A breast lift (or mastopexy), is a surgical procedure performed on women who have sagging breasts due to pregnancy, significant weight loss, or genetics. The procedure involves:
- Elevating the breast tissue to a higher position on the chest wall
- Repositioning the nipple-areolar area
- Tightening the skin
The procedure can involve the use of a breast implant to increase the volume of the breast. When there is mild sagging to the breasts, an implant alone can produce a rejuvenated appearance with only a minimal skin incision. Any incision, however, will result in permanent scars. The procedure can restore a more youthful-looking shape to the breast.
Most patients are between 30 and 60 years of age and want to make aesthetic enhancements to their breasts. The procedure can be performed as part of a post-mastectomy breast reconstruction procedure to achieve better symmetry with the reconstructed opposite breast.
Your plastic surgeon will perform a comprehensive evaluation of your breasts including a detailed history of any personal or family breast problems, as well as a review of your mammograms.
Some of the specific instructions you’ll receive about preparing for surgery include:
- Smoking cessation
- Medications to avoid
- When to take your prescribed medications
- Proper washing techniques
- Restrictions regarding eating and drinking the night before surgery
You and your surgeon will discuss your concerns about your current breast shape, and your goals regarding the breast uplift procedure. Prior to the consultation, you should think carefully about your goals, such as your satisfaction levels with the volume of your breasts and whether you want to increase or decrease the volume.
Breast lift procedures can be performed in a variety of ways with different types of incisions. The approximate location of the incisions and scars will be outlined directly on your skin with a medical skin marker or on a diagram. For a small uplift, short incisions just around the nipple-areola may be necessary. Sometimes they extend down the breast like a lollipop. The more the breasts sag, the more likely you will need longer incisions.
Type of Anesthesia
Your doctor will recommend the best type of anesthesia for you, but local anesthesia along with intravenous sedation or general anesthesia can be used.
Where Will the Procedure Be Performed?
A breast lift usually is done in a hospital as outpatient surgery and you must be driven to and from the hospital by a friend or family member.
In most cases, patients will experience pain in the breast area for the first 24-48 hours. Some swelling of the breast tissues always occurs, but it is usually gone within a month following surgery.
Most patients will be able to go out in public one or two days after surgery. Showering is permitted within the first several days. Vigorous physical activity is limited for four weeks following surgery.