For many women pregnancy, nursing and time can cause breasts to lose their shape, fullness and elasticity. A breast lift, or mastopexy, is a surgical procedure designed to raise and reshape sagging breasts. Some patients choose to have the size of their areola reduced and implants inserted during their mastopexy.
Although breasts of any size can be lifted, typically the best results are achieved in women with small, sagging breasts.
A breast lift usually takes one and a half to three and a half hours and is done under general anesthesia.
The most common procedure involves an anchor-shaped incision following the contour of the breast. The incision outlines the area from which breast skin will be removed and defines the new higher location for the nipple. The skin surrounding the areola is brought down and together to lift and reshape the breast. Stitches are made around the areola, in a vertical line downward from the nipple area, and along the crease of the breast.
If you’re having an implant inserted along with your breast lift, it will be placed in a pocket directly under the breast tissue, or deeper, under the muscle of the chest wall.
Healing is a gradual process. Your surgeon will give you detailed instructions for resuming your normal activities. Although you may be up and about in a day or two, don’t plan on returning to work for a week or more, depending on how you feel. And avoid lifting anything over your head for three to four weeks. If you have any unusual symptoms, don’t hesitate to call your surgeon.
A breast lift is normally safe, but, as with any surgery, there’s a possibility of complications or a reaction to the anesthesia. Bleeding and infection following a breast lift are uncommon, but they can cause scars to widen. Patients can reduce their risks by closely following Dr. Boottaylor’s advice both before and after surgery.