What is a Breast Lift?
Mastopexy (breast lift) is a surgical procedure for lifting and reshaping sagging breasts by removing the excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour. Aging, pregnancy, weight loss and gravity can all cause breasts to sag. By trimming excess skin and re-draping the remaining skin over the breast tissue, the breasts can be made to sit higher on the chest and have a rounder, fuller shape. In addition, the nipple and areola can be repositioned or resized to further enhance breast appearance.
Candidates for Breast Lift Surgery
An eligible mastopexy candidate is in good overall health, maintains a stable weight, and has realistic expectations about what mastopexy can do. A woman who chooses to undergo mastopexy has one or more of the following:
- Sagging breasts
- Breasts that have lost shape or volume
- Breasts that are flat or elongated
- Nipples or areolas pointing downward
- One breast lower than the other
A woman planning to have (more) children should wait to undergo breast lift surgery because pregnancy and nursing can counteract its benefits.
The Breast Lift Procedure
Mastopexy is performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia, and usually takes 2 to 3 hours.
After the incisions are made, excess skin is removed and the remaining skin is re-draped around the breast tissue to achieve an improved breast shape. The nipple and areola are usually moved higher on the breast and resized.
Recovery from Breast Lift Surgery
For a few days following mastopexy, patients are likely to have bruising, soreness and swelling. The breasts are usually wrapped in an elastic bandage or a surgical bra for about a week, a support bra is then worn continuously for a month. Most patients return to work within a week, exercise and other strenuous activity should be avoided for about a month.
Results of Breast Lift Surgery
Mastopexy produces immediate results. As swelling subsides and scars fade, breasts continue to improve in appearance. Patients who have thoroughly discussed their goals prior to surgery, and have realistic expectations of what it could provide, report high satisfaction levels. Although the breasts are still subject to the effects of aging, mastopexy produces long-lasting results.