A breast lift, medically known as a mastopexy, is a surgical procedure designed to alleviate drooping of the breasts. When the breasts start to sag, the nipple can move too low and the breast fullness is shifted lower than it should be. A breast lift repositions the breasts higher on the chest to create an improved appearance. Breast lift is often combined with other surgeries such as breast reduction and breast augmentation.
Who is a Good Candidate for Breast Lift?
Women who are unhappy with their sagging breasts are the best candidates for breast lift. Most women who are candidates for breast lift have sagging breasts due to genetics, the aging process, large breast size, pregnancy, breast feeding, or significant weight loss. Candidates for breast lift should be in overall good health. It's important for patients to have realistic expectations for a breast lift. While a breast lift will dramatically improve the position of the breasts, other procedures like breast augmentation or breast reduction may also be needed to achieve the desired results.
The Benefits of Breast Lift
Breast lift surgery can greatly improve the appearance of the breasts, allowing for well positioned breasts that look natural on the chest cavity. Many women find that they get a tremendous self confidence boost from breast lift surgery, and that they feel more comfortable wearing more revealing or close-fitting clothing.
Breast Lift Techniques
There are 4 main techniques used in breast lifts. The procedure used depends on the degree of breast sagging and whether other procedures are being done at the same time.
- Full Mastopexy: In this procedure, also called an anchor lift, the incision goes from the areola base to the bottom of the breast. The incision is widened to reach a half-circle shape at the bottom of the breast. Through this incision, the nipple is moved upwards. This is the best option for severe sagging.
- Vertical Mastopexy: In this procedure, the incision goes straight down, from the bottom of the areola to the breast crease. This procedure is best suited for moderate sagging in the breasts.
- Donut Mastopexy: This procedure is also called a peri-areolar lift. The incisions are confined to the areolar area, and the areola is then attached in a higher position. This type of breast lift is best for women with only a mild case of sagging.
- Crescent Lift: The crescent lift involves removal of a small piece of breast tissue just above the areola so that the nipple can be moved upwards. As with donut mastopexy, this procedure is best suited for mild breast sagging.
Preparing for Breast Lift
To prepare for breast lift surgery, patients may need to do several things. This can include having pre-surgery blood tests, discontinuing certain prescription medications, and discontinuing aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements.
Breast lift surgery is typically done while the patient is under general anesthesia. In most cases, this surgery can be done as an outpatient procedure. The surgery usually takes around 1 to 2 hours, depending on the type of incision used and whether there are additional procedures being done. Once the procedure is complete, the patient will be bandaged and will have a compression garment placed on the chest. Patients can return home after they come out of the anesthesia.
Recovery From Breast Lift Surgery
The recovery from breast lift surgery can vary based on whether there were other procedures done at the same time. If breast lift was the only procedure, most people are able to return to non-strenuous work within a week or less. Non-strenuous activity is fine after about 7 to 10 days, and patients can usually resume all regular exercise at around 6 to 8 weeks post-surgery. Patients will have prescription medication to manage pain in early recovery, and can typically transition into using non-prescription pain relievers after a few days. If other procedures were done at the same time as the breast lift, recovery may be longer.
Results: What to Expect After Breast Lift Surgery
Most breast lift patients are quite happy with their breast lift results, but a large part of patient satisfaction involves having realistic expectations for the procedure. Breast lift can improve the breast position, but it won't reduce or increase the actual size of the breasts. Patients often have procedures like breast augmentation or breast reduction simultaneously with the breast lift for this reason. The final results of breast lift surgery may not be evident until around 6 months post-surgery, at which time the tissue is fully healed and swelling is completely gone.
Other Procedures to Consider
When patients express a desire for breast lift surgery, one of the things that the Rau Plastic Surgery team will discuss with them is their ultimate appearance goals. In some cases, breast lift surgery alone can't achieve those goals, so other procedures should be considered alongside breast lift. If a patient wants both larger and more highly positioned breasts, a breast augmentation with either saline or silicone implants can be considered. If a patient has too much breast tissue and desires smaller breast size overall, breast reduction surgery can be considered.
Considering Breast Lift Surgery?
Considering breast lift surgery and want to find out more? Call Rau Plastic Surgery to arrange a consultation appointment today.