What is a Breast Lift?
A woman’s breasts change over time due to many factors, including pregnancy and breastfeeding, weight fluctuation, genetic factors and the natural aging process. A breast lift, or mastopexy, is a procedure that raises the breasts by tightening the surrounding tissue and removing excess skin, creating a lifted, more youthful appearance. Breast lift surgery does not change the size of your breasts. Instead, it fills out your existing breasts for a fuller appearance.
Common reasons women choose breast lift surgery:
- To restore a better breast shape following pregnancy & breastfeeding. Pregnancy can bring some unwelcome changes to the breasts, often leaving them stretched and sagging
- To improve breast contour after significant weight loss
Good candidates for this surgery include women who:
- Have sagging breasts or breasts that have lost volume
- Have flat, elongated breasts
- Have nipples that point downward
- Have asymmetrical breasts
- Are finished having children
Types of Breast Lifts
There are three different incision patterns used in breast lift surgery. Each focuses on minimal scaring and optimal lift. The exact technique used will vary based on a patient’s existing breast tissue, the amount of excess skin to be removed, and her personal goals. They include:
- Crescent Lift: This involves a small incision running halfway around the top half of the edge of the areola.
- Peri-Areolar or “Donut” Lift: This involves a circular incision running around the edge of the areola
- Vertical or “Lollipop” Lift: A vertical lift involves 2 incisions: one around the edge of the areola, and one running vertically from the bottom of the areola to the inframammary fold, creating a “lollipop” shape.
- Inverted T or “Anchor” Lift: This technique involves 3 incisions: one around the edge of the areola, one vertically from the bottom of the areola to the breast crease, and one along the inframammary fold, hidden in the breast crease.
Breast lift surgery is typically performed in general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia. Under general anaesthesia, an incision is made and the breast tissue is lifted and reshaped to improve contour and firmness. The nipple is repositioned to a location more appropriate for the new shape of the breast. Excess skin is removed if necessary. The procedure takes about 1-3 hours to perform, depending on the extent of surgery.
You will be able to go home shortly after surgery to continue your recovery. Your breasts will be bandaged .Most patients experience some soreness and swelling after breast lift surgery. You will be given pain medication and antibiotics to help keep you comfortable. Many patients return to work within the first week after breast lift surgery, depending on the nature of their jobs, and resume most daily activities after a week or so. Residual soreness and swelling should gradually subside over the first several months after a breast lift.
Having a breast lift is similar to resetting the clock for sagging. Your breasts will still undergo natural changes due to the aging process, although with proper care you should not experience your previous level of sagging for many years. However, it is important to understand that certain life events, such as future pregnancy or weight fluctuations can negatively affect your results. If you are planning to have more children or you would like to lose weight, it is best to achieve these milestones before having a breast lift
When performed by a qualified cosmetic surgeon, a breast lift is safe and rewarding procedure with long-lasting results. Complications from breast lift surgery are minimal and include those associated with any surgery, such as infection, excessive bleeding and anaesthesia risks. In addition, risks for breast lift surgery include:
- Breast asymmetry
- Contour and shape irregularities
- Fluid accumulation(seroma)
- Temporary or permanent changes in breast or nipple sensation
- Potential inability to breastfeed