As a woman matures, factors like gravity, pregnancy, and breastfeeding may take their toll on her breast appearance. A loss of firmness and shape can result from the breast’s skin losing its support and elasticity. A mastopexy or breast lift is a procedure designed to reshape and elevate sagging breasts. The procedure can also reduce the size of the areola (dark area around the nipple) and balance asymmetries between the breasts.
If you have breasts that have lost volume over the years, breast implants can be included to increase both size and firmness.
What is a Breast Lift?
Mastopexy usually takes an hour-and-a-half to three hours to perform and is typically done under general anesthesia.
When considering a breast lift, you should be aware of the multiple incision techniques available. The amount of loose skin marked for removal will determine the type of incision and scar location left on the breast after surgery.
For patients who require a minimal amount of tightening, our board-certified plastic surgeon may confine your incision to a circle around the areola. In a moderate surgery, she may combine this incision with a vertical incision to maximize reshaping.
If we combine breast augmentation with a breast lift, we will place the implant under the breast tissue or the muscle of the chest wall. For patients who require substantial skin tightening, an anchor-shaped incision is made, following the breast’s natural contour.
The incisions will determine the new nipple location and outline the areas from where we will remove any excess skin and tissue. After this removal, we reposition the nipple and areola while lifting and reshaping the breast. To close, we will place sutures around the areola, down from the nipple to the underside of the breast, and along the crease below the breast.
View Real Patient Results for Breast Lift
After Breast Lift Surgery
After your breast lift is complete, your surgeon will place an elastic bandage over surgical gauze. Your breasts will be swollen and bruised for a day or two. Any discomfort you experience can be relieved with oral medications. One to two days after your surgery, the bandages will be removed. You will then wear a soft support bra 24 hours a day for three to four weeks. We will remove the sutures after a week or two. Initial swelling will tend to flatten the breasts, but your true shape will become evident as the swelling resolves. Most of the sutures are placed under the skin and will dissolve over time.
You can apply moisturizer if your breasts are dry after treatment. If you do use moisturizer, do not tug at your skin during application and keep the moisturizer away from suture areas.
Post-surgical swelling will cause some numbness to your breast skin and nipples, but this loss of sensation will fade during the next six weeks. Some patients report the loss of sensation persisting for a year or more, and in rare cases this condition is permanent. If you experience any complications following your visit to our cosmetic surgery practice in Nashville, Tennessee, contact our breast lift surgeon immediately.
Following treatment, you may be up and moving in a couple of days. Most patients do not return to work for a week or more following the surgery. You will need to avoid overhead lifting and strenuous activities for three to four weeks following your procedure. Because your milk ducts and nipples will be left intact, treatment should not affect your ability to breastfeed. As with all surgery, we recommend no activity that causes an increase in heart rate or blood pressure for two to three weeks after surgery.
Breast Lift Candidates
Candidates for a mastopexy procedure are women in good health who are realistic about what a breast lift can achieve. Optimal results are found with women who have sagging breasts that have lost firmness.
Many of our patients desire a breast lift because the effects of childbearing and breastfeeding have stretched their breast skin, causing their breasts to droop and lose firmness. Although breastfeeding is still possible after a breast lift, we recommend only considering the procedure after you finish having children.
As with any other surgery, a breast lift presents some possible complications or reactions to the anesthesia. Bleeding and infection are not common. Poor healing and wide scars are more common with smokers. It may be necessary for smokers to have a separate lift and implant surgeries, rather than performing them at the same time.
Finding a Surgeon
Although any doctor with a valid medical license can legally perform a breast lift, few are trained and qualified to perform this procedure. When considering a mastopexy, you should only interview board-certified plastic surgeons who have an emphasis in their practice toward breast surgery and body contouring. Also, plastic surgeons have rigid training focusing on reconstructive surgery. This training includes several years of medical school and residency focusing on surgical skill and techniques. Board-certification with the American Board of Plastic Surgery ensures the surgeon is current with all advanced practices and procedures.
Why Choose Plastic Surgery Center of Nashville?
Drs. Melinda Haws and Mary Gingrass are board-certified plastic surgeons who have dedicated their careers to helping other women find beauty and body self-esteem. Both surgeons have emphasized breast surgeries as a focus of their practice.
They have surrounded themselves with a dedicated and compassionate team of medical professionals committed to enhancing your beauty and body contour.
Contact us today to learn more about our cosmetic surgery office or to speak with one of our plastic surgeons.