What is a Breast Lift?
Breast lift, or mastopexy, is a surgical procedure to raise and reshape sagging breasts, at least, for a time. (No surgery can permanently delay the effects of gravity; Mastopexy can also reduce the size of the periareola, the darker skin surrounding the nipple.
What Causes Saggy Breasts?
Loss of skin elasticity, gravity and other factors such as weight loss, pregnancy and breast-feeding ultimately affect the shape and firmness of your breasts. Patients who are generally satisfied with the size of their breasts can have a breast lift to raise and tighten them, resulting in a more youthful breast contour.
Some patients may be unhappy that they have lost a significant amount of breast volume over time. In such cases, implants inserted in conjunction with a breast lift can increase breast size at the same time as the shape and position of the breasts are enhanced.
Pouring your sagging breasts into a bra every morning and watching as they fall the moment you remove your lingerie every night isn’t the answer. And no amount of diet or exercise – nor creams or pills – can tone and shape your breasts.
IF YOU'RE CONSIDERING A BREAST LIFT
Over the years, factors such as pregnancy, nursing, and the force of gravity take their toII on a woman’s breasts As the skin loses its elasticity, the breasts often lose their shape and firmness and begin to sag.
If your breasts are small or have lost volume, for example, after pregnancy, breast implants inserted in conjunction with mastopexy can increase both their firmness and their size.
THE BEST CANDIDATES FOR A BREAST LIFT
The best candidates for mastopexy are healthy, emotionally stable women who are realistic about what the surgery can accomplish. The best results are usually achieved in women with small, sagging breasts. Breasts of any size can be lifted, but the results may not last as long in heavy breasts.
Many women seek mastopexy because pregnancy and nursing have left them with stretched skin and less volume in their breasts. However, if you’re planning to have more children, it may be a good idea to postpone your breast lift. While there are no special risks -that affect future pregnancies (for example, mastopexy usually doesn’t interfere with breast-feeding), pregnancy is likely to stretch your breasts again and offset the results of the procedure.
To make this procedure accessible to all our patients we provide Financing options.
Call (414) 439-3000 for a cosmetic consultation.
PREPARING FOR YOUR BREAST LIFT SURGERY
While you’re making preparations, you must arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery and to help you out for a few days if you live alone.
WHERE YOUR BREAST LIFT SURGERY WILL BE PERFORMED
TYPES OF ANESTHESIA FOR YOUR BREAST LIFT SURGERY
In selected patients-particularly when a smaller incision is being made-the surgeon may use local anesthesia, combined with a sedative to make you drowsy. You’ll be awake but relaxed, and will feel minimal discomfort.
BREAST LIFT SURGERY PLANNING
In your initial consultation, it’s important to discuss your expectations frankly with our plastic surgeon, and to listen to his opinion. Every patient and every physician, as well has a different view of what is a desirable size and shape for breasts.
Our board certified plastic surgeons will examine your breasts and measure them while you’re sitting or standing. He will discuss the variables that may affect the procedure-such as your age, the size and shape of your breasts, and the condition of your skin, and whether an implant is advisable. You should also discuss where the nipple and areola will be positioned; they’ll be moved higher during the procedure, and should be approximately even with the crease beneath your breast.
Your surgeon will describe the procedure in detail, explaining its risks and limitations and making sure you understand the scarring that will result. He will also explain the anesthesia to be used, the type of facility where the surgery will be performed, and the costs involved.
Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor any questions you may have, especially those regarding your expectations and concerns about the results.
BREAST LIFT SURGERY PROCEDURE
The incision outlines the area from which breast skin will be removed and defines the new location for the nipple. When the excess skin has been removed, the nipple and areola are moved to the higher position. The skin surrounding the areola is then brought down and together to reshape the breast. Stitches are usually located around the areola, in a vertical line extending downwards from the nipple area, and along the lower crease of 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.
If you’re having an implant inserted along with your breast lift, it will be placed in a pocket directly under the breast tissue, or deeper, under the muscle of the chest wall.
AFTER BREAST LIFT SURGERY
Within a few days, the bandages or surgical bra will be replaced by a soft support bra. You’ll need to wear this bra around the clock for three to four weeks, over a layer of gauze. The stitches will be removed after a week or two.
If your breast skin is very dry following surgery, you can apply a moisturizer several times a day. Be careful not to tug at your skin in the process, and keep the moisturizer away from the suture areas.
You can expect some loss of feeling in your nipples and breast skin, caused by the swelling after surgery. This numbness usually fades as the swelling subsides over the next six weeks or so. In some patients, however, it may last a year or more, and occasionally it may be permanent.
YOUR NEW LOOK
You should also keep in mind that a breast lift won’t keep you firm forever. The effects of gravity, pregnancy, aging, and weight fluctuations will eventually take their toll again.
Your satisfaction with a breast lift is likely to be greater if you understand the procedure thoroughly and if your expectations are realistic. A consultation with one of our board certified plastic surgeons will outline the procedure and care you will receive with a Mastopexy procedure. Call 414-963-0500 to schedule a private consultation.
ALL SURGERIES CARRY SOME UNCERTAINTIES AND RISK
Mastopexy does leave noticeable, permanent scars, although they’ll be covered by your bra or bathing suit. (Poor healing and wider scars are more common in smokers.) The procedure can also leave you with unevenly positioned nipples, or a permanent loss of feeling in your nipples or breasts
A breast lift is relatively straightforward. But as with any operation, there are risks associated with surgery, there is always a possibility of complications, including bleeding, infection, or reaction to the anesthesia. Slow or poor wound healing along the suture line as well as fat necrosis is a possibility, especially in association with obesity, diabetes and smoking. We recommend that our patients stop smoking for at least 6 weeks before and after surgery. You can reduce your risks by closely following our medical team’s advice both before and after surgery.