A breast lift (which is also known as a mastopexy) is a surgical procedure to raise and reshape sagging breasts.
Breasts often change over time, losing their youthful shape and firmness. These changes and loss of skin elasticity can result from many things such as changes in the body after pregnancy, breastfeeding, aging, gravity, heredity and fluctuations in weight. A breast lift tightens a drooping breast by removing excess skin only. A very new technique uses an absorbable mesh to lift the breast like an “internal bra” but has a very limited clinical experience.
While a breast lift won’t significantly change the size of your breasts or round out the upper part of your breast, you can combine a breast lift with other procedures in order to achieve these results. For example, if you want your breasts to look fuller, consider breast lift and breast augmentation surgery; and if you want smaller breasts, consider combining breast lift and breast reduction surgery.
Who should consider breast lift?
As women age, the loss of skin elasticity and natural shape of the breast can lead women to become self-conscious about their breasts and looking for a way tighten a drooping breast. A breast lift can rejuvenate your figure with a breast profile that is more youthful and uplifted. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast lifts are growing in popularity, with statistics showing breast lifts have grown by more than 70% since 2000, outpacing breast implants 2-to-1.
What a consultation entails
To determine whether you are a good candidate for a breast lift, a consultation with Dr. Draper is the first step – where you will discuss your personal health history, surgical goals/desired outcomes and benefits/risks of the procedure. In addition, the consultation will discuss any previous surgeries you may have had, as well as the results of any mammograms or previous biopsies.
What to expect during surgery
There are many techniques for performing a breast lift procedure. For small breast lifts, many times an incision can be made just around the areola. In patients who have significant loss of volume and “droopiness”, an anchor-like incision is often made along the underside of the breast; after the excess skin is removed, the nipple and areola are moved into a higher position, as the skin around the areola is brought down and together to re-shape the breast. A breast lift procedure can take anywhere between one and three hours, depending on the patient.
Typically, the patient will wear a specialized surgical bra for approximately three weeks, based on the patient’s personal needs and rate of healing. Dr. Draper will remove all stitches.
Although pain may be felt after the surgery, oral medication can alleviate the pain. Plenty of rest and limited movement is recommended for the duration of the post-operative process.