Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
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Over the years breasts can lose their shape and firmness due to pregnancy, nursing and loss of skin elasticity, causing them to sag (ptosis). Mastopexy will raise and reshape the breast, restoring “perkiness”.
What is a Breast Lift?
Dr. Palmer performs breast lift surgery, or mastopexy, to restore a more youthful appearance to a woman’s breasts. This procedure usually also allows for reduction in the size of the areola, the darker skin surrounding the nipple, which can expand with pregnancy and aging.
Dr. Palmer uses three different methods to lift the breast, depending on the degree of sagging. The periareolar approach has an incision only around the areola, and therefore has the least scarring. The lollipop (circumvertical) approach requires an incision around the areola and a single verticle incision below it. This is the most common incision for major sagging. The least used by Dr. Palmer is the anchor incision because of the horizontal scar beneath the breast.
Lifting of the breast is commonly performed at the same time as implantation (augmentation mastopexy), if a larger size is desired with the lift.
Is a Breast Lift Right for Me?
Women who have noticed the breasts have begun to sag and the nipples are not longer projecting in an aesthetic manner seek breast lift. As with all cosmetic surgery, realistic expectations and emotional stability are important. Though breasts of any size can be lifted, women with smaller breasts enjoy longer lasting results.
How is a Breast Lift Performed?
Though not a simple operation, mastopexy is normally safe when performed by a qualified cosmetic surgeon. Mastopexy is performed in our office surgical suite. Dr. Palmer uses IV sedation in conjunction with tumescent anesthesia. You will be in a twilight state, but will be able to breath on your own. This type of anesthesia is safer, has fewer side effects, and is less costly than general anesthesia.
The surgery may take between 2-4 hours. A more common approach involves an incision along the natural contour of the breast, where excess skin will be removed. The nipple and areola are then re-positioned. The breast gland itself is re-positioned to give better projection and shape to the breast tissue. Following this, the skin surrounding the areola is brought together to reshape the breast, with stitches around the areola and the lower breast area. The length of the incisions involved depends on your preoperative breast shape and degree of sagging, as well as the quality of the skin.
Because milk ducts are left intact, mastopexy will not affect your ability to breast-feed. For best results, follow your physician’s advice both before and after surgery.
Breast Lift Recovery
After surgery, your wounds will be covered with surgical tape and an elastic bandage or a surgical bra will hold the breasts in place. Your breasts will be bruised, swollen, and you will experience some mild to moderate discomfort for several days. Dr. Palmer will prescribe pain medication to ease discomfort. A soft support bra replaces the bandages or surgical bra after a few days. In the recovery stage, it is important to wear the bra at all times.
Some noticeable, lifelong scarring is normal, but easily covered by your bra or bathing suit. The scars may be red and lumpy for a few months, eventually fading and becoming less obvious. The procedure can also leave you with unevenly positioned nipples, or a lifelong loss of feeling in your nipples or breasts, although measures are taken to reduce the likelihood of this.
To ensure proper healing, plan to stay at home for at least a week before returning to work. You will need to avoid lifting anything over your head for 3-4 weeks and avoid strenuous sports for a month.