ver a lifetime, women experience many situations that change the size and shape of their breasts… such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight fluctuation and gravity. These factors cause the skin to lose its elasticity, shape and firmness. A breast lift, or mastopexy, is a surgical procedure designed to raise and reshape sagging breasts, utilizing the patient’s own breast tissue.
The best candidates for a breast lift are healthy non-smoking women, 30’s to 50’s, who have stretched skin and diminished breast volume, and who have completed childbearing. Future pregnancy and/or nursing is possible, but may stretch the skin and affect the results of your procedure.
Dr. James Matas, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Orlando, Florida, has extensive experience performing breast surgery. During your initial consultation, he will discuss your motivations for breast surgery, along with assessing your physical and emotional health and reviewing information you provide about previous surgeries, previous pregnancies/breastfeeding, past and current medical conditions, as well as nutritional supplements, herbal remedies and pharmaceutical medications you take.
He will carefully examine your breasts and chest wall, considering the following factors: amount of breast tissue you have to be lifted, position of your areola in relation to the breast tissue, degree of sag, thickness of skin and skin tone. If you have a small amount of breast tissue, he may recommend breast implants be used in conjunction with the mastopexy to increase breast size and firmness. To better visualize the degree of lifting that your breast will require, he will also take specific measurements of your breasts in their current condition.
He will recommend the exact procedure, or procedures, needed to bring about the desired result, outlining the technique, location of the surgical incisions, the type of anesthesia, where the surgery will be performed and the risks and possibility of complications.
He will advise you to avoid taking aspirin, ibuprofen products, Vitamin E and certain herbal medications before surgery, as these can cause increased bleeding or have undesirable effects with anesthesia. He will also advise you to discontinue smoking for one month prior to surgery to ensure proper healing.
Once recommendations have been made, you will be provided with financial details, along with a suggested plan of action should you decide to take the next step towards breast surgery.
First, incisions are made on the breast to outline the areas where excess skin will be removed. Then, the nipple and areola are shifted to a higher position. The skin around the areola is then brought down and together to reshape the breast. Excess skin is then removed. Once the skin and tissue has been repositioned, several layers of suture are used to close the surgical incisions.
The incision usually resembles an anchor shape, and is located around the areola, extending downward toward the bottom of the breast and across the crease of the breast. Sometimes, when only a partial lift is required, only a circular incision around the areola is used.
If breast augmentation surgery is also being performed, the implant will be placed under the pectoralis muscle (subpectoral) or under the breast tissue (suprapectoral) prior to the mastopexy procedure. This allows Dr. Matas to lift your breast into place around the filled implant. Mastopexy usually takes about 4 hours to complete, unless additional procedures are required, and is performed outpatient under general anesthesia.
After surgery, you’ll wear a surgical bra for support and comfort for several weeks. Expect your breasts to be sore, with bruising, swelling, itching and mild pain. You may also experience a temporary change in nipple sensation.
You’ll be instructed to take it easy for a few days, and to discontinue certain strenuous activities for about one month. Sutures will be removed within a week following surgery, with an additional week of keeping the areas dry and steri strips in place. After one week, you should be able to return to work.
The scars will be reddish in appearance and will fade over the next few months. It is important to protect your scars from the sun and tanning beds for one year to prevent them from darkening permanently. Your Patient Care Kit will include bioCorneum plus SPF 30, a silicone based scar reducer that is highly effective when used as directed.
After mastopexy, your breasts will feel firmer and appear shapelier and uplifted. Because of the new position of your nipples and breast tissue, you may find you can wear clothing you would’ve never thought possible, even strapless dresses! And you can expect to maintain your new shape long-term, unless you gain or lose a significant amount of weight or become pregnant in the future.
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