As aging causes skin to lose elasticity, and as gravity or pregnancy take their toll, your breasts can sag or droop. A breast lift can restore a more youthful appearance and help give you a figure to be proud of.
What is a breast lift?
Breast lift surgery, also call breast mastopexy, works to raise and firm the breast by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue. Aging causes skin to lose its elasticity, which allows breasts to fall. Pregnancy, breastfeeding and extreme weight loss can all loosen skin as well. This surgery is often included in a Mommy Makeover procedure. A breast lift can reposition existing breast tissue and can reduce the size of the areola if it has become stretched. It can help you if your nipples point downward, one breast is lower than the other or your breasts have an elongated shape.
Breast lift surgery is best for patients who are in good health and able to maintain a stable weight. It can be done on breasts of any size, but the effects on smaller breasts generally last longer. If you are planning on having more children, you might want to delay breast lift surgery as future pregnancies can offset the effects of the procedure.
What does breast lift surgery involve?
Breast lift surgery is typically an outpatient procedure and does not require a hospital stay. General anesthesia will be used during breast lift surgery to minimize discomfort. Incisions might be made around the areola, vertically down from the breast crease, or horizontally along the breast crease. Dr. Appel might lift and reshape underlying breast tissue, re-position or re-size the areola, or remove excess skin to improve elasticity.
Dr. Appel might want you to have a mammogram, or a breast X-ray, before surgery depending on your family history, age and other factors.
What to expect after a breast lift
After a breast lift, you can expect to be groggy from the anesthesia and your chest will be sore. You might have to wear a special bra or compression garment for a time to minimize swelling. A small tube might be temporarily placed under the skin to drain excess fluid. Over time, swelling will go down. Breast lift scars will fade with time.
You will be able to return to work after about a week, but you will need to avoid more strenuous activities for up to a month.
Breast lift results are long-lasting, but are not permanent. Aging and gravity might again reduce breast elasticity.
Breast lift side effects and risks
Breast lift surgery has the same side effects as any surgery, most related to anesthesia, bleeding and infection. Every effort is made to guard against these problems, and to keep pain and swelling to a minimum.
Your breast skin might be dry after surgery; moisturizer can be used as long as it is kept away from stitches. Swelling can result in the loss of some feeling in nipples and breast skin. That fades as swelling goes down, but some loss of sensation might be permanent.