Breast lift, or Mastopexy, is designed to recreate the appearance of firm and more youthful breasts. Whether from childbirth and breastfeeding, changes in weight, gravity, or the natural aging process, a woman’s breasts will change over time. These factors can result in sagging breasts losing their elasticity and firmness, a condition also known as ptosis. Depending on the specific problems to be addressed, a breast lift procedure may consist of one or multiple discrete procedures:
- Tighten skin to eliminate the sagging effect.
- Reduce the size of the areola to keep them in proportion to the newly shaped breasts.
- Move the nipple higher up on the breast so it is approximately even with the lower crease of the breast.
In some cases, when there has been significant loss of breast tissue, a breast augmentation can be performed in conjunction with the breast lift. A breast lift won’t significantly change the size of your breasts. However, a breast lift can be done in combination with breast augmentation or breast reduction.
Breast Lift – What to Expect:
After a breast lift, your breasts will likely be covered with gauze and a surgical support bra. Small tubes might be placed at the incision sites in your breasts to drain any excess blood or fluid from the surgical sites. You will be able to move around normally; however, actions that involve lifting, straining, or strenuous exercise should be avoided until the breasts have completely healed. You may be instructed to sleep on your back to avoid pressure on your breasts. Pain medication and antibiotics may be prescribed to help alleviate discomfort and reduce the risk of infection. Sexual activity should be limited during the two weeks after surgery. Any surgical drains will be removed within a few days of surgery, at which time your dressings may also be changed or removed. Generally, stitches will be removed in stages over a period of approximately three weeks, beginning at about one week after surgery. You may be instructed to wear a support bra for a few weeks, until the swelling and discoloration of your breasts diminish. Your breasts will be swollen and bruised for about two weeks. You’ll likely feel pain and soreness around the incisions, which will be red or pink for a few months. You may notice that you feel less sensation in the nipple and areola areas. Sensation loss is usually temporary and may take weeks, months or even more than a year to return to normal. Your breasts may also require some time to assume a more natural shape. The breast lift procedure will leave some scarring along the incision sites. While scars are permanent, they will soften and become thin and white within one to two years. The scarring will generally follow along the natural lines of the breast and can usually be hidden by bras and bathing suits. The extent of the scars will depend largely on your body’s ability to heal. Scarring is usually more extensive in smokers. The results from a breast lift should be long lasting. Once corrected, the breasts should remain relatively stable, assuming the patient’s weight does not fluctuate greatly. Maintaining a stable, healthy weight can help you retain your results. Over time skin inelasticity due to aging and gravity may make another procedure necessary to retain the desired results.
Breast Lift Options:
There are several common techniques that may be utilized during a breast lift procedure. The size and shape of your breasts, size of your areolas, extent of sagging, and the desired outcome of the patient are factors that will help your surgeon determine the best technique for you. Incisions may be made in one of three ways:
- Around the areola.
- Vertically downward from the bottom edge of the areola to the crease underneath the breast.
- Horizontal beneath the breast and follows the natural curve of the breast crease.
When fuller, rounder breasts are the goal, a combination breast lift and breast augmentation surgery may be necessary. There are several methods available for breast augmentation, including saline and silicone implants, as well as autologous fat transfer. When smaller breasts are the goal, a combination breast lift and breast reduction may be recommended. During the breast lift procedure, extra breast tissue will be removed. The remaining tissue and skin will then be lifted and firmed. You and your surgeon will discuss which method is best for your desired outcome and individual circumstance.
Breast Lift Considerations:
A breast lift can be performed at any age, however it is recommend that women wait until breast development has stopped, a stable weight is achieved, and no future pregnancies are planned. Pregnancy and breast-feeding may have significant and unpredictable effects on the size and shape of your breasts. A breast lift can be performed on breasts of any size. Women with smaller sagging breasts will likely have longer lasting results. Larger breasts are heavier, which makes them more likely to sag again. The following conditions could indicate that breast lift surgery is right for you:
- Have breasts that lack substance or firmness.
- Have breasts that are loose and sagging (breasts are flatter and longer).
- Have one breast that falls lower than the other.
- Have nipples and areolas that point downward (fall below your breast creases).
- Have areolas stretched out of proportion to your breasts.
During the consultation, you will be asked about your desired breast shape and size. Your surgeon will discuss with you how your nipples and areolas will be repositioned. You should mention anything else about your breasts that you would like to see improved. This will help your surgeon to understand your expectations and determine whether those expectations can be met. Depending on your age, or if you have a history of breast cancer in your family, your surgeon may also recommend a baseline mammogram before surgery and another mammographic examination some months after surgery. This will help to detect any future changes in your breast tissue. Following a breast lift, you will still be able to perform self breast-examinations. Breast lift surgery will not increase your risk of developing breast cancer. Breastfeeding is a consideration, as well. Since the milk ducts and nipples are left intact, breast lift surgery will not typically affect your ability to breastfeed, however some women might have difficulties producing enough milk. If you have concerns about breastfeeding after a breast lift surgery, you should discuss this with your surgeon.
Breast Lift Before and After Gallery
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