For many women, the breasts are the area where the ravages of time quickly become the most apparent as they age. This is a natural part of aging, but many feel distress as they witness a rapid deterioration in breast shape, firmness, and a droopy appearance after pregnancy. During pregnancy and for some time after, the breasts increase significantly in size. If a woman breastfeeds, this enlargement lasts many months. After the breasts are restored to normal size, they are often left looking droopy, saggy, and deflated in appearance. Nipples may appear lower on the breast, pointing downward, areolas may be stretched and enlarged, and overall shape and definition of the breast are lost.
In cases where breast enlargement persists even after birth, potentially causing back pain, discomfort, and rashes, a breast reduction may be used in conjunction with a mastopexy to restore definition to the breasts. Similarly, in cases where breast volume has been lost, a mastopexy can be performed in conjunction with a breast enlargement procedure, using either breast implants or fat removed during liposuction. Even on its own, a breast lift procedure can do wonders to improve breast shape and definition, return enlarged areolas to their original size, and readjust nipple position to an upright, outward orientation.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What’s involved in a breast lift?
A breast lift involves tightening of the breast skin envelope and usually lifting the nipple. This can be combined with breast augmentation and may involve scars on the breast, but many women are happy to trade a scar on the breast for a rejuvenated breast size, appearance, and shape. Dr. White has had considerable experience with revision breast surgery and has written about more advanced surgical techniques in various publications regarding cosmetic breast surgery, such as the use of special supportive slings like Alloderm and Strattice. In your consultation, Dr. White will explain the details of how you could benefit from a breast lift and discuss your surgical options.
What are the different types of breast lift?
There are 4 major ways to accomplish a breast lift. These include:
- Breast Implants - Implants will restore the volume that the patient had prior to post-pregnancy deflation. This method accomplishes a modest lift of the areola.
- A Periareolar or Crescent Lift – This involves a 1-2 cm lift of the nipple-areola complex and can result in a well-hidden incision around the areola.
- A Vertical Breast Lift – This procedure allows for breast skin removal with a larger resultant lift and a lollipop shaped scar. This type of lift is more ideal for a woman whose nipple has drifted 1 to 3 cm below the breast fold.
- T-Scar Lift – If the nipple has dropped to a point at which it is now at the lower portion of the breast, a “T” or anchor shaped scar is often the most useful and effective surgery to lift the breast. Although the scar is larger, these scars will fade with time. In the end, the patient achieves a significantly improved breast shape.
What should I expect in breast lift surgery?
Before your surgery, you should have an idea about what to expect during the surgery. It will help you feel more at ease and better prepared for your recovery.
Your surgeon will make two incisions in one of three places, either around the areolae, toward the breast creases or horizontally along the breast creases. Depending on the named goal of the surgery, your doctor will make these incisions to achieve the appearance you envision. Your doctor may remove some excess breast skin, or may lift the nipples for a more youthful appearance, or reduce the size of stretched nipples that appear unsightly. When the surgery is finished, your doctor will close the incisions.
In most cases, the surgery will take between two and three hours and you’ll be able to return home the same day. If you have any questions or concerns, we are committed to open communication with all of our patients. You should feel completely comfortable with the procedure, and educated on what to expect prior to the surgery taking place.
How long does the procedure take?
Most breast lift surgeries take about two to three hours depending on what is needed to restore and rejuvenate the appearance of the breasts. You will fully understand what the healing process involves, and what you need to do to ensure that recovery goes well. It is important that you follow the doctor’s orders regarding rest and recuperation after surgery so that you heal quickly and correctly.
There are a few things that you can do to prepare for the surgery. You should have a mammogram to make sure that your breasts are healthy. Your doctor will evaluate your breast tissue condition to prepare for the surgical procedure. If you smoke, you should take advantage of this opportunity to quit altogether. Smoking inhibits blood flow, which can slow the healing process, increase infection rates, and lead to worse scars.
You must arrange for some help after surgery. You will feel woozy and dizzy, and will need a relative or friend to drive you home after you have spent some time recovering from the procedure.
What is the recovery time from a breast lift surgery?
After the surgery, it is imperative that you take it easy, relax, and rest. You want to make sure that your breasts get every chance to heal. You will most likely have small tubes near the incision points to drain fluid. If you move too quickly, strain, or get too active early in recovery, you may rip stitches in the incision sites, creating problems.
For two weeks, your breasts will be swollen and you will have some level of bruising. You may feel some pain and discomfort around the incision areas. Your doctor will have provided you with a prescription for pain medication to manage the first few days after surgery. You will be sore, and you must avoid heavy lifting or any type of strain on the area. Sleeping on your back propped by extra pillows is advised during recovery.
Your doctor will tell you when you can resume your daily activities as well as showering. Wait two weeks before resuming sexual activity as it can strain the treated area.
The right breast lift procedure to restore a youthful appearance
Make sure that whichever breast lift (mastopexy) procedure you choose will achieve the appearance that you envision. Your surgery is all about restoring self-confidence and a more youthful appearance, as well as feelings of wellbeing. Contact ARC Plastic Surgery today.
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