A breast lift is designed to lift the breast and nipple to a more proportionate, youthful position. This can be combined with a reduction or augmentation in size.
A breast lift, or Mastopexy, is designed to recreate the appearance of firm and more youthful breasts. Whether from childbirth and breastfeeding, changes in weight, gravity, or the natural aging process, a woman’s breasts will change over time. These factors can result in sagging breasts losing their elasticity and firmness, a condition also known as ptosis. Depending on the specific problems to be addressed, a breast lift procedure may consist of one or multiple discrete procedures:
- Tighten skin to eliminate the sagging effect
- Reduce the size of the areola to keep them in proportion to the newly shaped breasts
- Move the nipple higher up on the breast so it is approximately even with the lower crease of the breast.
In some cases, when there has been significant loss of breast tissue or you desire a larger overall breast size, a breast augmentation can be performed in conjunction with the breast lift.
A breast lift can be performed at any age, however it is recommend that women wait until breast development has stopped, a stable weight is achieved, and no future pregnancies are planned. Pregnancy and breast-feeding may have significant and unpredictable effects on the size and shape of your breasts.
A breast lift can be performed on breasts of any size. The following conditions could indicate that breast lift surgery is right for you:
- Have breasts that lack substance or firmness
- Have breasts that are loose and sagging (breasts are flatter and longer)
- Have one breast that falls lower than the other
- Have nipples and areolas that point downward (fall below your breast creases)
- Have areolas stretched out of proportion to your breasts
During your consultation, Dr. Somogyi will ask you about your desired breast shape and size. He will discuss with you how your nipples and areolas will be repositioned. You should mention anything else about your breasts that you would like to see improved. This will help Dr. Somogyi to understand your expectations and determine whether those expectations can be met.
There are several common techniques that may be utilized during a breast lift procedure. The size and shape of your breasts, size of your areolas, extent of sagging, and the desired outcome of the patient are factors that will help your surgeon determine the best technique for you. Incisions may be made in one of three ways:
- Around the areola
- Vertically downward from the bottom edge of the areola to the crease underneath the breast.
- Horizontal beneath the breast and follows the natural curve of the breast crease
When fuller, rounder breasts are the goal, a combination breast lift and breast augmentation surgery may be necessary. There are several methods available for breast augmentation, including saline and silicone implants, as well as autologous fat transfer.
When smaller breasts are the goal, a combination breast lift and breast reduction may be recommended. During the breast lift procedure, extra breast tissue will be removed. The remaining tissue and skin will then be lifted and firmed.
You and Dr. Somogyi will discuss which method is best for your desired outcome and individual circumstance.
What to Expect:
After a breast lift, your breasts will likely be covered with gauze and a surgical support bra. You will be able to move around normally; however, actions that involve lifting, straining, or strenuous exercise should be avoided for 6 weeks until the breasts have completely healed. Breast lift surgery is not overly painful and, although strong pain medication will be prescribed,most often Tylenol and Advil are sufficient to help alleviate discomfort. Sexual activity should be limited during the two weeks after surgery.
You will be instructed to wear a support bra for 6 weeks, until the swelling and discoloration of your breasts diminish. Your breasts will be swollen and bruised for about two weeks. You’ll likely feel pain and soreness around the incisions, which will be red or pink for a few months. You may notice that you feel less sensation in the nipple and areola areas. Sensation loss is usually temporary and may take weeks, months or even more than a year to return to normal. Your breasts will require some time to settle and assume a pleasing, natural shape.
The breast lift procedure will leave some scarring along the incision sites. While scars are permanent, they’ll soften and become thin and white within one to two years. The scarring will generally follow along the natural lines of the breast and can usually be hidden by bras and bathing suits. The extent of the scars will depend largely on your body’s ability to heal but Dr. Somogyi will provide you will all the necessary tools to maximize your healing and minimize visible scarring.
The results from a breast lift should be long lasting. Once corrected, the breasts should remain relatively stable, assuming weight does not fluctuate greatly. Maintaining a stable, healthy weight can help you retain your results. Over time skin inelasticity due to aging and gravity may make another procedure necessary to retain the desired results.
Each year thousands of women undergo successful breast lift surgery, experience no major problems and are happy with the results. Significant complications from breast lifts are infrequent. However, Dr. Somogyi’s goal is to make sure you understand what this surgery involves, including possible risks, complications and follow-up care. Breast lift surgery poses various risks, including:
- Diminished sensitivity or permanent loss of sensation in the nipples or areas of breast skin
- Irregularities or asymmetry in the shape and size of the breasts
- The areolas (the pigmented area around the nipples) may appear uneven
- Irregularities or asymmetry in the shape and size of the breasts (This could occur as a result of changes during the healing process, or surgery might not successfully correct pre-existing asymmetry)
- Rarely, the blood supply to the nipple or areola is interrupted during a breast reduction. This can damage breast tissue in the area and lead to the partial or total loss of the nipple or areola
- Rarely, poor healing can cause scars to become thick and wide
- Difficulty breast-feeding
Your consultation with Dr. Somogyi is designed to maximize your outcomes and minimize complications by ensuring that the appropriate procedure is selected and that you have a full understanding of your pre and post-operative instructions. Our office is a constant resource for you in this regard and will carefully guide you through this exciting experience.