A breast lift, also known as a mastopexy, is a procedure to raise and reshape sagging breasts. As a woman ages, skin loses some elasticity which can cause the breasts to lose their natural shape and firmness. This procedure is designed to elevate the breasts and give them a more youthful appearance. A breast lift may also be completed in conjunction with breast enlargement surgery (augmentation).
Reasons for Considering a Breast Lift:
Elevate the breasts due to sagging caused by the effects of aging and gravity.
Firm the breasts if they have lost substance due to pregnancy and subsequent breast-feeding.
Re-align your nipples/areolae if they point down or to the side.
Bring back natural suppleness after weight loss.
The breast lift surgical procedure usually takes one and one half to three hours. Techniques vary, but the most common procedure involves an anchor-like incision along the underside of the breast. The incision goes around the area where skin will be removed, thus defining how the nipple will be relocated. When the excess skin has been removed, the nipple and areola are moved into a higher position. The skin surrounding the areola is brought down and together to reshape the breast.
Some patients, especially those with relatively small breasts and minimal sagging, may be candidates for modified procedures requiring less extensive incisions.
If the patient is having an implant inserted along with the breast lift, the implant will be placed in a pocket directly under the muscle of the chest wall.
Generally, post-operative instructions call for plenty rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and recovery time. A special bra nd bandages are applied right after surgery to aid the healing process and to minimize movement of the breasts. The patient is usually seen the day after the procedure and the surgical dressings are removed, but the patient will need to wear the specialized surgical bra for several weeks. Patients sometimes report pain associated with surgery which can be treated with oral medication. It is important to have an adult careperson assisting the patient in the first few days after this surgery. While complications are rare, patients can minimize potential problems by carefully following the post-operative directions given by the surgeon and his nurse.