Breast Lifts – Reshape Sagging & Drooping Breasts
Learn More About Breast Lift Surgery
A breast lift or mastopexy is a surgical procedure that modifies, lifts, and reshapes sagging or drooping breasts, enhancing the shape and form of the breasts.
Because of aging, weight gain and loss, skin loses some elasticity which can cause the breasts to lose their natural shape and firmness. Some women wish to augment the appearance, size and shape of their breasts. A breast lift is a contouring procedure involving lifting and tightening the breast skin resulting in a better shape youthful looking appearance. A breast lift may be completed in conjunction with breast enlargement (augmentation) surgery.
The breast lift surgical procedure usually takes two hours. Techniques vary, but the most common procedure involves a small anchor-like incision along the underside of the breast. When the excess skin has been removed, the nipple and areola are moved into a higher position. The skin surrounding the areola is brought down and together to reshape the breast.
Some patients, especially those with relatively small breasts and minimal sagging, may be candidates for modified procedures requiring less extensive incisions. One such procedure is the “doughnut (or concentric) mastopexy” in which circular incisions are made around the areola and a doughnut-shaped area of skin is removed. Recent innovations in breast lift techniques include minimal incision techniques.
If the patient is having an implant inserted along with the breast lift, the implant will be placed in a pocket directly under the breast tissue or under the muscle of the chest wall.
Dr. Craft and your healthcare team will work with you to create an enhancement plan. Your enhancement plan will take your desires and identified problem areas into consideration and use the most effective and less-invasive techniques possible. Your enhancement team will identify the incision areas, the length of the surgery and expected results and outcomes.
Like all surgical procedures there are some important considerations prior to deciding on a breast lift procedure. Dr. Craft and your enhancement team may or may not recommend a mammogram prior to the surgery. Your team will work with you to recommend this test. Before deciding if a breast lift is right for you, consider the following ideal candidate qualities:
- Women with sagginess or droopiness of the breasts. Women who have lost skin elasticity and firmness in their breasts.
- Women who have had a baby or have lost a considerable amount of weight. The expansion of the breasts and subsequent contraction due to pregnancy and weight gain can damage the skin. This damage is irreparable and can cause the tissues to loosely hang skin in the breasts.
- Women with a body mass index that is below 35, and preferably less than 30. As the BMI increases, the complications post-surgery also increase.
- Women without co-morbidities or other factors that may impede healing post- surgery.
- Women who do not smoke.
Outcomes and Results
After surgery, it takes your body time to heal and adjust to the breast lift procedure. The results post-surgery are not immediately noticeable, however, after a few weeks and once the swelling and bruising have diminished, you will notice your breasts are firmer, and lifted. After two to three months, you will notice the end results of your breast lift with much firmer, elevated and more youthful appearing breasts.
Will a breast lift increase the size of my breasts?
Answer: A breast lift is designed to lift and tone sagging breasts. Although it does not add volume, you will notice that your breasts feel more voluminous due to the increased firmness and tone. If you are considering additional volume, Dr. Craft may advise a breast lift in conjunction with a breast augmentation procedure.
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Generally, post-operative instructions call for plenty rest and limited movement during the early healing process and recovery time.
- Bandages are applied right after surgery to aid the healing process.
- For the first few days, patients sometimes report minor pain associated with surgery which can be treated with oral medication.
- Pain and discomfort are generally only reported for the first day or two following the surgery and rapidly diminish.
- There may be some bruising and swelling following the surgery.
- Bruising and swelling may take up to three weeks to diminish.
Depending on the number and size of the incision, Dr. Craft will use surgical closure techniques to aid in incisional healing. Dr. Craft will give you instructions on providing an optimal environment for wound healing. The stitches will be removed shortly after the surgery depending on the procedure(s) involved. Your surgeon will give you instructions for follow-up appointments as necessary.
During recovery, patients generally must avoid heavy exercise or sporting activities for one to two months. Some patients report numbing of the nipples for one to two months following the surgery, however these symptoms generally diminish. While complications are rare, patients can minimize potential problems by carefully following the postoperative directions given by the surgeon.
The initial consult with Dr. Craft and your enhancement team if your time to ask any questions or concerns you may have. Some questions to consider:
- What are the potential risks, complications and fees of the surgery?
- Should I consider an implant? What type is best for me?
- What kind of anesthetic will be used?
- Will I be able to breast feed following the surgery?
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