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.
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 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.
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.
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
- Ideal for: Slight sagging
- Technique: A crescent of tissue above the top of the nipple is removed
- Benefit: Least invasive; generally produces inconspicuous scarring
- 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
- 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
- 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
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.
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.
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.
Women may experience some change in breast skin or nipple-areolar sensation immediately after surgery which usually recovers fully.
Have additional questions about the Breast Lift procedure? Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Knowling for further information.