A breast lift repositions drooping, sagging breasts to create a more youthful body contour.
- Downtime: 1-2 weeks
- Pain Level: Moderate
- Results Duration: Long Lasting
Breasts that have started to sag due to pregnancy, nursing, or aging
Swelling, bruising, and general soreness after surgery
Designed to target the breasts
Follow-up treatments will be scheduled to monitor your recovery process
Incisions are created to lift the breast tissue to a more attractive position on the chest
Performed under general anesthesia
Breasts are lifted for a more youthful body contour
Results are evident once the breasts heal from the procedure
Over time, the effects of gravity along with the loss of the skin’s natural elasticity begin to have an effect on the appearance of a woman’s breasts. These factors, combined with pregnancies and nursing, will often cause the breasts to lose their youthful shape and firmness. A breast lift, or mastopexy, is a surgical procedure to raise and reshape sagging breasts.
A breast lift is performed to return youthful shape and to lift breasts that have sagged as a result of weight loss, pregnancy, loss of the skin’s natural elasticity, or simply the effects of gravity. The procedure can also reduce areolar size (the dark skin surrounding the nipple), and it can be combined with mammoplasty (breast augmentation) for added breast volume and firmness. Breasts of any size can be lifted but results last longest when they are originally small and sagging. Breast implants inserted in conjunction with a mastopexy procedure can increase both firmness and size. Dr. Hoffman and Dr. Brown have extensive experience in this area, one of the most difficult of all plastic surgery procedures.
Who is a Candidate for a Breast Lift?
Women who are unhappy with their body contour due to sagging breasts are often good candidates for breast surgery. It is important to be in good health and a non-smoker to ensure a safe procedure. Although breasts of any size can be lifted, results tend to last longest when breasts are relatively small.
Women planning to have children are advised to postpone surgery since pregnancy and nursing can alter the effects of a breast lift by stretching the skin. However, mastopexy should not affect your ability to breast-feed. Discuss your family plans with your surgeon prior to your procedure so he can plan your treatment accordingly.
What is Involved with a Breast Lift?
A number of pre-operative steps are typically taken before breast reduction surgery, such as a mammogram, measurement of the bustline, and discussion with the surgeon about the desired size and shape of the breast and placement of the nipple.
Once the patient is ready, the procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. Breast lifts typically take 1-4 hours to complete, depending on the extent of the correction. During the procedure, an incision is made beginning from the nipple and down the lower portion of the breast crease. A second incision may be made across the crease, forming an anchor shape. If less correction is needed, two circular incisions may be made around the areola instead to minimize visible scarring afterward.
Through those incisions, your surgeon removes excess skin, relocates the nipple and areola, and reshapes the breast using skin from around the areola before closing the incisions with stitches.
How Long is the Recovery Time After Treatment?
After surgery, the breasts are wrapped with gauze dressings, over which an elastic bandage or a surgical bra is placed. After a few days, this is replaced with a soft support bra which is worn 24 hours a day for about a month. Breasts will probably be bruised, swollen, and uncomfortable for a few days but this will pass. Numbness in the breasts and nipples should lessen as swelling subsides, although occasionally it lasts for months or even permanently. Stitches are removed after one to two weeks, and many patients return to work then.
When Will I See Results?
The results of a breast lift are typically very long-lasting. Scars can be covered even beneath bathing suits and low-cut tops. It is possible that the effects of time and gravity can eventually take their toll over the years. If that does occur, you may require another surgical procedure to maintain your positive results.
Questions and Answers
Q: Will a Breast Lift Change the Size of the Breast?
A: A breast lift is not going to result in a significant change in breast size. However, you can combine your lift procedure with either augmentation or reduction if you would like to address concerns about breast size at the same time. Augmentation is typically done using implants to add fullness, while reduction removes a portion of the breast tissue to create smaller, more proportionate breasts.
Q: Will I Have Scars After My Breast Lift?
A: It is impossible to lift the breasts without leaving some scarring from the incisions. Your surgeon will take care to place the incisions where they will be as inconspicuous as possible. Scars will also be easily hidden within bras and bathing suits.
Q: Can I Have Areola Reduction at the Same Time as My Breast Lift?
A: It is actually quite common to include areola reduction with a breast lift. Many women find that the drooping also results in an enlarged areola. Your surgeon will adjust the size of the areola to make it proportionate with the rest of the breast.
Q: What If My Breasts Are Asymmetrical?
A: If the positioning of the breasts is noticeably different, a breast lift can help to balance them. If size is a problem, you can include augmentation or reduction to ensure the breasts are more symmetrical after the procedure.
Q: How Much Time Will I Need To Take Off Work?
A: Most women take 1-2 weeks off work, depending on how strenuous their job might be. If your job requires heavy lifting or other physical activity, you might want to wait a bit longer to return. It is essential to give your body sufficient time to heal fully to avoid complications and enjoy the best possible results from your procedure.
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