Breast Lift (technically known as Mastopexy) is a surgical procedure to raise and reshape sagging breasts and can also reduce the size of the areola, the darker skin surrounding the nipple.
Over the years, factors such as pregnancy, nursing, and the force of gravity take their toll 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.
If pregnancy, nursing or dramatic weight loss has left you with stretched skin and less volume in your breasts, you may be an excellent candidate for breast lift surgery.
In your initial consultation, it’s important to discuss your expectations candidly with your surgeon, and to listen to his or her opinion. The surgeon 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. Breast lifts are usually performed under general anesthesia, which means you’ll sleep through the operation.
Mastopexy usually takes one and a half to three and a half hours. Techniques vary, but the most common procedure involves an anchor-shaped incision following the natural contour of the breast. 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.
Bandages and a surgical bra will be placed after your surgery. After a week, your sutures will be removed and you will be placed in a sports bra. Healing is a gradual process. Although you may be up and about in a day or two, don’t plan on returning to work for a week or more, depending on how you feel. And avoid lifting anything over your head for three to four weeks. If you have any unusual symptoms, don’t hesitate to call your surgeon.
Your personal surgeon at the Lombardi Plastic Surgery Center will give you detailed instructions for resuming your normal activities. After that, you can resume these activities slowly. If you become pregnant, the operation should not affect your ability to breast-feed, since your milk ducts and nipples will be left intact. Your satisfaction with a breast lift is likely to be greater if you understand the procedure thoroughly and if your expectations are realistic.
If you are considering Breast Lift plastic surgery, let one of the experienced plastic surgeons at the Lombardi Plastic Surgery Center in NJ review the procedure with you and help you make an informed decision.
If you have questions, we are happy to help. Call us at 732-460-9555.