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Breast lift surgery, also known as “mastopexy,” corrects sagging, pendulous breasts by removing excess fat and skin and sometimes involves removal of small portions of breast tissue in order to tighten and shape the glandular component of the breast. The breasts and nipple-areola are raised to a more natural, anatomically correct position, are frequently made firmer and shaped into more attractive and youthful form.

Reasons to Undergo Breast Lift Surgery

Having youthful, uplifted breasts with an attractive shape can improve a woman’s’ confidence and self-image. The following circumstances may be avoidable and can result in a breast appearance that is less than desirable and detracts from a woman’s’ confidence.

Aging

As we age, our skin loses collagen and elastin – structural proteins that keep the skin firm and tight. As these proteins deteriorate over time, the skin stretches more easily and loses its ability to return to its original form. This leads to thin, loose breast skin that cannot support the tissues and often results in sagging breasts. This descent is frequently associated with visible thinning of the skin termed “stretch-marking.” In addition the supporting ligaments of the breast lose elasticity over time, transferring the weight of the glandular tissue to the skin envelope frequently resulting in stretch-marking and sagging.

Weight Loss

Weight gain causes the breast skin to stretch to accommodate for the increase in volume due to excess or enlarged fat cells. After weight loss, the skin is often unable to shrink back completely because it has been stretched too much and/or for too long, resulting in breasts with loose, wrinkled skin and an unattractive shape.

Pregnancy

Similar to weight gain, pregnancy causes the breasts to swell and the skin to stretch to accommodate the increase in size. After pregnancy and breastfeeding, the breasts generally return to their pre-pregnancy size but are sometimes left with loose skin that allows them to droop or settle.

Developmental

Some women notice asymmetry as a characteristic of their breasts from the age of puberty. This asymmetry may be associated with ptosis or descent of the breast or nipple-areola to a position lower than they desire. These women may be candidates for breast lift/mastopexy as a correction.

Breast Lift Options

Crescent Lift

  • Ideal for: Slight sagging
  • Technique: A crescent of tissue above the top of the nipple is removed
  • Benefit: Least invasive; generally produces inconspicuous scarring

Benelli Lift

  • Ideal for: Minimal sagging and slight nipple asymmetry
  • Technique: A doughnut-shaped area of tissue around the nipple is removed
  • Benefit: Generally produces inconspicuous scarring

Lollipop Lift

  • Ideal for: Moderate sagging and stretched nipples
  • Technique: A lollipop-shaped incision around the nipple and down to the breast crease is used to remove excess tissue
  • Benefit: Effectively lifts low-hanging breasts

Anchor Lift

  • Ideal For: Severely sagging, pendulous breasts
  • Technique: A lollipop-shaped incision that also extends along the breast crease is used to remove excess tissue
  • Benefit: Provides the most significant lift to the breasts

Common Breast Lift Concerns

Pain

During the procedure, medications will be administered for your comfort. Minimal pain and discomfort generally exists after the procedure and can be controlled with prescribed medication.

Recovery

Most patients are able to return to work within a week of their surgery. Patients should avoid strenuous activities for several weeks. Dr. Knowling will give you specific instructions to follow to ensure you have the safest and most effective recovery.

Scars

The location of the incisions and resulting scars will depend on the degree of correction needed. With all incision techniques, the scars will be as inconspicuous as possible and generally continue to improve over the next year.

Sensation

Women may experience some change in breast skin or nipple-areolar sensation immediately after surgery which usually recovers fully.


Breast Lift Illustration 1 Over time, a woman’s breasts begin to sag and the areolas become larger.
Breast Lift Illustration 2Over time, a woman’s breasts begin to sag and the areolas become larger.

 

Breast Lift Illustration 3Skin formerly located above the nipple is brought down and together to reshape the breast. Sutures close the incisions, giving the breast its new contour.
After surgery, the breasts are higher and firmer, with sutures usually located around the areola, below it, and in the crease under the breast. If your expectations are realistic, chances are you’ll be satisfied with your breast lift.

Have additional questions about the Breast Lift procedure? Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Knowling for further information.