Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
A breast lift (mastopexy) is a surgical procedure designed to improve the contour
of the breast, by removing excess skin creating a more firm appearance. It is
important to understand that a breast lift by itself does not enlarge the breasts.
If you desire or need enlargement, you can have a breast enlargement conducted
at the same time as your breast lift.
emotionally stable women who remain realistic about the outcomes
of this type of surgery are most suitable for having a breast
lift. The best results are usually achieved in women with small,
sagging breasts. Although breasts of any size may be lifted,
women with heavier breasts will most likely have shorter lasting
women mature, they find that their breasts begin to sag and lose
shape. This also holds true for most women who have been through
pregnancy. For breasts that have simply lost their fullness and
projection, a breast lift is the ideal surgical procedure in
creating a perkier, fuller and more youthful appearance.
is breast lift surgery performed?
are two types of breast lift procedures the full lift and the
modified lift (Benelli). Your surgeon will help you decide upon
the appropriate procedure for your specific needs.
a full lift the first incision is made around the dark area surrounding
the nipple (areola) to allow a repositioning of the nipple to
a higher, more attractive level on the breast. The nipple itself
is not removed, however. Then, a second incision is made horizontally
under the breast fold (inframammary crease). The third incision
is made vertically from the areola's edge to the crease, creating
an inverted t-shaped surgical opening. Excess skin is trimmed
to tighten, firm and recontour the breast for your desired projection.
Then, the incisions are closed with small stitches (sutures)
placed beneath the skin. Bandages are applied to the breast for
During a modified lift a circular incision is made around the dark area surrounding
the nipple (areola). Excess skin is removed to tighten and recontour the breast.
If desired, large areolae can be reduced in size to more proportionate with
your new breast size. The incision is closed with small sutures (stitches)
and supportive bandages are applied to the breast.
long does breast lift surgery take?
lift surgery usually takes about one to five hours to complete.
The length of the procedure varies according to the technique
type of anesthesia is used?
breast lift is usually performed using local anesthesia along
with a light sedative to make you feel drowsy and relaxed. General
anesthesia may also be used, causing you to be asleep during
the whole procedure.
is the procedure performed?
breast lift is usually performed on an outpatient basis, in the
surgeon's office-based surgical suite, an outpatient surgery
center or hospital.
can I return home and resume normal activities?
may return home the same day. However, it is necessary that you
have someone take you home after the procedure and stay with
you for at least 24 hours. Most women return to their usual activities
in one week. However, you must not lift anything for the first
two weeks and do no heavy lifting for the first four weeks.
do I prepare for breast lift surgery?
your initial consultation, your surgeon will discuss the changes
that you would like to make to your appearance. Since the appearance
of your breasts is a matter of personal perception and preference,
you will need to discuss your concerns in detail so your surgeon
can determine the appropriate alternatives. You also should make
arrangements ahead of time for someone to drive you to and from
your procedure and to assist you with your daily activities during
your recovery period.
to your surgical procedure, the surgeon will perform a complete
health history and physical. Your surgeon will also measure your
breasts, take photographs, and possibly require a mammogram (breast
x-ray). The new placement of your nipples as well as the size
of the areolas (the darker skin around the nipples) will also
be discussed. Knowledge of your allergies, medications and previous
surgeries should be brought to your surgeon's attention at this
time. Specific instructions to assist you in preparing for this
procedure will be given to you after the health history and physical
is complete. Depending on your individual health status, the
instructions may include guidelines regarding your diet, alcohol
intake, smoking and which medications to take or avoid. Your
experience will be much smoother if you remain compliant with
your surgeon's instructions.
precautions are necessary during recovery?
surgery, you will notice an immediate and dramatic change in
the shape of your breasts. Most women are very pleased immediately
after surgery. Some numbness is normal after surgery and may
persist permanently, but almost all women feel that it is worth
it. Small bandages are secured over your incisions. You must
wear a bra for support for at least several weeks and also avoid
an underwire bra as it may cause a blister on the delicate postoperative
will receive specific instructions to follow during your recovery
including rest and sleeping positions, raising your arms, bathing
and showering techniques.
are the possible complications after breast lift surgery?
a full breast lift, your scars are placed in the natural skin
demarcation lines around the dark area around the nipple (areola),
down the breast from the bottom of the areola to the crease underneath
the breast. In most patients, the scars from the incisions will
be pink for about six months and gradually fade thereafter. It
is important to know that all scars are permanent and their height,
width and final color are never completely predictable.
with most surgical procedures, small nerves to the skin may be
interrupted. Portions of the nipple area may feel numb or have
a less than full feeling. Sensation generally returns over several
weeks, although some diminished feeling may last indefinitely.
This does not usually interfere with erotic sensation.
exposure or use of a tanning bed should be avoided until the
numbness of the breasts has subsided. Afterwards, be sure to
protect the incision site with a sunscreen of at least SPF 15
for at least six months.
procedure is without risks; however, the majority of complications
known to be associated with a breast lift are minor when the
procedure is performed by an experienced board certified plastic
surgeon. It is always important to be informed about the possible
complications before any surgery. Be sure to discuss any concerns
you may have with your surgeon.
results can I expect after breast lift surgery?
will experience some discomfort once the anesthesia has worn
off. Your surgeon will give you medication to relieve any discomfort.
Your breasts may be swollen and bruised for approximately one-two
weeks. Please note that the loss of elasticity that caused the
original sagging of the breast can recur. Rarely, a woman will
request another procedure to lift the breasts again. The vast
majority of women maintain their enhanced, rounder and more youthful
shaped breasts. Be sure to discuss any questions or concerns
you may have with your surgeon.