A breast lift procedure is very similar to a breast reduction, both of which are performed on an outpatient basis. Both procedures are done to offer direct relief from legitimate medical problems that are attendant to overlarge or saggy breasts, as well as an immediate cosmetic enhancement in women whose breasts are unbecoming due to their size. These procedures allow a woman to have her breasts reconfigured so that they are in natural proportion with the rest of her body.
Some women experience extensive enlargement of their breasts during pregnancy, which subsequently subsides following delivery. In addition to the postpartum loss of fat tissue, swelling can cause the skin to stretch and sag. Genetics and fluctuations in weight can also contribute to this condition, known medically as "ptosis". No amount of exercise will re-tighten this skin. A breast lift will remove excess skin, raise the position of the nipple and areola and reduce sagging.
A breast lift surgery is performed to correct a number of problems that can occur when breasts do not hold their own weight and shape, including:
- Excessive sagging
- Stretch marks
- Skin rashes
- Bra strap grooving on the shoulders
- Upper and lower back pain
Breast lift, or mastopexy, can also be performed to correct tuberous breast deformity, also known as constricted breast deformity.
This condition refers to a situation in which a portion of the breasts is underdeveloped. Typically this applies to the lower half of the breast, which has not grown commensurate with the remainder of the breast. As a result, the nipple-areolar complex and upper portion of the breast is misshapen. This can occur in varying degrees, and the method of correction will depend largely upon the severity.
What type of incisions will be used?
The type of incision largely depends upon specific case circumstances, such as degree of enlargement or sagging. Incision options typically include the following:
- Crescent (aka periareolar pattern): Only certain patients will require this incision. This incision is made at the top edge of the areola. It’s a small incision and will raise the nipple position very slightly.
- Benelli (aka circumareolar pattern): This operation is often performed in conjunction with a breast augmentation. It can raise the nipple position more than the crescent lift, and remove a ring of skin around the areola.
- Lollipop (aka vertical pattern): The incision is around the areola and down the front meridian of the breast. It’s done in the shape of a lollipop. This type of lift addresses horizontal skin excess by narrowing the breast tissue in the horizontal plane.
- Anchor (aka wise pattern): The incisions will be identical to a vertical lift, but will also include an incision in the infra-mammary breast fold. It addresses both horizontal and vertical skin excess by narrowing the breast tissue in the horizontal and vertical planes.
What is involved in the recovery process after a breast lift?
Drains: Some patients may require drains in each breast for a few days after breast lift surgery to allow for the prompt removal of excess fluid. They are typically removed within the first week. Patients who generally require drains after breast lift surgery include those needing major revisions, those undergoing simultaneously capsule removal, and those undergoing liposuction of an area immediately adjacent to the breasts.
Swelling & bruising: You may experience bruising and swelling in the area for the first few days following your surgery. You can reduce this by taking bromelain and arnica montana. Any swelling and bruising will usually subside within a month following breast lift surgery, but may take longer.
Dressings: You should keep your dressings dry and intact. At your first post-operative visit, your dressings will be taken off and you will be placed into a wireless sports bra or surgical bra. We recommend getting fitted for this before receiving your surgery.
Pain management: You will be under long-lasting local anesthesia during your procedure, which will keep you comfortable for most of the first day. If you choose Exparel, the effect of the local anesthesia will last about 3 days. After that, oral pain medication can be taken to control any discomfort. Dr. Brenner usually prescribes Vicodin or Percocet in addition to a muscle relaxant, such as Valium.
Note on showering: It is important you keep your breast dressings dry and intact. Dr. Brenner will provide instructions on showering and dressings so as to ensure an uninterrupted healing process.
Follow-ups: You will be scheduled for follow-up appointments. Make sure you ask any questions you have to Dr. Brenner or his staff. It is common for him to see patients the day after surgery, the week after and then at gradually longer intervals. Some patients may need additional requirements.
Other breast enhancement procedures
Breast augmentation enhances the natural breast volume by placing an implant device underneath the breast muscle or gland.Read more
For women whose breasts are excessively large and do not atrophy after childbirth, a breast reduction operation may helpful for resolving accompanying health issues.Read more