WHAT IS A BREAST LIFT?
Also known as mastopexy, a breast lift addresses sagging and uneven breasts, decreased breast volume and drooping nipples and stretched areolas (the darker area surrounding the nipples), recreating a youthful shape and lift to your breasts. If there is too little or too much breast volume, a breast augmentation or breast reduction might be recommended in addition to a lift. Every year, thousands of women undergo successful breast-lift surgery, experience no major problems and are pleased with the results.
Breast Lift is done when:
Pregnancy, nursing, gravity, weight gain or loss, normal aging, and heredity have taken a toll on the shape of your breasts, resulting in sagging
If your surgeon thinks that breast implants alone are unlikely to achieve the contour or fullness you desire
If the tissue surrounding the nipple or areola has become stretched
AM I A GOOD CANDIDATE?
One or more of the following feelings or conditions may indicate that you are a good candidate for Breast Lift:
You are bothered by the feeling that your breasts sag or have lost shape and volume
Your breasts have a flatter, elongated shape or are pendulous
When unsupported, your nipples fall below the breast crease
Your nipples and areolas point downward
You have stretched skin and enlarged areolas
One breast is lower than the other
Degrees of breast sagging.
The type of lift you will need to achieve your desired outcome will be determined by your surgeon. It is also possible to combine breast lift surgery with breast implant surgery if you wish to achieve fuller breasts.
The incision is made around the perimeter of the areola, vertically down from the areola to the breast crease, and horizontally along the breast crease – known as an “anchor” incision.
This technique produces the most scarring, and it is suitable for women with a severe degree of sagging who will not be helped sufficiently by other less invasive techniques. This incision is the oldest technique, and is often used for a breast lift in conjunction with a breast reduction.
The incision is made around the perimeter of the areola and vertically down from the areola to the breast crease – also known as a “keyhole” incision.
This technique is suitable for women with a moderate degree of sagging who will not be helped sufficiently by the peri-areolar technique (below).
The incision is made around the perimeter of the areola only –, which is why this technique is technically referred to as the “peri-areolar” incision; also called a “Benelli” lift (so named for the surgeon who pioneered the technique).
This technique is suitable for women with a mild to moderate degree of sagging, although when used by a skilled surgeon in conjunction with the placement of implants, it can produce a satisfactory result for patients with more pronounced sagging.
CRESCENT LIFT or NIPPLE LIFT
Although not as commonly used as the aforementioned techniques, there is a fourth incision type wherein the incision line lies just along the upper half of the areola. A crescent-shaped piece of skin is removed above that line, and the surrounding skin is reattached to the areola.
This type of lift is usually done in conjunction with breast augmentation, and is suitable only for women with a very small degree of sagging. It cannot accomplish the same amount of lifting as the previously mentioned incision techniques.
YOUR RECOVERY + AFTER CARE
One of the most common questions that individuals interested in undergoing breast lift surgery is related to the recovery period. Much like any other surgical procedure, there is a short recovery period immediately following the treatment in which the patient is expected to rest and allow their body to heal. Although the patient will be able to be up and about the day after the surgery, it is recommended that the patient avoid any strenuous activity for a minimum of three to four weeks. By following this precaution, the patient’s body will be able to heal naturally at a faster rate.
The patient should prepare for one week of rest immediately following the surgery to allow their body to replenish its energy. After the surgery you will find that your breasts may be higher than you had anticipated and that your chest will be bruised and swollen. However, within weeks following the surgery, you will find that your skin will relax as you heal and any swelling will dissipate. Additionally, your breasts will round out and settle into their new, lifted position.
A common phenomenon found in breast lift patients is that they experience some minor discomfort and that they feel nauseated. To counter this, your surgeon will prescribe pain medication. Usually this feeling of discomfort and nausea will be eradicated within weeks of the surgery. By allowing your body the proper time of rest it needs to recuperate, you will be able to counter these immediate by-products of breast lift surgery.
The surgeon will apply dissolvable suture underneath the patient’s skin to lend extra support during the healing process. The presence of these sutures prevents scar thickening and widening. Additionally, the surgeon will often add external sutures that are either dissolvable or will need to be removed seven to ten days following the breast lift surgery.
In addition to these sutures, the surgeon will apply gauze bandages over the incisions to absorb any spots of blood. These bandages can be removed after a couple of days following the surgery but then the patient will have to wear a surgical compression bra. The doctor will give specific instructions related to the wearing of the bra, which is important as inadequate support from a bra can lead to scarring, splitting of incisions, or an early return of ptosis (breast sagging). During the recovery process, it is recommended that a patient avoid wearing an under-wire bra, and use a compression garment as this will provide the necessary support.
Stitches stay in for at least one week and sometime can remain for two or more weeks.
Patients are advised to avoid any strenuous activity within the first three to four weeks following breast lift surgery. Usually breast lift patients will be able to return to their regular social activities after two weeks following the surgery. However, it is recommended that breast lift patients limit their physical exercise during this period to simple stretching, bending, and swimming.
The recovery period of breast lift surgery takes a long period of time. Although discomfort, swelling, and other noticeable by-products of breast lift surgery will be eradicated within the first several weeks following breast lift surgery, other changes caused by this surgery may take some time to return to normal. For example, patients find that they experience changes in nipple or breast sensation following the treatment. Usually, these sensations will return to normal within months following the treatment.
General risks of breast lift surgery
General surgery risks include:
Hematoma (collection of blood outside blood vessels)
Seroma (accumulation of fluid beneath the skin)
Pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung)
Necrosis (death) of skin or fat
Breast lift-specific risks include:
Numbness in the nipple or areola (usually temporary, but may be permanent)
Problems with breast-feeding
Asymmetry of breasts
Dissatisfaction with the new breasts' appearance
Changes in emotions or mood (depression)
Reducing Your Risk of Breast Lift Complications
Be honest with your surgeon and disclose all relevant information on smoking status and alcohol use. Also tell your surgeon about all the medications and herbal supplements you are taking on a regular basis. Many medications, including "all-natural" herbal remedies, can affect your body's ability to heal following surgery. Your surgeon will advise you not to take aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications because they may increase your risk of bleeding.
Your surgeon will also likely require you to quit smoking for at least a 8 weeks before surgery. Smoking can impede your skin's ability to heal and can increase your risk of skin death. Take this as an opportunity to kick the habit for good and complement your new appearance with a healthier, smoke-free lifestyle. Ask your surgeon for tips and guidance on the most appropriate ways to quit smoking before your breast lift or see our page on smoking and surgery.
Lowering the Risk of Infection After Breast Lift Surgery
Several steps can be taken to reduce one of the main risks of breast lift surgery — infection. Use antibacterial soap for several days before your surgery, and be sure to take the full course of antibiotics if they are prescribed by your surgeon and follow all your surgeon’s instructions (this includes avoiding alcohol, cigarettes and strenuous activity).
PRICING - CLICK HERE
Included in prices:
Hospital stay in a single, private room
Plastic + reconstructive surgeon
Private hospital fees
Bandages, dressings and prescribed medications for 7 days
Pre and post operative consultations with a leading surgeon