Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
Mastopexy is the technical name for surgery that lifts and shapes the breasts and sometimes reduces the size of the areola. The goal of this procedure is to temporarily offset the natural effects of age and gravity by lifting the breasts, giving them a more youthful appearance.
As with other forms of cosmetic plastic surgery, you need to have a clear and realistic idea of why you want the surgery and what you hope to look like after it. And you need to discuss these honestly with your surgeon. It's important to understand that changing your appearance can't solve all of the difficulties that you might face in life. However, it may increase your self-confidence as you deal with them.
This surgery has no effect on your ability to breast feed.
During your first consultation, your doctor will ask you about:
Your general health
Any specific conditions that might interfere with surgery
Your goals for the surgery
The doctor will also:
Perform an exam
Explain the details of the surgery
Discuss what factors might affect the procedure
explain the type of surgical technique to be used
Discuss type of anesthesia to be used and length of hospital stay, if any.
You may be asked to have a mammogram (breast x-ray) before surgery
IMPORTANT: You must stop smoking for several weeks before and after the surgery because smoking can interfere with healing.
What to Expect
Breast lift surgery is usually an outpatient procedure, though it may require a short hospital stay. The procedure normally takes about two to four hours, though more complicated cases can take longer. You will probably be given general anesthesia, so you’ll be asleep during the surgery.
How the Procedure is Performed
There are several techniques for breast lift. The most common breast lift procedure begins with the surgeon making a three-part, anchor-shaped incision. The first incision circles the areola; the second moves vertically down from the areola to the crease beneath the breast; the third moves horizontally beneath the breast, following the natural curve of the crease. View a diagram of the incisions used for a breast lift.
Once the incisions are made, the surgeon removes the unwanted skin, moves the nipple and areola up to a higher position, and brings the skin that was above the areola (in its old position) down and together, to reshape the breast.
At the end of the operation, the surgeon may temporarily put a small, thin drainage tube under the skin of each breast to drain blood and fluids that collect there. Finally, the surgeon closes the incisions with small stitches and puts a bandage on the area to protect it from infection. View results of a breast before and after a breast lift procedure.
All surgery involves some risk and uncertainty. Serious complications or side effects of this surgery are rare, but they include:
Bad reactions to the anesthesia
Even more rare are the possibilities of:
Slightly mismatched breasts
Unevenly positioned nipples
Loss of feeling in the nipples or breast
Immediately After Surgery
After the surgery, your breasts will be covered and protected by gauze bandages and either an elastic bandage or a surgical bra. The bandages and drainage tubes will be removed during the first week after surgery, but you’ll continue to wear a soft support bra for several weeks. Your breasts will be swollen and bruised for a few weeks after surgery. During the first few days you’ll probably have some pain, and for a week or more you may feel discomfort when you move around. Medicines will control this.
After a Few Weeks
Your stitches will be removed within one to two weeks. You should be able to return to non-physical work about a week or two after surgery, though it will be several weeks before you feel completely up to speed. You’ll need to limit your exercise and activities during this time. You’ll also want to avoid sex for a week or so because arousal can cause your breasts to hurt. You may find that your breasts and nipples are less sensitive, or have no feeling at all. Sensation usually returns after several weeks or months.
This surgery does leave permanent scars. But they will fade in time and are easily hidden by clothing.
A breast lift offsets the natural effects of age and gravity only temporarily. Eventually, those forces will again affect the way your breasts look and feel.
Healing is Slow - But Results are Great
Many people feel depressed for a while after plastic surgery, especially in the early days when your breasts are swollen and bruised. This is normal and will pass. Healing is slow and gradual and sometimes the final results of the surgery aren’t apparent for many months or more. But remember why you chose to have the surgery. If you've met your goals, then your surgery is a success.
For more information on having breast lift surgery, call us at (585) 275-1000, or request a consultation appointment online.