What is a breast lift? What results can I expect?
A mastopexy, or breast lift, is a surgery that raises drooping breasts to a more youthful, attractive place higher on the chest.
What are some of the most common benefits of breast lift surgery?
This procedure is an excellent option for women who want to reclaim the firm feel and youthful contours their breasts had when they were younger. In addition to the improved appearance and feel of the breasts, women may also discover that they can go without a bra and still look and feel good in clothes that now flatter them even more.
Am I a good candidate for a mastopexy?
An experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon can talk with you about your goals and tell you if a breast lift is the right option to achieve those goals. In general, a woman with sagging breasts who is well both physically and mentally and who has received all the information she needs to make informed decisions about opting for surgery is a good candidate for a breast lift.
What will happen at the initial breast lift consultation?
The consultation is a time for you and your surgeon to talk about the improvements you want to achieve in the way you look and feel about yourself. The choices you will make will be unique to your own body, self-image, and lifestyle so it is important to inform your doctor about any concerns you have and to get clear, complete answers to all your questions. It will be very helpful if you bring to your consultation pictures of breast lifts that appeal to you.
At the consultation, Dr Evans will inform you about the surgery, about the type of anesthesia you will receive, and about what to expect from your breast lift before and after. The doctor will also take a complete medical history and conduct a physical exam. After your procedure is set up, but before the day of your procedure, you will be given detailed instructions regarding what you can and cannot eat and drink prior to your surgery, if you can use tobacco prior to surgery, and advice on losing weight ahead of your procedure day.
Measurements of your breasts will be taken, as will photographs. Dr Evans may also order a mammogram. Another consideration your surgeon will speak with you about is the new location of your nipples, and you will be asked if you wish to have your areolas (the pigmented skin encircling each nipple) decreased in size.
It is important to ask your surgeon all the questions you have about your procedure and the steps that come before and after it. Also, ask to view before and after photos of the doctor’s recent breast lift patients. Ask the doctor if he or she has breast lift patients who would be available to speak with you about their own experiences. A successful and satisfactory breast lift is the result of getting educated about all your options, as well as the pros and cons involved, and then making each decision in the process from a position of knowledge.
What happens before I have the surgery?
The first step is to have a consultation with the surgeon. If you decide to have surgery, a date will be scheduled. At a second visit to the office, your surgery will be reviewed with you, photos will be taken, you will sign consent forms, and you will be given any necessary prescriptions and additional instructions. Before your surgery, payment in full is due; if you are financing, the arrangements will be made. One to two weeks before your surgery day, you will need to have blood drawn for pre-op lab tests and go for an electrocardiogram.
What happens on the day of surgery?
On the morning of your surgery, you will go to the surgery center. In accordance with your pre-op instructions, you will have not had anything to eat or drink after midnight. After you check in, your vital signs will be recorded and you will be given a gown to put on. An I.V. line will be put into your arm and your breasts will be marked in preparation for the procedure. Before you are taken into the surgical suite, you may be administered a sedative through your I.V.
What type of anesthesia is used?
In most cases, the surgeon will use general anesthesia, so you will go to sleep and have no memory of your surgery.
How is breast lift surgery done?
There are various ways of restoring sagging breasts, and the amount of sagging may determine which method is best for you. During the procedure, the surgeon cuts away extra skin from around the areola and, in some cases, from the underside of the breast as well. He or she can then reposition the breast skin to eliminate laxity and add additional volume to the breast by placing an implant to enhance projection and evenness of the skin. This allows for a higher, more youthful placement of the nipple and areola.
While particular breast lift methods may have distinctive differences, by and large they are normally classified as either verticle mastopexy (there is no incision placed under the breast)the anchor-shaped mastopexy, which may be used on very large reduction procedures, or the concentric (or “doughnut”) mastopexy, which is ideal for petite breasts that have a minimal amount of sagging. The surgeon removes a round section of skin and then reorients the breasts. The anchor-shaped mastopexy is much the same, although it involves cuts away a larger amount of breast tissue, which is shaped like an anchor. Your surgeon can show you breast lift photos that illustrate the different methods, as well as breast lift with implants pictures.
As a rule, the greater the amount of tissue that is removed, the greater the amount of contouring is possible. If your breasts are drooping considerably, the skin has likely been pulled so much that a larger incision will be necessary to eliminate enough tissue to allow the breast to be raised to the desired position.
Since some breast volume is lost, you may have a breast lift with implants to improve the size and contour of the breasts. These breast lift implants are the same ones used for breast augmentation; in fact, many women opt to have a breast lift and augmentation combined. Operating time for a breast lift may range from one to three hours, with the particular surgical method dictating the length of time required.
Are drains placed?
Your surgeon may place a drain in each breast. This will be determined by the lift technique used. These drains are most often taken out one to three days after your breast lift and their removal is quite tolerable.
What happens after surgery?
When your surgery is done, you will be brought into the recovery room and kept there for one to two hours. A friend or family member will drive you home and your activities will be restricted for the first three or four days; you should not attempt to drive for a minimum of three to five days following your procedure. You can continue with strenuous exercise with your arms at four to six weeks. It is possible that you will be able to begin bicycling, walking, or jogging a little sooner than that.
What can I expect after surgery?
Following your breast lift, the change in the shape of your breasts will be instantly apparent, and the majority of patients are quite pleased with this striking improvement. Areas of numbness in the breasts after surgery are to be expected and may remain permanently; however, the vast majority of patients believe it is an acceptable tradeoff. For a period of several weeks to two months, you are required to wear a bra to uphold your breasts; however, underwire bras should not be worn as they may irritate the sensitive breast tissues as they continue to heal.