Over time the natural aging process can cause a woman’s breasts to sag and lose their shape (a condition known as breast ptosis). Other common causes of breast ptosis are pregnancy, prolonged breast feeding and significant weight loss. Breast lift (mastopexy) is a surgical procedure that not only lifts the breast but also reshapes and tightens the tissue. It can occasionally reduce the breast size if deemed too large or increase the size of the breast by adding an implant when necessary to achieve the desired size. After the procedure, women can expect firmer, more shapely and youthful appearing breasts.
Are You a Good Candidate for a Breast Lift?
If you are wondering whether you are a good candidate for a breast lift, here are some questions to ask yourself:
• Are you in good health?
• Do you have sagging breasts or breasts that have lost their shape?
• Do your nipples point downward?
• Do your nipples fall below your breast fold?
• Do you have stretched skin and enlarged areolas?
• Does one breast fall lower than the other?
Breast Lift with Breast Augmentation
Patients who want to lift the position of their breasts while increasing their volume may want to have a combined breast lift with breast augmentation (or augmentation mastopexy) procedure.
Breast Lift Procedure
A breast lift is usually an outpatient procedure that typically takes between one and a half to three hours to complete. There are a number of different incision patterns that can be used depending on your breast size, shape and level of ptosis (sagging). Several detailed measurements are taken at the time of the consultation to determine the type of incisions and if an implant is necessary to achieve your desired results from the mastopexy. These issues are discussed with the patient in detail prior to the surgery.
During breast lift surgery, excess breast skin will be removed from the incision point or points, and the nipple and areola will be moved to a higher position. There are four techniques that can be used during the procedure: the inverted T (or “anchor”) lift, the periareloar (or “donut”) lift, the vertical (or “lollipop”) lift or the crescent lift.
The anchor lift is used to correct extensive ptosis of the breasts and uses three incision points: one around the areola’s edge, one vertically from the bottom of the areola to the breast crease and one along the inframammary fold (in the breast crease).
The donut lift is also commonly performed along with breast augmentation surgery and it is used to correct mild ptosis. In this technique, a circular incision is made around the edge of the areola.
The lollipop lift corrects moderate ptosis and uses two incisions: one around the areola’s edge and one running vertically from the bottom of the areola to the inframammary fold, the breast fold where the bottom of the breast meets the chest.
The crescent lift is usually performed along with a breast augmentation and is used to correct minimal ptosis. This technique involves a small incision that runs around the top half edge of the areola.
Recovering from Breast Lift Surgery
For the first few days after surgery, the patient will wear the surgical bra placed on her during the procedure. This will provide support and compression to the breasts and aid healing. The patient will return to the doctor after one week to have sutures removed. Afterwards, a support bandage or sports bra should be worn at all times and for several weeks.
The patient will experience some swelling and bruising of the chest for the first two weeks after the procedure. The doctor will prescribe pain medication to alleviate discomfort as needed. Cold compresses can also be used on the breasts in order to reduce swelling and discomfort. During this time, the patient should avoid bending over or putting any pressure on the chest, including sleeping on her stomach. Sleeping with the upper body elevated is recommended, as it will help alleviate swelling.
Most patients are able to return to work one week after surgery. Mild to moderate exercise can be resumed after two weeks, and more strenuous exercise after four to six weeks.
Schedule Your Consultation and Have Your Questions Answered
Breast lift surgery is an important personal decision. We are committed to educating our patients using the latest information available on aesthetic plastic surgery. During your personal consultation you will receive a thorough explanation of the surgery and detailed breast measurements will be performed to determine if you are a suitable candidate for the procedure. The surgeon may show you videos and photos and give you literature describing the surgery to further enhance your education on breast lift surgery.
Do you have questions about breast lift surgery and whether it could meet your needs? Or would you like to discuss more surgery options? Have all of your questions answered by one of Allure Plastic Surgery’s qualified surgeons. To schedule your consultation, call us today at (305) 224-8015.