A breast lift, or mastopexy, is performed to return youthful shape and lift to breasts that have sagged as a result of weight loss, pregnancy, loss of the skin's natural elasticity or simply the effects of gravity. The procedure can also reduce areolar size (the dark skin surrounding the nipple), and it can be combined with augmentation mammaplasty (breast augmentation) for added breast volume and firmness. Breasts of any size can be lifted, but results last longest when they are originally small and sagging.
Women planning to have children are advised to postpone surgery, since pregnancy and nursing can counteract its effects by stretching the skin. However, breast lift should not affect your ability to breast-feed.
Breast lift is performed at an outpatient surgery center. It is done on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia, and lasts from 1-½ to 3-½ hours.
The pre-operative consultation focuses on discussing your goals for the size and shape of your breasts. Based on your goals and anatomy an individualized surgical plan will be made. During the procedure incisions are made to lift the nipple and areola into a more youthful position. Excess skin is removed to reshaped the breast. Incisions are closed with absorbable sutures that are placed under the skin.
Incision types vary and may include an incision around the areola ("doughnut") mastopexy, an incision from the areola to the crease ("lollipop"), or in certain situations an incision within the crease of the breast ("anchor").
Recovery & Results
After breast lift surgery the breasts are wrapped with gauze dressings, over which an elastic bandage or a surgical bra is placed. After a few days this is replaced with a soft support bra which is worn 24 hours a day for about a month.
Most patients return to work in 1-2 weeks. You will be able to see the results of your breast lift immediately after surgery, and you may become even more satisfied as swelling goes down and incision lines fade.