What is breast lift surgery?
A breast lift, also known as mastopexy, raises the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour.
New statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons show breast lifts have grown 70% since 2000, outpacing breast implants 2-to-1.
Sometimes the areola becomes enlarged over time, and a breast lift will reduce this as well.
A breast lift can rejuvenate your figure with a breast profile that is more youthful and uplifted. A woman's breasts often change over time, losing their youthful shape and firmness. These changes and loss of skin elasticity can result from:
What breast lift surgery can't do
Breast lift surgery does not significantly change the size of your breasts or round out the upper part of your breast. If you want your breasts to look fuller, consider breast lift and breast augmentation surgery.
If you want smaller breasts, consider combining breast lift and breast reduction surgery.
Who is a good candidate for breast lift surgery?
Breast lift surgery is a highly individualized procedure. You should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else's desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.
Who is a good candidate for breast lift surgery?
You may be a candidate for breast lift surgery if:
You are physically healthy and maintain a stable weight
You do not smoke
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
What are the risks of breast lift surgery?
The decision to have plastic surgery is extremely personal, and you'll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications of breast lift surgery are acceptable.
You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any breast lift risks and potential complications.
Breast lift risks include:
Bleeding or hematoma formation
Breast contour and shape irregularities
Changes in nipple or breast sensation, which may be temporary or permanent
Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis)
Poor healing of incisions
Possibility of revisional surgery
Potential partial or total loss of nipple and areola
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all of your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.
Breast lift and breast implant placement
Some women may want to consider placement of a breast implant in addition to the breast lift.
An implant can provide improved upper breast fullness or cleavage. Implants can be placed at the same time or as a second procedure, depending on the experience of the surgeon.
What should I expect during my breast lift recovery?
During your breast lift recovery, dressings or bandages will be applied to the incisions after the procedure is completed.
You'll need to wear an elastic bandage or support bra to minimize swelling and support your breasts as they heal.
A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.You will be given specific instructions that may include:
How to care for your breasts following surgery
Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection
Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health
When to follow up with your plastic surgeon.
Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual breast lift recovery period.
Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?
Are stitches removed? When?
When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
When do I return for follow-up care?
What results should I expect after breast lift surgery?
The results of your breast lift surgery are immediately visible. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade.
Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover from surgery.The final results of your breast lift will appear over the next few months as breast shape and position continue to settle.Incision lines are permanent but will continue to fade over time. The results of your breast lift surgery will be long-lasting. Over time, your breasts can continue to change due to aging and gravity. You'll be able to retain your new look longer if you:
Maintain your weight
Keep a healthy lifestyle
Following your physician's instructions is essential to the success of your surgery.
It's important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.
Breast lift surgery and pregnancy
Breast surgery should be entertained after child bearing is completed.
Changes that occur in the breasts during pregnancy can minimize or reverse the improvement a breast lift provides.
Likewise, significant weight loss after breast surgery can negatively impact breast appearance.
This article was taken from AMERICAN SOCIETY OF PLASTIC SURGEONS web page: