing breast skin and reshaping the breast determine the location of the incisions and resulting scars. Your surgeon will select a technique based on your breast size and shape, areola size and position, degree of breast sagging, skin quality and elasticity and how much extra skin you have.
– Your plastic surgeon will remove excess breast skin and shift the nipple and areola to a higher position.
– If your areola has become stretched, it can now be reduced in size.
– Skin that was formerly located above the areola is brought down and together, beneath the breast,to reshape the breast.
– Your surgeon will remove excess skin and close your incisions, tightening the skin, sewing the breast back together and placing sutures deep in the breast tissue to support the new breast position for a longer period of time.
– Scars are usually hidden under the breasts, although some light scarring may be seen on top of the breast.
– The nipples and areolas remain attached to underlying mounds of tissue, and this usually allows for the preservation of sensation and the ability to breast-feed.
– In some patients, it may be possible to avoid the horizontal incision beneath the breast as well as the vertical incision that runs from the bottom edge of the areola to the breast crease. If you are a good candidate for a modified technique, your plastic surgeon will discuss this with you.
Preparing for Your Procedure
How do I prepare for a breast lift procedure?
– Stop smoking at least six weeks before undergoing surgery to promote better healing.
– Avoid taking aspirin, certain anti-inflammatory drugs and some herbal medications that can cause increased bleeding.
– Regardless of the type of surgery to be performed, hydration is very important before and after surgery for safe recovery.
– Keep alcohol consumption at less than two to three drinks per week.
Aftercare and Recovery
Immediately after your breast lift
Generally, you can expect to be bandaged, wearing compression garments and you may have some surgical drains.
When the anesthesia wears off, you may have some pain. If the pain is extreme or long-lasting, contact your physician. You will also have some redness and swelling after the surgery.
Contact your surgeon to find out if your pain, redness, and swelling are normal or are signs of a problem.
Other common recovery side effects include bruising, numbness, or changes in nipple sensitivity, itching around incision sites and increased firmness or fullness in the breast tissue. These side effects should subside over the next few weeks, with some residual effects lasting up to three months following the surgery.
Recovery time frame after breast lifts surgery
The first week
– The day after surgery, you will be encouraged to get out of bed for short periods of time.
– After several days, you should be able to move about more comfortably.
– Avoid straining, bending and lifting since these activities might cause increased swelling or even bleeding.
– You will probably be instructed to sleep on your back to avoid pressure on your breasts.
– Any surgical drains will be removed within a few days of surgery, at which time your dressings may also be changed or removed.
– For two to five days, your chest region may feel stiff and sore.
Two weeks to six weeks
– After breast lift surgery it is often possible to return to work within a week or so, depending on your job.
– You should avoid excessive physical activity for at least the first two weeks following surgery. After that, be extremely gentle with your breasts for at least the next month.
– Avoid sexual activity for a minimum of one or two weeks, but your plastic surgeon may advise you to wait longer. After that, take care to be extremely gentle with your breasts for at least the next couple of weeks.
– You may be instructed to wear a support bra for a few weeks, until the swelling and discoloration of your breasts diminish.
– Generally, stitches will be removed in stages over a period of approximately three weeks, beginning about one week after surgery.
– You may notice that you feel less sensation in the nipple and areola areas. This is usually temporary; however, it may take weeks, months or even more than a year before sensation returns to normal.
– Your breasts may require some time to assume a more natural shape.
– Incisions will initially be red or pink. They will remain this way for many months following surgery.
– In many instances, you can resume most of your normal activities, including some form of mild exercise, after several weeks.
– You may continue to experience some mild, periodic discomfort during this time, but such feelings are normal. If you have severe pain, report it to your doctor.
How Long Will the Results Last?
If a breast lift is performed properly, your breasts should not return to their preoperative droop for decades, assuming you dont have significant weight fluctuations or go through pregnancy. Some settling may occur, but the new nipple position should remain intact. Ask your surgeon about the technique that will be used. Typically, aesthetic surgeons do not rely on a simple skin lift; they sculpt the entire breast tissue, creating a longer-lasting lift.
Limitations and Risks
– Adverse reaction to anesthesia
– Hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may require removal)
– Infection and bleeding
– Changes in sensation
– Allergic reactions
– Damage to underlying structures
– Unsatisfactory results that may necessitate additional procedures
– Blood clots in the legs or lungs