A breast lift, or mastopexy, can help patients regain their youthful shape and lift breasts that have sagged as a result of weight fluctuations, pregnancy, loss of the skin’s natural elasticity or simply the effects of gravity. The breast tissue is elevated, excess skin is removed, and the nipple and areola are moved to a higher position. The size of the areola can be reduced and Dr. Wiener of can combine the breast lift with breast implants for added volume and firmness.
A variety of incisions are utilized, depending on the degree of breast lift that is needed. Minor lifts are done through incisions around the areola only. More significant lifts require an incision that extends vertically down the lower one-half of the breasts beneath the areola and sometimes horizontally in the fold beneath the breasts. The addition of a breast implant can fill some of the excess skin and minimize the length of the lift incision needed.
In our office in Chicago IL, Dr. Wiener uses a medical grade adhesive to close most of the breast lift incisions in order to minimize scar visibility for his patients. In addition, a special scar treatment gel will be used, beginning 2 to 3 weeks after surgery. This is continued for 6 months after the surgery.
Breast lift surgery is done under general anesthesia or in smaller lifts, under local anesthesia with sedation. Operation time varies from one to three hours, depending on how extensive the lift is, and whether or not an implant is added to the procedure.
If you are interested in a mastopexy in Chicago, IL and surrounding areas, contact Dr. Wiener today to schedule a consultation. You can also read more about butt augmentation and the other services offered at The Art of Plastic Surgery on our blog.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Breast Lift?
Anyone whose breasts are drooping, either due to pregnancy and breastfeeding or weight fluctuations and the effects of aging, is a good candidate for a breast lift.
What are the benefits of A Breast Lift?
A breast lift can provide a number of benefits. After the procedure, many patients find that they have more clothing options than before. With a perkier bust, it will be easier to wear figure-fitting clothes. Another great benefit is reduced under-breast irritation. Since sagging breasts can cause excessive chafing and sweating along the breast crease, a breast lift will help separate the breasts from the underlying skin, reducing redness and rashes.
What Risks are Included in Breast Lift Surgery?
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with surgery such as bleeding or infection, but this is a very low percentage. The main issue with breast lift surgery would be poor scarring. The bigger the lift, the longer the scars, and scar quality can’t be completely predicted. Even so, less than 10% have poor scarring (thick or discolored scars). Dr. Wiener monitors mastopexy scars closely and uses silicone gel creams, lightening creams, laser treatments, and sometimes steroid injections to deal with thick or discolored scars.
What are the Different Types of Breast Lifts?
As noted, Crescent Lifts remove a little skin from the upper edge of the areola and lift it a little. Circumareolar Lifts remove a “doughnut” of skin all around the areola, and this tightens the skin but doesn’t lift the nipple much. With this lift, the scar ends up at the edge of the areola all around. Full Breast Lifts involve the scar around the areola and traveling down the lower/middle aspect of the breast (and sometimes into the fold under the breast as well) for more severe drooping.
Is There Much Pain Associated with a Mastopexy?
A breast lift is not as painful as a breast augmentation because no muscle is involved in the procedure. It is still recommended to take a week off of work as there will be a pain for the first several days that settles into soreness for another week.
How to prepare for Breast Lift Surgery
By preparing for your breast lift surgery, you will help ensure a smooth recovery process. Here are some ways you can plan ahead:
- Ask someone to monitor you for 24-48 hours following surgery. Since breast lift surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure, you will need anesthesia. As a result, you won’t be able to drive yourself home after surgery.
- Cook some nutritious food that you can reheat easily. Make sure your meals consist of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. This will help your body heal more efficiently.
- Set up a comfortable recovery area in your home. During the first week of recovery, you may be resting quite a bit. Find some extra pillows and blankets to make yourself comfortable, and don’t forget essentials like water, snacks, medications, or entertainment.
These are just a few ways you can prepare for your surgery. Dr. Wiener will provide detailed instructions to follow leading up to and after your procedure.
How is a Breast Lift Performed?
There are a variety of techniques that can be used to perform a breast lift. The technique used will depend on the amount of breast sagging you have as well as the amount of excess tissue. All breast lift procedures start with anesthesia so that you don’t feel any pain during the surgery.
Once the anesthesia has been administered, Dr. Wiener will make one of three incisions: a donut incision, a vertical incision, or an anchor incision. The donut is typically used on patients who only have mild sagging and almost no excess tissue. This method utilizes an incision around the areola, blending in with the tissue. It results in the least amount of scarring. The vertical method, also known as the lollipop method, adds an additional incision from the bottom of the areola down to the breast crease. It is ideal for patients who have moderate sagging.
The anchor method is reserved for those who have severe sagging breasts and a lot of excess skin. It is like the vertical method, but adds an additional incision horizontally along the breast crease. After making the appropriate incision, Dr. Wiener will lift the underlying tissue and reshape it. If desired, he can also move the nipple and areola higher. He will then remove any excess skin and close the incisions.
Will my Breast Lift leave a scar?
Right after your surgery, your incisions may appear dark pink and slightly raised. Over time, they will fade to a light pink and flatten out. Generally, the visibility of the scar depends on the type of incision used. For example, an anchor incision will be more noticeable than a donut incision. However, the resulting scars will be covered by most bras and swimsuit tops.
What is Recovery Like from a Breast Lift?
After surgery, patients often feel tired and sore with some degree of swelling and mild bruising. If a submuscular breast implant is added, discomfort could be slightly more significant. Pain is controlled with oral pain medication and arnica, a natural anti-inflammatory is used to decrease bruising and swelling. Most patients can get back to work in 1 week, however, more extensive procedures may require additional recovery time. A full recovery, with patients returning to their normal activity level, will take up to 6 weeks.
How long will my results last?
The amount of time your breast lift results last depends on your age, genetics, and lifestyle. For example, large fluctuations in weight or lack of support can change your results, causing mild sagging. However, most patients find that their results last anywhere from 10 to 15 years.
When Can I Return to Work After a Breast Lift?
As noted, Chicago patients should plan to take about a week off of work to recuperate from a breast lift procedure.
Combining A Breast Lift with other procedures
Many patients choose to combine their breast lift with other surgeries, such as breast augmentation. Combining a breast augmentation with a breast lift is advantageous for a couple of reasons. First, it allows you to reduce the amount of time you need to recover. If you decided to have each procedure separately, recovery time would be much longer. Second, it can provide a dramatic improvement in the size, shape, and fullness of your breasts.