Despite the fact that breast augmentation with a lift is essentially two procedures in one, recovery will not be twice… Read More
Mastopexy, commonly referred to as a breast lift, is an operation in which extra skin is removed and the breast tissue is repositioned to a higher location on the chest wall. There are many ways to perform this operation; over the years, I have tried inferior pedicle, central mound, superior pedicle, and lateral pedicle techniques using circular, lollipop, and inverted T incisions/scars. I have found that the inverted T incision yields the most consistently optimal results. Other approaches have unacceptably long downtimes or poorer scars, in spite of the claims their proponents make. If a woman is unhappy with the volume of her breasts, a breast augmentation with implants can be performed at the same time. If a woman has had a breast lift without an implant and subsequently desires an augmentation, the procedure may be dangerous to attempt. This risk is due to changes made to the breast and nipple’s blood supply that occur after an inferior pedicle lift. I recommend that both be done at the same time if there are any worries about the adequacy of existing breast volume.
Breast Lift Benefits
There are many natural forces that can cause breasts to droop and lose firmness over time, including pregnancy, nursing, genetic predisposition, gravity, and the effects of aging. These factors can cause breasts to decrease in volume and experience a loss of skin elasticity. A breast lift can effectively elevate and reshape the breasts, acting as an excellent solution to these concerns for many patients. Ultimately, breast lift surgery can:
- Correct breast sag and lift breasts to a higher position
- Eliminate excess skin
- Increase the firmness of breasts
- Provide a more youthful contour and appearance
- Reposition the nipples to a more central location
- Decrease the size of large nipples and areolas, if necessary
Breast Lift Candidates
Patients experiencing a loss of breast volume, significant breast sag, skin laxity, or a loss of firmness may benefit from a breast lift procedure. Good candidates for a breast lift include women who:
- Are finished with childbearing, as pregnancy and nursing after surgery can increase breast droop
- Are near their goal weight, since excessive weight loss after surgery can result in additional skin laxity
- Experience nipple drooping below the level of the breast crease
- Are in reasonably good physical health
If you are unsure whether you are a candidate for a breast lift, I can perform a pre-operative examination during your consultation to address your concerns. We can discuss your goals and expectations for surgery to determine whether this procedure would benefit you.
Breast Augmentation with a Lift
If you choose to combine a lift with an augmentation, both procedures will be performed during a single operation. In most cases, implants are placed first, and tissue reshaping with removal of excess skin follows. My typical patient is a mother in her thirties or forties who breastfed and lost substantial volume after she stopped producing milk, though most women seeking to improve both the size and elevation of their breasts are often considered good candidates. To learn more, please visit my page devoted to breast augmentation with a lift.
The Breast Lift Procedure
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If a patient chooses to undergo a breast lift alone, then I perform an operation similar to a breast reduction. I start by drawing a keyhole pattern on the breasts with my patient sitting up in the pre-anesthesia area. This pattern is centered on the higher location for the nipple. During surgery I remove the skin between and below the flaps on the side, leaving a smaller nipple and areola attached. The skin and fat of the flaps are lifted off of the breast tissue. No breast tissue is removed. The breast tissue and areola are lifted to a higher position on the chest and the skin flaps are brought around and under to keep it in place. All incisions are closed.
For patients affected by breasts that are too large for their body frame, a breast reduction may be a more beneficial treatment. Breast reductions can correct disproportionately large breasts by removing excess fat and/or breast tissue to make them smaller and more manageable.
Breast Lift Recovery
A bulky cotton garment with ace wraps around the chest is used as a dressing. The dressing is changed after about five days, but the breasts are supported in their new position for six weeks using special bras. Sutures are removed after about two weeks.
In all but the most strenuous jobs, patients usually return to work in two to three weeks. If your profession requires lifting and vigorous chest/arm activity, return to work might be delayed for as long as six weeks. Similarly, you may need to abstain from aerobic exercise and sports during this time frame, depending on your rate of healing. However, light daily activities can typically be resumed in one week. Some soreness or swelling may occur, but this is a normal reaction and any discomfort can be managed with oral pain medication. The final outcome of surgery will typically improve as the breasts settle into their new position. After the procedure, patients generally enjoy a more youthful, shapely, and rejuvenated appearance in their breasts.