What is a Breast Lift?
A breast lift or Mastopexy is a surgical procedure that firms and lifts the breast by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue. It can also decrease the diameter of the areola that may have enlarged over time. A woman’s breast can change considerably over time for a number of reasons such as:
- Dramatic weight changes or fluctuations
- Post pregnancy and /or Breastfeeding
Although breast lift surgery will not significantly change the size of your breast it will firm and raise the tissue to give it a more youthful appearance. If desiring a larger or smaller breast size one might want to consider having breast augmentation or breast reduction surgery. Still, it is important to understand that although a breast lift may enhance your self confidence it will not fit an ideal image that you may have for yourself. A realistic vision to having a breast lift surgery will meet your expectations and produce the desired results.
Considerations for Breast Lift Surgery
Here are some good questions to ask yourself before deciding if a breast lift is right for you.
- Do your breasts have an elongated shape or do your nipples fall below the breast crease?
- Are you physically healthy?
- Does your weight fluctuate a lot?
- Are you uncomfortable with your breast shape or sagging due to loss of volume?
- Do you have realistic expectations about the outcome of a breast lift?
- Is one of your breasts lower/higher than the other
- Do you smoke?
A physical exam and discussion with your doctor will help determine your physical eligibility and assist you in making an educated decision on whether a breast lift is right for you.
The Breast Lift Procedure
There are three common incision patterns most often used by surgeons in this procedure. This can be determined by a number of factors and varies according to your ultimate goal and the current shape, volume, or amount of sagging of the breast. It is also important to remember that although these incision lines are permanent, in most cases, they will fade significantly over time. After having breast lift surgery you will see immediate results which will continue to improve as your body heals. The three incision lines are illustrated below. The picture next to each is the visible incision line after surgery. Note that although illustration 3 appears to have the most incision lines, most of those are hidden within the natural breast contours.
Illustration 1- Around the areola:
Illustration 2- Around the areola and vertically down from the areola to the breast crease:
Illustration 3 - Around the areola, vertically down from the breast crease then horizontally along the breast crease:
Preparing for your Breast Lift Surgery
- As with any surgery it is important if you smoke to refrain two weeks prior to your surgery and for up to a week following your breast lift surgery.
- Any medications you take should be modified or regulated upon the instruction of your doctor.
- No food or drink after midnight the night before your breast lift surgery. If you are instructed to take any oral medications they should be taken with 1 sip of water.
- Washing the surgical areas with an anti-microbial soap the night before and/or the morning before your breast lift surgery is recommended.
- Do not wear any lotions, perfume, oils, or deodorant the day of your surgery.
- Wear loose fitting clothes that open in the front the day of your breast lift surgery
Most people may return to work within a week or so of having breast lift surgery. From time to time you may feel pain in the breast area but that is normal. Any severe pain should be reported to your doctor. Each person and their breast lift surgery will vary so it is important to consult with your doctor regarding post surgery recovery instructions. Here are a couple general recovery instructions to always follow.
- Prepare for someone to pick you up and stay with you for the next 24 hours following your breast lift surgery. If you have any small children it is a good idea to arrange care for them in advance of your surgery.
- You should get plenty of rest and avoid heavy lifting or rigorous activity for at least a week after your breast lift surgery.
As with any surgery there are risks to having breast lift surgery, these should be discussed with your doctor and a full physical exam will determine if you are a candidate for this procedure. Following closely any instructions given by your doctor will greatly decrease the chances of post operative complications.