Before & After
Something about Breast Lift here from Anne or a patient. Maybe a testimonial.
This 42 y.o. woman hoped for a breast lift and small reduction following two pregnancies and breast feeding. She had a small volume breast reduction with improvement in her breast shape and appearance.
About Mastopexy Surgery
What is a breast lift?
A breast lift is also known as mastopexy and there are several different patterns or techniques of lifting the breast. The best approach really depends on the shape and size of your breasts and your goals, which will be discussed at your appointment to help come up with a plan together with your surgeon. In general, incisions are made to remove extra breast skin and then the skin and breast tissue are tightened and lifted to improve the breast shape. Often, the nipples/areolas are also re-sized to fit better with the look of your new, lifted breasts. A breast lift may also be combined with an augmentation with either implants or your own tissue.
How do I know if I need a breast lift? I’ve heard there are several types, what are they and how do I know which one is right for me?
Breast lifts are typically done because women have “ptosis” or dropping of the breasts. Gravity, hormones, childbearing and breastfeeding all play roles in the elasticity of our skin and breast tissue and can affect the amount of ptosis over time.
There are several different types of breast lifts that can be individualized to each woman, typically through an in-person physical exam and thorough history defining goals of surgery and life plans.
Patients of all body types may be candidates for breast lifts, but some women may be advised to wait before having surgery, for example, those who have not had full breast development, those wanting to become pregnant in the near future, or women who are actively losing a lot of weight.
What can I expect after surgery?
Recovery after the procedure varies on a multitude of factors, but in general, one week off of work or school is expected. Your surgeon will likely have you wear a soft, supportive bra like a sports bra for awhile before transitioning to a regular bra (without underwire for the first 3 months). It is normal to feel like your breasts are heavy and tight in the weeks or even months after surgery– this is from swelling and will resolve over time.
Most women return to light exercise after a week, more active exercises between two and four weeks, and are back to their normal, pre-surgery fitness routine between four and six weeks. Be active, but go slow, especially with weights overhead, pushing and pulling.
Most patients do very well and are in minimal pain after the procedure, however, it may take several months for your breasts to settle in and complete healing takes about one year.
Am I going to still have sensation?
Some women may have decreased sensation or even a little numbness around their incisions and their nipples early after surgery. However, in almost all cases this completely resolves over time.
Can a breast lift help with chronic under the breast infections like intertrigo?
Absolutely. Typically, the cause of chronic intertrigo (or skin yeast infections) is caused by having skin on skin, where it creates an area that is moist, dark and warm – a perfect place for yeast to hide and grow – causing an infection. A breast lift helps reduce this area of skin-to-skin contact, or at least lessens it to a substantial degree and help reduce the risk for infection.
Is a breast lift okay with a history of abnormal mammograms or prior breast surgery such as biopsies or a lumpectomy?
In many cases, having a breast lift in these settings is fine, but it really depends on the type of surgery you’ve had, where your incisions are, and how everything has healed. This is definitely something to speak to your surgeon about if you have had any of this in the past.
I’m worried about problems healing after surgery and other complications. What’s the risk and how do I prevent these things?
In general, a breast lift is a safe procedure with very low rates of complications. The most common issue that patients develop is some delayed healing where the incisions come together. The best way to prevent this is to make sure to keep the areas dry, avoid too much pulling at your incisions, and wear your surgical bra to help support your incisions while they’re healing.
What can I do at home for best scar results?
There are many different creams that may help to soften scars, including cocoa butter, Vitamin E oil, and Mederma. Biocorneum® is a medical-grade silicone gel that works well. The product I recommend for all of my patients having breast surgery is Embrace Scar Therapy®, which involves silicone gel sheets that you put over your incisions and change every 7 to 10 days. It’s very effective and helps support and protect your incisions. You can start it around 3 or 4 weeks after surgery when your incisions are all healed. After two months of silicone gel sheeting, I then recommend another two months of daily scar massage to keep everything soft.
When can I get back to my normal activity? When can I go back to work? What about weight/power lifting?
We ask that you hold off strenuous activity (sweating) for the first week, but walking and making meals is okay. However, most women return to light exercise after a week, more active exercises between two and four weeks, and are back to their normal, pre-surgery fitness routine between four and six weeks. Be active, but go slow, especially with weights overhead, pushing and pulling.
Can you go into detail about the types of breast lifts and which one that might be right for me?
Crescent Breast List
This type of lift is usually recommended for patient with minimal drooping or ptosis. It requires a single incision above the areola in a crescent or moon shape to help lift the breast tissue and move the areaola/nipple complex in a more desired, lifted position. The scar is usually very well hidden within the darker pigment of the areola.
Peri-areolar Breast Lift
This type of lift is a great option for women with minimal sagging, who would benefit from a subtle lift. This technique is also known as the “donut lift.” The incision is made around the areola, usually to make the areola/nipple complex smaller, as well as giving a subtle lift the breasts and reposition the newly sized areola. Patients typically heal very well and the scar is well hidden within the darker complex of the areola.
Vertical breast lift
This lift is for women with a moderate amount of ptosis or breast droop. Although patients still heal well, there are two incisions that need to be made, one around the areola, and then a vertical incision made from the bottom of the areola down to the natural breast crease, also known as the inframammary fold. This technique is also known as the “lollipop lift.”
Anchor Breast Lift
This technique is used for woman with a significant amount of ptosis or breast droop and patients may need more of a dramatic reshaping of the breast tissue to obtain the desired outcome. This technique requires three incision, the lollipop as above, plus one horizontally along the natural breast crease.
Anne Peled, MD
2100 Webster Suite 424
San Francisco, CA, 94115
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