As time passes, gravity can begin to affect your breasts. Gradually, your breasts may begin sagging or drooping and appear less perky than they once were. Other reasons that your breasts may begin to sag can be due to a large weight loss or after childbirth or breastfeeding. Some women are born with breasts that tend to sag more than others. If this sounds like what you’re dealing with, you may consider having a breast lift.
Also known as a mastopexy, a breast lift is considered if you have sagging breasts that need to be elevated. The procedure works by removing excess skin, crafting the breast tissue into a new shape, and raising or tightening the areolas to give a tighter, firmer look. In recent years, the breast lift has become increasingly popular, even more so than breast augmentation surgery.
Your surgeon will go over the best options available for your breast lift and what results you can expect to see. There are many different techniques available for your surgery. To make sure that you get the best choices for your breast shape, measurements will be taken to understand how much tissue will need to be removed and how much your breasts can be lifted. There are several different breast lift options available.
The amount of tissue that will need to be relocated or lifted determines the types of lifts available for your breasts. Your breast size and shape will also play a role in which lift is the best one for your body shape.
The following options will be considered:
Crescent Lift: This type of lift requires only one incision on the top outer edge of the areola. The breasts are then lifted and have a more youthful appearance. Once the breast is lifted, there will only be a minimal scar that won’t be noticeable due to the dark color of the areola.
Donut Lift: Known also as the Circumareolar Lift, this technique is nicknamed for the donut-shaped incision that’s made around the areola. This circular incision allows the tissue to be removed. The breast skin is then cinched to give breasts a tighter, firmer appearance.
Vertical Lift: This technique is also called the Vertical Mastopexy and often referred to as the “Lollipop Lift.” This lift helps women who are dealing with especially low-hanging breasts. For this lift, a lollipop-shaped incision is made from the crease of the breast vertically up to and surrounding the nipple.
Anchor Lift: Named after its tell-tale incision that resembles an anchor, this technique provides a long-lasting result and requires three incisions, known as an inverted T cut. Known also as the Wise Pattern, the cut is made similar to the vertical lift. In addition to the incision made by the vertical cut, it also traces along the breast crease through the inframammary fold. This technique works very well for women with large breasts with a long distance between the breast crease and the nipple.
Adjust Areola Size: If you have large areolas, a breast lift will help reduce areola size after the lift is completed.
Fill the breast with an implant: If you have smaller breasts, a breast lift won’t help increase your breast size. If you want more volume and breast projection, you may want to consider a breast lift with breast implants.
If you’re an adult and want to improve your sagging or drooping breasts, then you are a candidate for a breast lift. If you’re looking for perkier, firmer breasts, and if your breasts have begun to droop due to heredity, natural aging, childbirth, or breastfeeding, then you are the right candidate for a breast lift. If you are looking for larger breast size, you may want to consider a lift with augmentation. If you haven’t finished childbearing or if you have a good deal of weight to lose, you might want to wait since both losing weight and pregnancy can cause your lift to change after surgery.
Finding a plastic surgery team that you trust is an imperative step to a successful surgery. Finding a great surgeon and surgery team will help make sure you get your desired outcome and reduce unwanted errors. Your plastic surgeon will meet with you in person before doing your surgery. During this consultation, your surgeon will listen to your wishes and examine your breasts to see which lift will be right for you. If you will benefit from surgery, your doctor will walk you through the expected results you can expect to achieve from surgery. You’ll also walk through the procedure, learn what to expect from surgery, choose the right lift incision for your breasts, and be given the chance to ask any necessary questions that you may have.
After meeting with your surgeon, you’ll be given instructions to follow the day before your surgery, these may include avoiding food after midnight and washing with a special surgical prep soap. You will have your surgery in an outpatient surgery center and you will be able to go home that same day.
For your procedure, you can expect to be given general anesthesia that will prevent you from feeling any pain. Your surgery will usually take around one to three hours and whoever is picking you up from surgery will be notified of your progress throughout the surgery.
During your breast lift, extra skin will be removed from the breasts. Lifting and reshaping of the breasts will occur and your areolae will be moved to a higher position. The size of the areolae can also be changed to match the new shape of your breasts.
After surgery, you’ll be monitored until you wake up from anesthesia and are able to go home. You will have to have someone drive you home from surgery and be present for your recovery for at least your first day at home.
Once swelling and bruising go down, you’ll notice the results of your breast surgery immediately though it will take about three months to see the final results. You’ll want to make sure to follow-up with your doctor to make sure your healing is progressing well and that everything looks great with your results. You’ll notice that any scarring from your incisions will fade about one to two years after the surgery.
After breast lift surgery is completed, you’ll want to take at least a week off before you’re able to resume normal activities and up to two weeks before returning to work. You may want to schedule any time off of work ahead of your surgery in case your recovery takes longer than originally planned. During your recovery, you’ll want to keep your breasts wrapped with a bandage and supported with a special bra while your incisions heal.
If you have stitches or sutures, your doctor will remove them and check on your healing. Your doctor will give you exact instructions for rest and recovery time, as well as, the proper instructions for taking care of your breasts after. You’ll most likely avoid sexual activity, lifting, or straining for a few weeks after surgery.
After your procedure, you’ll be given instructions for your recovery which might include pain management, healing, and looking for the following side effects:
Any sign of fever should be reported to your doctor immediately.