Many women are comfortable with the size of their breasts but are unhappy with sagging or pendulous breasts. For these women, breast lift surgery, also called mastopexy, will raise and reshape the breasts. Many women seek mastopexy because pregnancy and nursing have left them with stretched skin and less volume in their breasts. If considering future pregnancies, it is best to postpone a breast lift.
This procedure can also reduce the size of the areola, the darker skin surrounding the nipple. If your breasts are small or have lost volume after pregnancy, breast implants inserted in conjunction with mastopexy can increase the firmness, size, and volume of the breasts. A breast lift is frequently a part of a Mommy Makeover.
A consultation with a Changes surgeon will determine if your desired outcome can be achieved with a breast lift or if augmentation with breast implants would give you a better result. He will examine and measure your breasts and discuss with you both options. He will also discuss the variables that may affect the procedure such as your age, the size, and shape of your breasts, and the condition of your skin. You will be shown where the nipple and areola will be positioned because they will be moved higher during the procedure to be approximately even with the crease beneath your breast.
Breast lifts are usually performed under general anesthesia, which means you will be asleep through the operation.
Some patients, especially those with relatively small breasts and minimal sagging, may be candidates for modified procedures requiring less extensive incisions. One such procedure is the “doughnut (or concentric) mastopexy,” in which circular incisions are made around the areola, and a doughnut-shaped area of skin is removed. A crescent mastopexy lifts the nipple position with an incision around the upper half of the areola. If your breast tissue has been compromised through multiple procedures or simple aging, your surgeon may recommend the insertion of a surgical mesh. The surgical mesh acts as an internal bra to provide support and improve the longevity of results.
Mastopexy usually takes three hours, depending on the patient. The excess skin is removed and 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. Techniques vary, but the most common two procedures involve either a vertical “lollypop scar” or an anchor-shaped incision following the natural contour of the breast. Stitches are usually located around the areola, in a vertical line extending downwards from the nipple area, and along the lower crease of the breast.
After surgery, you will wear an elastic bandage or a surgical bra over gauze dressings. The breasts will be bruised, slightly swollen, and uncomfortable for a day or two, but the pain shouldn’t be severe. There may be a slight loss of feeling in your nipples and breast skin due to swelling after surgery. This numbness usually fades as the swelling subsides over the next six weeks or so.
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