A breast lift or mastopexy, is a procedure to raise and reshape the breasts. Oftentimes with age, weight fluctuations, heredity, or pregnancy, the breast size and shape can change. Many women see a substantial loss of firmness and volume, and in some cases the areola may also end up stretched or enlarged. With the breast lift surgery, the excess skin will be removed, and the surrounding tissue tightened, resulting in a more youthful appearance.
It should be understood that a breast lift will not return huge amounts of volume or increase the size of your breasts. The surgery will only restore the shape and contours. Those seeking larger or fuller breasts should consider combining breast lift with breast augmentation surgery.
Other factors that make you a good candidate
for breast lift surgery include:
- If you are in overall good health and your weight is relatively stable
- If you are a non-smoker
- If the overall appearance of your breasts makes you unhappy due to sagging, loss of shape, and loss of volume
- If your breasts seem flat, elongated, or pendulous
- If your nipples and areolas point downwards, and/or your nipples fall below the breast crease
- If your breasts are asymmetric and one hangs lower than the other
What are the steps of breast lift surgery?
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Your doctor will administer medications for your comfort during the surgery. This could be intravenous sedation and general anesthesia, based on what your doctor thinks is right for you.
Step 2 – The incision
Incision patterns will be determined based off the breast size and shape, position and size of the areolas, the severity of sagging tissue, as well as the skin quality and amount of elasticity. There are three types of incision patterns: around the areola; around the areola and vertically down to the breast crease (lollipop incision); around the areola, vertically down to the breast crease, and horizontally along the breast crease (anchor incision).
Step 3 – Reshaping your breasts
Once incisions have been made, the doctor will begin to reshape the breasts by lifting underlying breast tissue and removing excess skin. The remaining skin will eventually be pulled taught and the nipple and areola are repositioned to mimic a more youthful appearance. Enlarged areolas can also be reduced in size during the procedure. What is left is a firmer, better proportioned breast that maintains a higher profile.
Step 4 – Closing the incisions
The final shape of the breast is created by closing the incision sites. What remaining skin is left will be pulled tight to create firmer more youthful contours. Incision lines will fade, but never disappear completely. While certain incisions will be concealed in the contours of the breast, others will be visible. Sutures are layered deep within the tissue, while additional sutures and skin adhesives and/or tape may be used to close the skin.
Step 5 – The Results
The results of the breast lift surgery are immediate; however, it will take time for post-surgical swelling to resolve. Your outcome will continue to improve over the next few months and you will be left with long-lasting results that will provide you with a new self-confidence. It is important to note that despite having the surgery, your breasts will continue to change throughout the aging process. Maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle can help to slow these effects and increase the longevity of your breast lift.