As a woman ages, it’s not uncommon for her breasts to begin to sag. The effects of normal aging and gravity can also be exacerbated by pregnancy, weight loss, and genetics. The breast lift, also known as a mastopexy, is a surgical procedure designed to lift the breasts, making them look healthier and more proportionate to the body. This procedure is sometimes combined with other procedures such as breast augmentation (to provide fullness in the upper portion of the breast).
The Breast Lift Surgery
The mastopexy surgery usually takes between one and three hours, with the method of anesthesia depending on the extensiveness of the surgery. Scarring will also vary, depending on the amount of excess skin that needs to be removed. If needed, a breast implant can be placed during a breast lift for additional volume, and we can also adjust the areola and nipple in size and diameter. Once the breasts are reshaped, the nipple will be repositioned in the ideal location proportionate to the breasts before the incisions are carefully sutured closed. Take a look at the various types of procedures we offer below.
Please note that results are not guaranteed, and may vary from person to person.
Some patients, especially those with relatively small breasts and minimal sagging, may be candidates for a minimal circular requiring less extensive incisions. One such procedure is the “doughnut (or concentric) mastopexy,” in which round incisions are made around the areola, and a doughnut-shaped area of skin is removed.
Keyhole (Lollipop) Incision
The incision outlines the area from which breast skin will be removed and defines the new location for the nipple. When the excess skin has been removed, the nipple and areola are moved to a higher position. The skin surrounding the areola is then brought down and together to reshape the breast. Stitches are located around the areola and in a vertical line extending downwards from the nipple area.
Inferior Horizontal Lift
In certain situations, there’s so much sagging skin that a vertical scar is not necessary. The incisions can be hidden under the breast and around the nipple-areolar complex.
Breast Lift with Implants
For many women, ptosis (drooping) of the breasts also leads to a lack of fullness and volume. In these situations, an implant will provide an improved, rounder and larger shape.
Am I a Good Candidate?
A good candidate for this surgery is desiring of fuller, perkier breasts. Non-smokers in generally good health, and those with reasonable expectations from the surgical procedure make the ideal candidate. At Holcomb - Kreithen Plastic Surgery, we’ll set up an in-person consultation, before deciding on the surgery that’s right for you. We’ll review your medical history and perform a physical examination, to determine if this is the right procedure for your specific goals.
The best breast lift candidates are healthy, emotionally stable, and have realistic expectations about what the surgery can accomplish. We can lift breasts of any size, but the results may not last as long in heavy breasts. Smokers are most likely to experience poor healing of the skin, and must therefore quit for at least one month prior to surgery, and also refrain from smoking at least one month after the surgery.
Many women seek mastopexy because pregnancy and nursing have left them with stretched skin and lost volume in their breasts. However, if you’re planning to have more children, it may be a good idea to postpone your breast lift. While there are no special risks that affect future pregnancies (for example, mastopexy usually doesn’t interfere with breast-feeding), pregnancy is likely to stretch your breasts again and offset the results of the procedure.
Where Your Surgery Will be Performed
A breast lift will most likely be performed at our state-of-the-art certified Holcomb – Kreithen Plastic Surgery Medical Center operating room. It’s usually done on an outpatient basis. Extensive complex combination (Mommy Makeover) procedures may require an overnight hospital stay.
Types of Anesthesia
Breast lifts are usually performed under IV sedation, which means you’ll be in a twilight sleep through the operation. In selected patients–particularly when a smaller incision is being made—Dr. Kreithen may use local anesthesia, combined with a sedative to make you drowsy. You’ll be awake but relaxed, and will feel minimal discomfort.
Breast Lift Recovery
The breast lift procedure will be performed on an outpatient basis; patents are able to rest and relax at home the same afternoon. Women need to expect the recovery from their lift to take between two to four weeks but will feel good within the first week. Generally, pain after surgery is only mild to moderate, although Dr. Kreithen will prescribe appropriate medications for comfort.
Swelling, bruising, and numbness are common but are temporary. Initially, after the procedure, bandages will be worn; then a surgical support bra will be used for approximately one month to allow for appropriate healing. Patients generally feel well enough to return to work or school in two to three days, but strenuous exercise should be postponed for up to four weeks.
Noticeable scars will occur after the procedure, but everyone’s body is a little different. Regardless, the scars will be easily covered under clothing or swimwear. Complications after surgery are extremely rare. Avoiding the risk of significant issues after surgery is mitigated by choosing a Board Certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Joshua Kreithen.
Your New Look
Dr. Kreithen will make every effort to make your scars as inconspicuous as possible. It may take up to a year for the scars to fully mature. Over time, eventually, the scars should fade to thin white lines.
You should also keep in mind that a breast lift won’t keep you firm forever–the effects of gravity, pregnancy, aging, and weight fluctuations will eventually take their toll again. Your satisfaction with a breast lift is likely to be greater if you understand the procedure thoroughly and if your expectations are realistic.
To schedule a consultation for a Breast Lift, contact Holcomb and Kreithen Plastic Surgery at (866) 218-4810. We are here to answer your questions and explain your options for a rejuvenating breast procedure. Our goal is to make every woman look natural and beautiful, as well as comfortable with her own body. We look forward to seeing you in our Sarasota or Tampa office.