As women age, the skin of the breasts may lose some of its elasticity, causing a sagging appearance. Pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight fluctuations, and genetics can all have a significant impact on the breasts. Many women consider breast lift surgery when their breasts become pendulous, lose firmness, or have nipples that point downwards.
What is a breast lift?
Breast lift surgery, or mastopexy, removes excess skin and tightens the surrounding tissue to raise and reshape the breasts. The kind of volume changes associated with pregnancy, nursing, and substantial weight loss can often cause additional breast sag, and potentially compromise the results of a lift. For this reason, it may be advisable to undergo breast lift surgery only after weight loss, childbearing, and breastfeeding are finished in order to achieve optimal, long-lasting, and superior results.
Women that have some degree of volume loss and skin laxity who want to rejuvenate the look and feel of sagging breasts can achieve excellent results with a breast lift. Women whose breasts are affected by gravity, aging, or genetic influences will also benefit from a breast lift. The ideal candidate for a breast lift generally includes a woman:
- who is near her ideal weight
- who is finished with childbearing and breastfeeding
- whose nipples and areolas point downward
- who is in reasonably good health
Types of breast lifts
After a thorough examination and discussion with our doctors, we will be able to determine if you are a good candidate for a breast lift. If you are, we will be able to recommend a lift type or combination procedure that is best suited for you and your particular needs.
The various types of breast lift include:
In the periareolar mastopexy, the surgeon will make an incision around the entire areola. This will be the only incision necessary to tighten the breast, allowing less scarring since incisions on the edge of the areola are concealed. However, this technique is not effective in achieving significant tightening, so it is a better choice for patients with limited breast sagging.
“Lollipop Incision” (Short Horizontal Scar Technique)
The lollipop, or short scar technique, uses two incisions that somewhat resemble a lollipop. One is around the areola, and one goes vertically from the areola to the breast crease. Occasionally, there is a small horizontal component in the crease below the breast. This technique eliminates the larger anchor-shaped scar that results from traditional breast lifts, leaving less scarring in general for an aesthetic and lasting result. This technique can be utilized for moderate sagging.
Full Mastopexy (Anchor Type Incision)
This is a traditional breast lift, and it is used primarily for larger-breasted women who have severe to extreme sagging. It is the most extensive mastopexy procedure, selected when there is too much skin to be removed through more limited incisions.
Combination Breast Procedure
All of these breast lift techniques can be combined with a breast augmentation. In this type of procedure, breast implants are added for a fuller and more enhanced appearance. Implants can be an excellent complement to a breast lift for many women. During your evaluation, we will explain all the risks and benefits associated with these combination surgeries to help you determine the options that best fit your needs.
During any breast lift procedure, one of our surgeons will lift and reshape underlying breast tissue, reposition the nipple and areola, reduce enlarged areolas if necessary, and remove any excess breast skin. We aim to provide a natural-looking result with minimal scarring.
Recovering from a breast lift
It’s common to experience temporary bruising or swelling after a breast lift procedure, but this will typically subsides as recovery progresses. Resting for the remainder of the day surgery is performed is recommended, but light activities can usually be resumed within a few days. Exercise and more strenuous activities will need to be avoided for a few weeks. Over the course of a few months, the shape and position of the breasts will gradually settle into place, and incision lines will fade, leaving women to enjoy a more rejuvenated and shapely breast appearance with restored firmness.