A woman’s breasts gradually lose their youthful firmness and contour throughout the aging process. More drastic bodily changes such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, or weight loss can also cause sagging or enlarged areolas. A breast lift, medically referred to as mastopexy, is a procedure designed to reposition the breasts by trimming excess skin and reshaping the breast tissue. The position of the nipple and areola is raised as well, resulting in a more youthful and rejuvenated appearance. For some patients, a mastopexy is combined with breast augmentation to increase fullness and enhance the overall aesthetic appearance of the breasts.
There are several techniques used to perform a breast lift which vary according to the patient’s current breast size, medical history, and aesthetic goals. The procedure lasts approximately two to three hours. It is performed under general anesthesia or intravenous sedation to maximize the patient’s comfort.
The incision pattern used by your surgeon varies depending on a number of patient-specific factors. Normally, the incision is made around the areola and may be extended vertically downwards to the breast crease. From the breast crease, the incision may be continued horizontally along the crease beneath the breast.
Next, Dr. Potter will lift and reshape the breast tissue beneath the incisions to create a balanced shape and increased firmness. The nipple and areola are repositioned higher along the breast and the perimeter of the areola may be reduced, if desired. Lastly, excess skin is removed, the remaining skin is tightened, and the incisions are closed.
Each breast lift procedure is unique and varies according to the patient’s aesthetic goals, medical history, and lifestyle. Dr. Elisabeth Potter will work closely with you to develop a personalized surgical plan that will enhance the shape of your breasts in a natural balance with the rest of your body. Breast health history must be meticulously reviewed prior to the surgery, which generally consists of a baseline screening mammogram.
Most patients return home on the day of the surgery. In some cases, patients will be advised to stay one night in the hospital. Patients may resume light daily activities as early as the following day. However, it is advised to avoid strenuous exercise for approximately one month to promote full healing. Patients typically return to work three days to two weeks following the procedure. It is common for patients to experience swelling and soreness of the breasts and chest muscles, but these symptoms resolve within a few weeks. Specific instructions regarding medication, reducing risk of infection, and promoting healing will be given by Dr. Potter.
While results from a breast lift are immediately visible, breast shape and position will settle gradually over the course of two to three months. Lines at the site of incision will fade increasingly with time and the results will be permanent. An active lifestyle and healthy diet will maximize long-term retention of breast health.
During your consultation, Dr. Potter will work with you to craft a detailed and personalized surgical plan tailed for your unique medical history, lifestyle, and goals. Questions or concerns regarding operative time, recovery, risks, benefits and results will be discussed in detail on an individual basis at your consultation to ensure that you are fully informed and comfortable with your plan.