Breast lift surgery, or mastopexy, restores a more youthful appearance to a woman’s breasts. Over the years breasts can lose their shape and firmness due to pregnancy, nursing and loss of skin elasticity, causing them to sag. Many of my patients lost a lot of weight, resulting in deflated, saggy breasts. Mastopexy will raise and reshape breasts—slowing the effects of aging and gravity. This procedure can also reduce the size of the areola.
Pregnancy and nursing often result in stretched skin and therefore decreased volume. If you are planning a future pregnancy, it is advisable to postpone your breast lift as pregnancy will likely cause further stretching.
As with all plastic surgery, realistic expectations and emotional stability are important.
Though not a simple operation, mastopexy is normally safe when performed by a qualified plastic surgeon. Mastopexy is occasionally performed in a hospital, but more often we will perform your mastopexy in our outpatient surgery center. Breast lifts are usually performed under general anesthesia.
The surgery may take between 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours. A more common approach involves an incision along the natural contour of the breast where excess skin will be removed. The nipple and areola are then repositioned. The skin surrounding the areola is brought together to reshape the breast, with stitches around the areola and the lower breast area.
In your consultation, we will determine what skin incision will be best to accomplish your desired result. I will help diagram the procedure and show you what your final scars will be. In general, most patients’ scars fade over time resulting in a more youthful better shaped breasts. Most patients are EXTREMELY happy with their results. It is a joy for me to hear how my patients no longer feel embarrassed when out of their push up bra.
As with any surgery, there are possible complications. A patient may suffer an adverse reaction to the anesthesia (rare), or experience bleeding and infection following a breast lift, causing scars to widen. Poor healing and wider scars are more common with patients who smoke. Patients with tanner skin are at higher risk for keloid scars or darker scars.
Because milk ducts are left intact, mastopexy will not affect your ability to breast-feed.
After Surgery: What to Expect
After surgery, your stitches will be covered with gauze and an elastic bandage or a surgical bra will hold the breasts in place. Your breasts will be bruised, swollen, and you may experience some mild discomfort for a couple of days. Your doctor may prescribe pain medication. A soft support bra replaces the bandages or surgical bra after a few days. In the recovery stage, it is important to wear the bra at all times.
After a week or two, the stitches will be removed. In general, almost all of the stitches used are absorbable so only a minimal number need to be removed. Some noticeable, permanent scarring is normal, but easily covered by your bra or bathing suit. The scars may be red and lumpy for a few months, eventually fading and becoming less obvious. The procedure can also leave you with unevenly positioned nipples, or a permanent loss of feeling in your nipples or breasts though this is rare.
To ensure proper healing, plan to stay at home for at least a week before returning to work. You will need to avoid lifting anything over your head for 3-4 weeks and avoid strenuous sports for a month.
Overall, my breast lift patients are some of the happiest patients after their surgery. Their sagging breasts which trapped them in push up bras are a thing of the past. They are able to wear tighter fitting clothes and often times feel like they have recaptured their youth.