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Over time, the natural aging process can cause a woman’s breasts to sag and lose their shape. A breast lift, or mastopexy, is a surgical procedure that reshapes and cosmetically alters a woman’s breasts. After the procedure, women can expect firmer, more shapely, and youthful looking breasts.
During a breast lift, your plastic surgeon removes excess skin, reshapes the underlying tissue, and raises the areola and nipple to create a natural lift and a perkier appearance for the breasts.
WHO IS A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR A BREAST LIFT?
Ideal candidates for a breast lift are patients in good overall health with realistic expectations. If you have sagging breasts and are unhappy with their appearance, you are likely a good candidate for the procedure.
The best candidates for a breast lift are non-smokers. Smoking negatively affects the health and elasticity of the skin, increasing the chance of complications during and after surgery. It can also prolong the healing process.
If you plan to have a child and breastfeed after your breast lift, this can negatively affect the appearance of your breast lift results. Discuss this in advance with your plastic surgeon.
BEFORE YOUR BREAST LIFT
The first thing you will need to do is meet with your plastic surgeon for a consultation. As part of this, you will need to talk about the results you would like to achieve. After a physical exam, you will answer questions on your health and medical history. Your plastic surgeon will explain the procedure in detail, including the preparation and recovery process.
After your decision to get surgery, you will have to stop taking specific medications. You will have to stop smoking a month before the surgery and will need to continue to avoid smoking during recovery. Make sure you have enough time set aside for the recovery process.
DURING THE SURGERY
Depending on each patient’s needs, plastic surgeons can use a mastopexy to achieve minimal sagging correction, moderate sagging and reshaping, or total reshaping and lift in the case of extensive sagging. Each of these options requires a different incision pattern:
A donut lift is ideal for the smallest amount of sagging. This involves the creation of two concentric circles around the areola.
A lollipop lift is ideal for moderate sag. Its pattern is a circular incision around the areola and a vertical line down from this, which terminates at the breast crease.
An anchor lift (or inverted T lift) is ideal for extensive drooping. A lollipop incision is created, and a curving horizontal incision is then made across the breast crease.
Anesthesia will be administered to ensure a comfortable procedure. The required incisions will then be created. Excess skin will be removed, and the areolae and nipples will be repositioned and resized. Incisions will be closed with stitches.
HEALING AFTER YOUR BREAST LIFT
You will experience soreness, bruising, and swelling after the mastopexy procedure. Pain-relief medications and antibiotics will be prescribed, and bruising and swelling can be addressed with cold compresses.
You will need to wear a supportive post-surgical bra without underwire for a time to aid in recovery and healing. You will have to sleep with pillows behind your back to relieve pressure on the chest. Staying home from work will be required until you are cleared to return. Once all swelling has ameliorated, you will be able to see your breast lift results.