Breast Lift Surgery: Mastopexy
Do you feel your breast does not match with your all over physique?
In general, the shape of your breasts complements your body. Aging and gravity cause the breast to droop, lose firmness and sag. Pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause and weight fluctuations also cause your boobs to lose lift and volume. Sagging boobs and downward pointing nipples affect self-confidence and self-esteem. To get rid of displeasing changes in breast and to get back the natural and youthful breast appearance, one can consider a breast lift surgery.
What is a Breast Lift Surgery?
A breast lift is an aesthetic surgery to raise boobs by removing extra breast skin, tightening tissues, reshaping, raising areola and nipple to forward position and make upper portion fuller. It is also termed as mastopexy. It is done to give breasts a more buoyant, perkier, firmer and youthful appearance. It restores feminine proportion. After a breast lift surgery, your boobs will look more round. This procedure also reduces large and stretched areola.
The type of breast lift varies according to the incision technique used by your surgeon. The choice of incision technique relies on the amount of skin that is to be removed, patient’s personal goals and type of existing breast tissue. Also, the surgeon recommends the kind of breast lift that will help the patient to achieve an optimal result with least scarring.
Types of breast lift surgery:
1. Crest lift- This type of breast lift is used to correct minimal sagging, and it leaves minimal scarring. Here the incision made is tiny and runs only halfway around the top edge of the areola. It is done less frequently and only in the patients who are also having breast augmentation.
2. Doughnut lift or Peri-areolar Lift- It is done in the women with mild breast sagging. Here incision circles the areola edge. This procedure is usually done in conjugation with breast augmentation cosmetic surgery and is also useful in reducing areola size. The resulted scar traces the areola edge.
3. Lollipop lift or vertical lift- This is the most common type of breast lift surgery that allows the removal of excess skin and reshapes breast with easily hidden scars. It involves two types of incisions. One incision is done circling the areola edge, and other runs vertically from bottom of the areola to inframammary fold. This procedure corrects moderate breast sagging along with providing extensive re-shaping.
4. Anchor lift or Inverted T- For patients with pendulous and sagging breast, anchor lift mastopexy is considered. It removes a significant amount of sagging tissue and skin. In this type of breast lift, three incisions are made. One runs along the areola edge; the second incision runs vertically from bottom of the areola to inframammary crease, and the third one is hidden along inframammary crease. This technique is also used when you have a breast lift in conjugation with breast reduction surgery. Scarring is visible but fades over time. Even, the incisions are easily hidden by the bikini top.
Causes: Why To Consider A Breast Lift
- To restore the shape of the breast that has naturally drooped with age, due to pregnancy, breastfeeding or weight fluctuations.
- To support breasts that are unsupported and droop due to stretched fibrous ligament and the pulled skin.
- To improve breast contour and feel confident with perky and beautiful breasts.
- To make wearing a swimming suit and bra comfortable.
- To reposition your nipple to point forward instead of downwards.
- You need a breast lift if areola or nipple sits under the breast crease and to elevate breast mound.
- In the case of the enlarged areola.
- One breast is lower in comparison to other.
- You are not happy with elongated, flatter or pendulous shape and size of your boobs and want fuller and more round breasts.
- Your breast is unusually shaped or asymmetrical.
Who Are Good Candidates For A Breast Lift
- Females who are relatively healthy and fit.
- Breasts are fully developed.
- Non-pregnant females and who are not breastfeeding.
- A Female with realistic expectations.
- Non-smokers or who have stopped smoking at least a couple of weeks before surgery.
The most effective way to raise drooping bust lines is breast lift surgery or mastopexy. Mastopexy is many times done in combination with breast augmentation. If you want significant change in your breast size, you need to conjugate mastopexy with breast augmentation and if you want a smaller but firmer and raised breast do consider a breast lift with reduction mammoplasty.
Precautions Before Breast Lift Surgery
To Prepare you for a breast lift surgery you will be asked to:
- Get a medical evaluation, lab test and baseline mammography. You need to tell your doctor if you had any surgery in the past and about medicines you are taking currently. If you have any allergy, tell your doctor.
- Stop smoking at least a couple of weeks before the surgery.
- Avoid taking blood-thinning medicines or herbs that increase the risk of bleeding a week before surgery.
- Do not drink or eat anything from the midnight before the procedure.
- Wear loose clothes on the day of mastopexy.
- Do not apply cream, deodorant or powder on the day of surgery.
- Before having mastopexy get your armpits shaved.
- Do not wear any jewelry, hair accessories and a contact lens on the day of surgery.
- Arrange someone to drive you back and stay with you for the first day after surgery.
- If you get ill within a week before the surgery, notify your surgeon so that he/she could decide whether to delay mastopexy or not.
- Shower well prior to the surgery.
