Are you concerned about the shape and perkiness of your breasts? Have you lost that youthful firmness and upright breast shape? Have your breasts become smaller and drifted lower following pregnancy? If you answered yes and are struggling with this section of your upper body, you might be a prime candidate for a breast lift procedure.
Also referred to as a mastopexy surgery, a breast lift has the ability to raise and firm the breast by removing excess skin in the region and tightening the surrounding tissue, which reshapes and supports new breast contour. Think of a breast lift as a skin tailoring operation. Just as you would go to a tailor to “take in” loose clothing after weight loss, so with a breast lift, the excess, stretchy breast skin is tailored and tucked to create a more youthful and perkier breast shape. A mastopexy also has the ability to decrease the size of the areola, which often stretches over time.
Women’s breasts can change shape, size and firmness through the years because skin elasticity decreases and breast tissue often atrophies. Some reasons for these changes include pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight changes, aging, gravity and even heredity.
It is important to note that a breast lift by itself does not change the size of your breasts. You may want to consider a breast augmentation with the lift if you desire to have your breasts enlarged or at least to create more “cleavage”. On the contrary, if you are looking to have smaller and perkier breasts, you may want to consider having a breast lift in conjunction with a breast reduction.
The success and safety of your breast lift procedure greatly depends on you being completely honest during your consultation. Concerns and questions that you may have about the procedure can be answered during the appointment. At this time, you will be asked about your health history, breast health, desires and goals with the procedure and about your lifestyle. You should be prepared to discuss any medical conditions you may have, previous surgeries and your family history. In particular, you should be considering what type or configuration of scars you are willing to accept in trade-off for the improved shape, and whether you wish to remain the same breast size or become larger or smaller with your lift.
Breast lift procedures are performed either in an accredited office-based surgical center, an outpatient or ambulatory surgical center, or at a hospital. It is important to note that you will need assistance after the surgery, especially if you and your surgeon choose to have it performed on an outpatient basis. You will need someone to drive you to and from the surgery facility and to accompany you at home for the first night.
As for the procedure itself, it can be accomplished using a number of patterns and techniques, which will be determined based on breast size and shape, the size and position of the areolas, the degree of breast sagging, skin quality, and your thoughts regarding the location of permanent scars. First, medications will be administered, which will ensure your comfort and safety. The choices are intravenous sedation and general anesthesia – you and your doctor will discuss which is best.
The next step is to create the incisions, which can be accomplished through three different patterns: around the areola (the periareolar approach which leaves only a circular scar hugging the areolar border, demonstrated in the picture); around the areola and vertically down to the fold under the breast (the so-called lollipop technique); or around the areola with incisions vertically down to the fold and then horizontally along the breast crease (the inverted T or anchor technique). The techniques are named for the pattern of the resulting permanent scars. Generally, Dr. Schwartz will choose the least involved technique with the least scarring that will still successfully correct breast sagging and create a youthful look. Usually, the more severe your sagging, the greater likelihood that the more extensive techniques will be needed to achieve the best result. But sometimes patients are willing to accept a more modest improvement in return for having less scars. Dr. Schwartz will then reshape your breasts by removing excess skin and change breast size, if desired, by adding an implant or removing breast tissue.
The final step will be to meticulously close the incisions, which will be done by tightening the skin at the incision sites. The majority of lines will be concealed within the natural contours of the breasts; however, some will stay visible at the surface.
Your improved breast shape will be visible immediately. With that being said, post-surgical swelling and bruising will resolve quickly, and incision scars will fade and diminish over time. All incision sites will be covered with dressings and bandages. You will be required to wear an elastic bandage or support bra, which will minimize swelling and help support your breasts as they heal. Fortunately, there is minimal pain with this surgery, and you will be able to return to most regular activities within just a few weeks.
The results of your surgery will be long-lasting and fully develop over the next few months as breast shape and position continue to settle; however, your breasts will continue to change gradually over time due to aging and gravity. Your results will last longer if you are able to maintain your current weight and keep a healthy lifestyle.
Choosing a surgeon you can trust may be the most important decision after determining you are ready for a breast lift procedure. Dr. Schwartz is a board certified plastic surgeon and has been practicing plastic and cosmetic surgery in West Palm Beach, FL for over 25 years. He is considered one of the most artistic and experienced plastic surgeons in Palm Beach County, FL.
Please call 561-232-3120 or schedule a consultation online for more information on the breast lift procedure.