Over 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.
- Best Candidates for Breast Lift
- What to Expect at Your Consultation
- How Breast Lift is Performed
- Recovery from Breast Lift
Best Candidates for Breast Lift
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.
What to Expect at Your Consultation
Our board-certified plastic surgeon, Jamed Matas, MD, has extensive experience in breast lift surgery. If you are considering a breast lift, the first step in the process is scheduling a consultation with Dr. Matas. During this appointment, you will have the opportunity to tell Dr. Matas about your breast concerns and cosmetic goals. Be prepared to discuss your physical and emotional health, as well as provide information about any previous surgeries, your pregnancies and breastfeeding, and any relevant medical issues (past and current). You will also need to name any herbs, supplements, prescriptions, and over-the-counter medications you take.
To determine the approach that is best-suited for your needs and goals, Dr. Matas will carefully examine your breasts and the chest wall, considering the following factors:
- The amount of breast tissue you have to be lifted
- The position of your areola in relation to the breast tissue
- The degree of sag
- The thickness of your skin and your skin tone
If you have a small amount of breast tissue, placement of breast implants may be recommended in conjunction with the mastopexy to increase breast size and firmness. Combining a breast lift with implants can often yield the greatest degree of breast rejuvenation.
To properly visualize the degree of lifting your breast will require, Dr. Matas will take specific measurements of your breasts in their current condition. Based on his findings, he will recommend a breast lift procedure customized for your needs and goals—including the indicated technique and incision placements. Dr. Matas will also review any potential risks and complications you should be aware of. Guidelines for pre-and post-op protocol will be provided so that you are fully informed about how to optimize your results and healing, while minimizing the potential for challenges along the way. It is important that you discontinue smoking for one month prior to breast lift surgery to support proper healing.
At the end of your appointment, you will receive a cost estimate for your procedure along with a suggested plan of action should you decide to take the next step towards breast lift surgery.
How Breast Lift is Performed
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.
Recovery from Breast Lift
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.
Your New Look
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.