Through various techniques and incision patterns, the breast lift procedure is achieved. Mastopexy is done in a hospital or office-based surgical center or ambulatory surgical facility or outpatient. The surgery is carried out in following steps:
1. Anesthesia- For the patient’s comfort during the surgery intravenous, or general anesthesia is administered. Depending on your health condition, your preference and extent of surgery your doctor will recommend the best choice for you. Usually, in breast lift surgery, general anesthesia is given.
2. Incision and breast reshaping- Which type of breast lift and incision technique is best for you is determined by the size and shape of the breast, areola position and size, skin elasticity and quality, extra skin amount on your breasts and the degree of breast drooping.
Commonly there are three types of incision patterns:
- Around the areola
- Racquet pattern- Where one incision is made around the areola and other vertically down from areola bottom to the breast crease.
- Anchor shape pattern- Where three incisions are made. One around the areola, second vertically down from areola bottom to breast crease and third running horizontally along the breast crease.
After the incision is done, the breast tissue is lifted and reshaped to improve the firmness and breast contour. For a more natural appearance, nipple and areola are repositioned. If areola is large the skin at the perimeter is excised and reduced. The excess of breast skin is also removed to compensate for reduced elasticity.
3. Closing the incisions- Once the breast is reshaped, the excess of skin is removed, and the rest of the skin and breast tissue is tightened. Incisions are closed with dissolving sutures.
What To Expect
During the recovery period bandages and dressings are applied to the incisions. You may have to wear support bra or elastic bandage to support your breasts and minimize swelling. A thin tube will be placed temporarily to drain excess of fluid and blood.
The result of surgery is visible immediately, but the post-surgical swelling resolves over time. Also, the incision lines fade with time. The final result takes a few months to appear. The breast lift outcome is long lasting but aging, gravity, weight fluctuations, pregnancy, and breastfeeding may affect the result. If you want to retain breast lift for a longer time, maintain your weight and follow a healthy lifestyle.
- Precautions After Surgery
- Drink plenty of water after surgery to keep yourself hydrated.
- Take pain medicines and antibiotics as recommended by your surgeon.
- You may shower after 24 hours post-surgery. After the shower, apply antibiotic ointment. Dry semi-strips with a cool hair drier to cover your incisions.
- Apply a cold compress to the affected area for 20 minutes every hour for first 48 hours post-surgery.
- Drink plenty of fluid and keep yourself hydrated.
- To soak drainage, you may apply gauze pads to your bra.
- Avoid strenuous activities and lifting heavy weight during the recovery period.
- Make sure that the incisions are not subjected to abrasion, excessive force or motion.
- Avoid getting the nipples pierced until your doctor allows.
- During recovery period wear loose clothes.
- Drive only after you get a green signal from your surgeon.
1. How is breast lift surgery different from breast augmentation?
Breast augmentation focuses on increasing the breast size. A breast lift does not affect the size of the breast, but it raises breasts and gives firmness and shape.
2. Will mastopexy reduce the size of my breast?
In the breast lift surgery a minimal amount of tissue is removed, and so it doesn’t affect the overall size of the breast. Better go for breast implant in conjugation with mastopexy if your small breast size is a matter of concern.
3. Does breast lift affect a female’s ability to breastfeed?
It is possible to breastfeed baby even after you had a breast lift if nipples are left attached to the tissues. In some rare cases where free nipple grafting is done breastfeeding is difficult.
4. At what age should I go for a breast lift?
You may have a breast lift at any age after your breasts are fully developed. Still, for a long-lasting effect, mastopexy is usually recommended after you are done having children because pregnancy and breastfeeding affect the mastopexy outcome.
5. What are the risk and complications associated with a breast lift?
A few associated risks with mastopexy surgery are as followed:
- Anesthesia risks
- Hematoma formation
- Poor healing of incisions
- Permanent or temporary changes in breast and nipple sensation.
- Breast asymmetry
- Breast contour and shape irregularities
- Fat necrosis
- Fluid accumulation
- Total or partial loss of nipple and areola
- Deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary and cardiac complications
- The possibility of re-correction surgery
To ensure safe surgery and get a satisfactory outcome chose your surgeon wisely.
6. How to chose the best surgeon for breast lift surgery?
Consult Dr. Parag Telang. He is Mumbai’s most preferred board-certified cosmetic plastic surgeon.
6. Is breast lift covered by insurance?
No, being an aesthetic surgery breast lift is not covered by insurance.
7. What is the cost of breast lift surgery?
The cost of breast lift surgery varies with your location, type of mastopexy and experience of the surgeon.
8. What is the recovery time after having a mastopexy?
The recovery time after breast lift depends on the amount of removed skin and the degree of tightening. In general, you can return to your work in a week after the surgery.