What Should You Expect with a Breast Lift?
Feeling self-conscious about the appearance of your breasts can have a serious impact on your self-esteem. If you’re a woman who feels self-conscious about once-perky breasts that now sag more than you would like, then a breast lift might be the remedy. Breast lift surgery, or mastopexy, corrects this problem that may occur for a number of reasons: pregnancy, aging and weight fluctuations among them. When the breasts change shape, their structures (skin and tissue) become more lax. The effects of gravity also have an impact, causing the breasts to drop over time. The amount of ptosis, or sagging, of a woman’s breasts as a result of these factors can vary depending on genetics and skin elasticity. Breast lift surgery can counteract these issues by repositioning the breasts to a higher, more youthful position.
The plastic surgeons in our Leading Medical Clinics directory have gone through a rigorous screening process that includes evaluating peer and patient reviews and medical board history; this process helps us to ensure that they are the best surgeons at the top of their field, with reputations for providing continuous, beautiful results to their patients. If you are considering breast lift surgery, we have provided you with an overview of the procedure, and what to consider when picking a surgeon, so that you can choose one that is right for you from our network of elite professionals.
Are You a Suitable Candidate for Breast Lift Surgery?
You might be considered a good candidate for breast lift surgery if you:
- Are self-conscious about sagging breasts caused by aging, pregnancy, weight loss, or genetics
- Have nipples that point downward and fall below the breast fold
- Have enlarged or stretched areolas (the dark-colored skin around the nipple)
- Have one breast that falls at a lower position than the other
- Are not planning to get pregnant or breastfeed in the near future
- Are not planning to lose a large amount of weight
About the Different Surgical Techniques
To achieve a higher breast profile, a surgeon may use one of a few surgical techniques during the breast lift procedure. The surgeon’s choice of technique will be based on many factors, including the amount of ptosis (sagging) present and the amount of breast tissue a patient has. These techniques, including the one that your surgeon will recommend to fit your needs, will be discussed with you during your initial consultation.
The following four techniques are the ones most commonly used for breast lift surgery. Each involves a different incision from which excess breast skin and tissue will be removed before reshaping the breast and placing it in a perkier position.
The anchor lift (also referred to as an inverted-T lift) is one of the most common breast lift techniques, and is effective in cases where a substantial amount of sagging is present. This technique uses three incisions on the breast: one in a circular pattern around the areola, one from the areola running vertically down the breast, and one made horizontally across the breast fold.
The lollipop lift (also referred to as a vertical scar lift) uses a “lollipop-shaped” pattern of incisions, one of which is made in a circle around the areola, and the other, vertically down the breast to the breast fold. This technique is often used when a patient has a moderate amount of ptosis, or breast sag.
The donut lift (also referred to as a Benelli lift) is a lift technique often used for women with a mild amount of sagging, but with enlarged areolas that they would like reduced in size. Using an incision that runs around the areola, this lift is perfect for removing extra tissue from the bottom of the breast and elevating the nipple position higher on the breast mound.
The crescent lift (also referred to as a partial mastopexy) is the least invasive surgical technique, and is used for women who have a minor amount of sagging and want a subtle breast lift. The crescent lift involves a small incision made around the upper half of the areola, and a crescent-shaped piece of skin being removed before the surrounding skin is then reattached to the areola.
Details of the Breast Lift Procedure
Breast lift surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure and usually takes one to three hours to complete, depending on the amount of excess breast skin and tissue needing to be removed. Your surgeon will do this by creating one of the previously mentioned incision patterns, and then reshaping the remaining tissue in a higher, natural-looking position before tightening the breast skin and closing the incisions. A soft surgical bra or bandages are placed in order to protect the incision points and support the breasts as they heal.
Recovering from Breast Lift Surgery
Though everyone heals differently and at their own pace, it generally takes about five to seven days before a breast lift patient can return to work. Patients are cautioned not to lift anything over 10lbs for at least two weeks post-surgery. Moderate exercise can usually be safely resumed after three weeks, though chest and back exercises should be avoided for the first six weeks. Pain medication is prescribed to help relieve any discomfort the patient may have, which typically subsides within the first few days of surgery. Some swelling and bruising of the area is also normal. Your doctor will provide you with more post-operative instructions and will monitor your healing process to ensure that you heal properly and that the recovery period is as comfortable as possible.
Scars are an inevitable result of any surgery that involves incisions. Some breast lift techniques result in more scarring than others, though you can expect your scars to fade significantly over the first year.
Breast Lift Combined with Breast Augmentation
For some women, breast lift surgery alone is enough to get them the results they’re after. However, for other women — particularly those who would like to add volume to their breasts along with lifting them — a combination breast lift with augmentation procedure may be necessary to get them the look they desire. This combination procedure uses breast implants to increase breast size (particularly in cases where breasts have a deflated or “scooped out” appearance after pregnancy or significant weight loss) and the removal of extra, sagging breast skin and tissue for breasts that are all at once fuller (particularly in the upper portion of the breast mound) and more buoyant.
What to Look for in a Plastic Surgeon
Researching a Top Breast Lift SurgeonLooking to find the best breast surgeon in your area? Look no further than our directory of plastic surgeons, all of whom meet the following criteria:
- Well-respected by peers
- Positively reviewed by patients
- Ranked as a top medical practitioner in their field
- In good standing with their medical board(s)
- Operating from a clinic that upholds the highest level of healthcare standards
- Am I a suitable candidate for breast lift surgery?
- Would you recommend a combination breast lift with augmentation procedure in order to achieve the breasts I desire?
- Which lift technique will you use for my procedure?
- How many breast lift procedures have you performed?
- What are the risks and complications associated with breast lift surgery?
- How much time will I have to take off of work for recovery?
- What types of limitations (driving, exercising, etc.) will I have after surgery?
- Can you provide me with any more information (whether print or digital) to help me better understand the procedure?
- Do you offer evening or weekend appointments?
- What do you charge for breast lift surgery?
- What financing options are available to me as your patient?
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