A breast lift, also known as a mastopexy, is a procedure to raise and reshape sagging breasts.  As a woman ages, skin loses some elasticity which can cause the breasts to lose their natural shape and firmness. Pregnancy, weight gain and loss can also cause the breast to enlarge, stretching the skin and causing the breasts to drop. This mastopexy procedure is designed to elevate the breasts and give them a more youthful appearance.  A breast lift or mastopexy may also be completed in conjunction with breast enlargement surgery (augmentation).

Reasons for Considering a Breast Lift:

  • Elevate the breasts due to sagging caused by the effects of aging and gravity.
  • Firm the breasts if they have lost substance due to pregnancy and subsequent breast-feeding.
  • Re-align your nipples/areola if they point down or to the side.
  • Bring back natural suppleness after weight loss.

General Procedure

The breast lift mastopexy surgical procedure usually takes one and a half to three hours.  Techniques vary and are tailored to what you need. If there is minimal ptosis then a small skin excision around the areola may be all that is needed. For more severe forms the incsion around the areola may have to be supplemented with a vertical incision. These incisions usually heal beautifully with minimal visible scarring. The most severe forms of ptosis, but the most common procedure involves an anchor-like incision along the underside of the breast.  The incision goes around the area of the areola where skin will be removed, thus defining how the nipple will be relocated.  When the excess skin has been removed, the nipple and areola are moved into a higher position.  The skin surrounding the breast is tailored and brought down and together to reshape the breast.

Some patients, especially those with relatively small breasts and minimal sagging, may be candidates for modified procedures requiring less extensive incisions.  One such procedure is the "doughnut (or concentric) mastopexy" in which circular incisions are made around the areola and a doughnut-shaped area of skin is removed. I use a non absorbable pure string suture to prevent the scars from spreading  Recent innovations in breast lift techniques include minimal incision techniques and nipple sensation reducing procedures.

If the patient is having an implant inserted along with the breast lift, the implant will be placed in a pocket directly under the breast tissue or under the muscle of the chest wall. This by itself will elevate the nipple and areola by increasing the volume of the breast.

Recovery Process

The recovery is easy and quick. I recommend rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and recovery time.  The breasts are wrapped right after surgery to minimize the bruising and to aid the healing process and to minimize movement of the breasts.   Once the bandages are removed, you will need to wear a soft surgical bra for several weeks.  Patients have a pain less post operative course if they follow my instructions.You are injected very well while under anesthesia and everyone is very comfortable in the recovery room. The oral medications start immediately so you are essentially pain free. The swelling will take some time to resolve.


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