A breast lift – also known as a mastopexy – is a surgical procedure used to elevate and re-contour the breasts, as well as reduce the size of the areola if necessary.
Many circumstances can cause the breasts to lose their youthful shape and density. They may include age, breastfeeding, significant weight loss/gain, pregnancy, or genetics. Though there is little a woman can do to change her risk factors for a loss of breast elasticity, she can undergo a breast lift to eliminate excess skin and prevent sagging.
In general, when being assessed for a breast lift, Dr. Allen will grade your breasts on the amount of ptosis (pronounced toe-sis) present. In simplistic terms, grading ptosis can be thought of as:
- Grade I – the nipple is above or at the inframammary fold with mild sagging
- Grade II – the nipple is below the fold but above lower pole of breast tissue with moderate sagging
- Grade III – the nipple is below the fold and at lower pole of breast tissue with severe sagging
- Pseudoptosis – the breast tissue is below the inframammary fold
Did you know?
Breast lifts are different surgeries than breast augmentations. A breast lift will not have a significant impact on the size of the breasts, nor will it restore volume to the upper portion of the breasts. Women who want breasts that are both higher and fuller often choose to undergo both a breast lift and an augmentation at the same time for optimal results. On the other hand, a breast lift can also be combined with a breast reduction procedure to both lift the breasts and simultaneously make them smaller.
You could be a candidate for a breast lift if you are a non-smoker who is bothered or anxious about sagging breasts. Often, mastopexy candidates have breasts that are elongated or pendulous with nipples that point downward toward the ground. You may also be a candidate for a breast lift if your nipples are positioned below the crease of your breasts.
Breast lift surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia, which means you’ll need to avoid eating or drinking on the day of your surgery. During the procedure, Dr. Amber Allen will form incisions and reshape the underlying tissues with the breast to a more youthful shape and appearance. Your nipples will also be readjusted and resized, and excess skin removed before closing the incisions.
A breast lift is a major surgery that requires a recovery period that lasts several weeks after your procedure is complete. You’ll awaken from surgery with bandages and dressings over your incisions, as well as compression garments to help minimize swelling. You may be instructed to wear a specific type of support bra as you heal. It is important to follow all of Dr. Allen’s instructions following your procedure, including taking medications as directed to help lower the risk of infection.
Once your mastopexy incision has healed and swelling has subsided, you’ll need to maintain the new shape and position of your breasts by keeping a steady weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Keep in mind that despite undergoing a breast lift, age, gravity, pregnancy and other factors can influence the long-term results of your procedure.
A breast lift is done under general anesthesia and post-operative medications are prescribed. Most women are placed in a special recovery bra for several weeks. Some sutures will need to be removed at follow-up appointments. Return to work is usually within one week to 10 days, and activity also can increase after this time. As with any surgery, there is the risk of infection, bleeding, scarring, and bruising. With breast surgery, asymmetry, need for revision, diminished nipple sensation, nipple necrosis may occur. It is important to refrain from NSAID’s, aspirin, Ibuprofen/Motrin, fish oil, Vitamin E or any other herbal medication that may affect clotting for 2 weeks prior and after the procedure.