Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
Restore contour and firmness
All women’s breasts change over time. Aging, gravity, pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight fluctuations and other factors result in loss of youthful contour and firmness. Eventually, the breasts ‘sag.’ This is referred to as ptosis (pronounced ‘toe-sis’), and has multiple levels of severity. A breast lift, also known as a maxopexy, can help rejuvenate your figure with a more youthful, uplifted breast profile.
The combination of aging, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and gravity tend to accumulate more and more of the breast mass at the bottom of the breasts. This can create a pendulum-like appearance and can make you feel older than you should. Dr. Dawes seeks to bring the breast tissue back to a higher position on the chest. Lifts can downsize enlarged areolae and can also take nipples that may be pointing downward and bring them back to their natural higher position. And if a breast augmentation is also recommended and chosen, you will see an increased breast volume in all the right places for a fuller, more youthful look.
Is A Breast Lift Right for Me?
Not all women with ptosis require a breast lift. In milder cases, ptosis can be corrected with augmentation alone. During your initial consultation, Dr. Dawes will perform a thorough evaluation of your breasts, nipple position, and body shape. He will determine if you are a good candidate for a breast lift and make a recommendation tailored to your specific goals. He may also advise combining your breast lift with an augmentation should you want extra breast volume in addition to the lift.
A breast lift may be right for you if:
- You are concerned that your breasts sag (have a flatter or elongated shape), or have lost volume
- Your nipples point downwards or fall below your breast crease
- You have stretched skin or enlarged areolas
- One breast is noticeably lower than the other
Good candidates for breast lift surgery are individuals who:
- Are healthy and maintain a stable weight
- Are non-smokers
- Have realistic expectations for breast lift improvement
How Breast Lift Surgery is Performed
This procedure raises, firms and re-contours the breast through removal of excess skin and tightening of the surrounding breast tissue. Excess breast skin is removed and the nipple and areola are shifted to a higher position. The areola diameter is often reduced at the same time as needed. The breast tissue is next lifted and internally supported by deep stitches. The skin is then closed with dissolvable stitches, tightening the breast. Dr. Dawes will use one of three possible incision patterns. During your consultation, the two of you will discuss your situation and your incision options to fit your personal needs. The incision options are as follows:
- Areolar Incision
Also called a peri-areolar mastopexy, a donut-shaped incision is made around the areola. This method creates minimal visible scarring but is only appropriate for women with minimal sagging who don’t need a lot of excess skin removed.
- “Lollipop” Incision
This incision circles the areola and then drops straight down, ending at the breast crease. This method allows moderate removal of excess skin and fat.
- Anchor Incision
This method circles the areola, drops down to the breast crease, and then extends outward in both directions, similar to the shape of an anchor. The anchor incision allows for the most skin removal and tissue adjustment to help achieve optimal breast shape.
- Areolar Incision
You can expect moderate discomfort of the breasts, which should gradually improve over 3-4 days. Swelling usually subsides after 3 weeks, but can occasionally persist longer. You may have bruising. It will be worst at 3-4 days post-op and may persist for up to 3-4 weeks. You will be advised not to raise your arms above your head for 3 weeks. Final results are long lasting, but will take a few months to appear as your breast shape and position continue to settle. Incision lines will be visible, but will fade over time. Maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle will help maintain and prolong your results, though your breasts will still be affected by the natural aging process.
Breast Lift (Mastopexy) FAQs
Dr. Dawes views every consultation as a free-flowing give and take with the patient. He encourages any and all questions you may have about the procedure, its risks, and recovery.
You’ll begin by describing what you dislike about your sagging breasts and how you’d like to see them change. This is important so Dr. Dawes can learn the specific areas you’d like to address, plus it gives him the chance to be sure your expectations are realistic. He will then examine your breasts. At this point he will describe the incision options, including which he thinks is the best approach for your unique situation. He’ll describe how the surgery works, followed by what you can expect during recovery. He’ll go over the risks involved. When your consultation is finished, whether you decide to move forward with surgery or not, the goal is for you to be an expert in what is involved with a breast lift.
Breast lifts are major surgery, so they include risks involved with surgery: bleeding or the formation of a hematoma, reaction to anesthesia, infection, and slow incision healing. Risks related to breast lifts include:
- Changes in nipple or breast sensation (these usually revolve within a few months)
- Irregularities in breast contour or shape
- Breast asymmetry
- Necrosis of fat tissue on the nipple areolar complex itself (rare)
- Fluid accumulation
- Possibility of the need for revision surgery