What Is a Breast Lift?
A breast lift, also called a mastopexy, is performed to return a youthful shape and lift breasts that have sagged or lost volume and firmness. A woman’s breasts may droop as a result of the natural effects of aging, heredity, gravity, pregnancy, breastfeeding or weight loss. Dr. Charlotte Ann Rhee is a Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon in Huntington, Long Island NY that specializes in Breast Lift surgery.
Breast lifts rejuvenate the breasts by trimming excess skin and tightening supporting tissues to achieve an uplifted, youthful contour. After a mastopexy, the breasts are higher on the chest and firmer to the touch. Breast lifts can also reposition and reduce the size of the areola which may have stretched or drooped.
Candidates for a Mastopexy
The best candidates for a breast lift are women who maintain a healthy weight, live an overall healthy lifestyle, does not smoke, and has a realistic expectation of their outcome. Additionally, women who are planning to have children are advised to postpone surgery, since pregnancy and nursing can counteract a breast lift’s effects by stretching the skin.
Candidates must have breasts that meet some or all of the following conditions:
- Areola and/or breast skin is stretched
- Breasts have lost shape or volume
- Downward pointing nipples or areolas
- Flat, elongated, or pendulous (hanging) breasts
- Nipples or areolas are in the breast crease when breasts are unsupported
- One breast is lower than the other
- Sagging breasts
Types of Mastopexy Incisions
There are several types of incision methods that can be used when performing a breast lift. The technique a surgeon chooses depends on the patient’s breast size, shape, and the degree of sagging. Additionally, the size and position of the areolas will need to be considered as well as the amount of excess skin and skin quality.
There are three common incision types to use during a breast lift. The first includes two rings around the areola in a doughnut shape. Dr. Rhee recommends this technique for a small-incision mastopexy and patients with small breasts and minimal sagging. The second type is around the areola and down to the breast crease which produces a lollipop shape. Finally, if you add an additional half-moon incision along the breast crease to the lollipop incision it is considered an anchor shape incision.
The Breast Lift Procedure
A mastopexy may be performed in a hospital, an outpatient surgery center or a surgeon’s office-based facility. It is usually done on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia and lasts from 1 ½ to 3 ½ hours.
In all cases, breast lift surgery begins with administration of anesthesia or IV sedation. Dr. Rhee will make the necessary incisions, and then lifts and reshapes the breast tissue into its new, rejuvenated contour. Dr. Rhee will move the nipple and areola higher on the breast and remove extra skin around the perimeter if the areola is enlarged. Finally, she will trim the excess breast skin that is a result of poor elasticity.
When the mastopexy is complete, the skin is closed with stitches, tissue adhesive and/or surgical tape. The stitches are in layers deep throughout the breasts tissue or hidden in the breast crease. Additionally, some are visible but all are in place to support the lifted breasts. All scars will mature with time.
Risks of a Mastopexy
Besides the risks associated with surgery and anesthesia there are risks specific to mastopexy. These risks include the following:
- Irregularities in breast contour/shape
- Partial or total loss of nipple/areola
- Temporary or permanent change in nipple/breast sensation
Breast Lift Recovery
After surgery, the breasts are wrapped with gauze dressings, and you may need to wear an elastic bandage or a surgical bra. After a few days, this is replaced with a soft support bra, which is worn 24 hours a day for about a month.
The breasts will probably be bruised, swollen, and uncomfortable after surgery, but this will pass in a few days. Any numbness in the breasts and nipples should lessen as swelling subsides. After one or two weeks the stitches can be removed, and many patients return to work then.
During recovery, patients should be wearing compression garments in order to reduce swelling and bleeding. For those that want more than the average surgical bra can look to BodyFly. BodyFly is a line of body shaping activewear for patients that are recovering from breast or body surgical procedures. Dr. Rhee founded this company in 2016 to offer patients wardrobe options that incorporate compression benefits with fashion.
Additionally, BodyFly can benefit patients that have not had surgery or are recovered during their regular workouts. Our technology offers moisture wicking fabric, excellent breathability, enhanced circulation and a reduction in soreness which leads to longer stamina while exercising. Let BodyFly enhance your workout while supporting your body. For more information visit https://bodyflyusa.com/.
Results of a Breast Lift
If you agreed on realistic goals with your Dr. Rhee during your consultation, you should be very satisfied with the look of your lifted breasts. You will be able to see the results of your mastopexy immediately after surgery, and you may become even more satisfied as the swelling goes down and incision lines fade.
Additional Breast Surgical Procedures
Breast size does not change after a breast lift, nor does the fullness or roundness in the upper part of the breasts. Women who desire larger, smaller or more rounded breasts may want to consider a breast augmentation or breast reduction. These procedures can be done separately or in conjunction with a breast lift.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are interested in learning more about our Breast Lift (Mastopexy) Procedure, call 631-424-6707 today to schedule an appointment.