Have you ever wanted to turn back the clock to a time when your breasts had a firmer, more youthful looking appearance? Perhaps you’ve wondered if a breast lift procedure might be the right choice. Many women choose to have a breast lift after major life changes including pregnancy, breastfeeding, or a significant weight loss. A breast lift helps many women feel more confident about their appearance.
Benefits of a breast lift
A breast lift, or mastopexy, is a surgical procedure to lift and reshape the breasts. According to data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the popularity of breast lift procedures has increased 70% in the last twenty years. During the aging process, the breasts lose firmness and elasticity. They may start to sag or droop. A woman who has gained and then lost a lot of weight during her life may be left with sagging breasts and excess skin. Pregnancy and breastfeeding also contribute to breast changes. A breast lift tightens surrounding tissue, removes excess fat, and contours the breast. The nipple is then repositioned higher on the chest wall. Optimal results are more volume and perkiness.
Who is a good candidate for mastopexy?
A good candidate for mastopexy is a woman who feels her breasts have significantly changed over time. There may be sagging, stretched skin, and lost volume or shape. Breasts may appear pendulous, flat, or have areola that have enlarged. One breast may even be lower than the other one. The woman should be physically healthy and have realistic expectations from the procedure. The patient will schedule a consultation with the surgeon to discuss goals, medical conditions, allergies, previous surgeries, mammogram results, and any family history of breast cancer. This is the time to discuss options, outcomes, potential risks, and anesthesia. The surgeon will use the technique best suited to the patient’s needs, depending on the size and shape of the breasts and the amount of lift needed. Sometimes breast augmentation can be performed at the same time as a breast lift.
Prior to the mastopexy, the patient will be instructed to stop the use of blood thinner medications and drugs including aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium. Patients who smoke should stop, as smoking can impact the body’s ability to heal. The procedure can be performed in an outpatient setting under general anesthesia. It takes about three hours. Incisions are placed so that they will not be prominent or noticeable. The areola, or dark colored circle surrounding the nipple, will be repositioned appropriately for the new breast shape. Tiny drains may be inserted in the breasts for 24-48 hours.
A recovery time of several weeks should be expected. The incision lines will fade and swelling and tenderness will resolve. A special surgical bra will be worn initially. Patients should avoid heavy lifting for a month to six weeks. Breast size and shape will continue to improve in the weeks and months following surgery. It may take 2-12 months to achieve final shape. Each breast heals at a slightly different rate, so patients may notice minor differences during the healing process. There may even be a temporary loss of breast or nipple sensation for a couple of weeks. For best results, the patient should avoid weight fluctuations following the procedure.