What is a breast lift?
Over time, factors like age, pregnancy, and simple gravity can take a toll on your breasts. As your skin loses its elasticity, your breasts can begin to sag, becoming less firm and losing their shape. This is technically called “breast ptosis.” Breast lift surgery (mastopexy) is designed to bring your breasts back up to a higher position on your chest, reshaping them to provide a fuller and more balanced look.
Orlando breast surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Hartog uses traditional breast lift procedures as well as revolutionary scarless* breast lift techniques and advanced fat grafting methods to refine the shape of your breasts during a lift.
Are You a Candidate for a Breast Lift?
If your breasts have started to sag, you may be an excellent candidate for a breast lift. In order to qualify for this procedure, you should be:
- In good general health
- Not pregnant or breastfeeding, and not planning to get pregnant again
- At a stable weight, with no plans to lose an excessive amount of weight
Many women seek out a breast lift after experiencing massive weight loss, which causes their breasts to lose volume. If you are planning to lose weight in the future, it is best to wait until you are already at – or close to – your target weight before undergoing a breast lift.
Similarly, it is best to wait until you are finished having children before having a breast lift performed. Otherwise, you risk compromising your results and needing another procedure.
What Are The Different Breast Lift Methods?
Surgeons utilize several different methods to achieve natural-looking results from breast lift surgery. The techniques that are available allow the surgeon to customize treatment to each individual. Incision-type is usually determined by the amount of excess skin there is to remove. Different methods include:
- Cresent Lift, which can correct very mild sagging. This incision runs only halfway around the edge of the areola. The crescent lift is not one of the more common techniques used due to its limitations.
- Peri-areolar Lift. Also called a "donut" lift, this technique involves an incision around the edge of the areolas. It is also typically only used for mild breast sagging.
- Lollipop Lift. This vertical incision extends from the breast crease, up the center of the breast mound, ending in a circle around the areola.
- Anchor Lift. This traditional breast lift incision technique is commonly used to correct moderate to severe sagging. The extended incisions allow for the most substantial tissue repositioning and the most cosmetically pleasing outcome for many patients.
How Is a Traditional Breast Lift Performed?
Traditional breast lift surgery is conducted on an outpatient basis. Before the procedure, the surgical team meets with the patient to discuss any questions. The breasts are “marked” to outline where each nipple and areola will be positioned. After this step, the patient receives anesthesia and is taken to the operating room. During breast lift surgery, the skin is pulled tighter around the breast mound. This lifts the mound and gives it better support to correct sagging. The areolas and nipples are repositioned to improve forward projection and the appearance of a lifted breast. Tiny drains may be placed to prevent fluid accumulation. If drains are placed, they are usually removed in 24 to 48 hours.
By removing stretched-out skin, the breast tissue is reshaped to look higher and perkier. This restores a more youthful breast contour and generally creates better overall proportions.
Breast Lift vs. Breast Augmentation
If your breasts only need a small amount of lift, Dr. Hartog may recommend breast augmentation with implants instead, since this often results in a fuller lifted breast without the need for further surgery. A breast lift can also be combined with a breast augmentation if you want to increase the size of your breasts, as well as improve their position on your chest.
*Scarless breast lift procedures use devices such as ThermiRF to enhance skin tightening, internal suture and mesh techniques, and fat transfer to achieve moderate increases in breast fullness and elevation of the nipple . The technique may not be suitable for extremely large and ptotic breasts.
During your confidential consultation, Dr. Hartog will discuss all of your options with you, recommending the best course of action based on your needs and cosmetic goals.
If you live in Orlando, Winter Park, or anywhere else in Central Florida and are considering a breast lift, please contact The Bougainvillea Clinique today or call us at 407-678-3116 to schedule your confidential consultation.
Breast Lift Before & After
Will I Have Any Scarring After A Traditional Breast Lift?
The traditional breast lift technique involves the anchor-pattern incision. This is made around the areola, where scarring is relatively well-disguised by colored skin. The incision also extends down from the areola to the breast crease and across that natural fold. At first, scars may appear red or brown. Over time, these marks will lighten significantly. After several months of healing, scars may be barely noticeable. They are also not seen when you wear a bathing suit or bra. Some women use silicone sheets or scar cream to help tissue heal optimally. This can begin once incisions have healed.
Will The Appearance Of The Nipple Be Affected By A Breast Lift?
The appearance of the nipples can be improved during a breast lift. As a general aspect of this procedure, the areolas and nipples are repositioned to sit higher on the breast mound. This alone can affect appearance. However, the nipples can also be resized if they have become pendulous due to gravity or nursing.
Will I Need To Take Time Off From Work After A Breast Lift?
Many patients can return to work within 7 to 10 days after their breast lift procedure. Returning to work depends on the type of work that is done. More strenuous activities must be postponed for at least 2 weeks and up to six weeks to allow the breasts to completely heal from surgery. Patients can expect to visit us approximately one week after their breast lift, during which time the return to normal activities can be discussed.
How Painful Is Recovery From Breast Lift Surgery?
After the breast lift is complete, a bandage or surgical bra is applied. This holds tissue securely to prevent disruption during the recovery process. Initially, patients can expect to feel sore and tender. This is managed with prescription pain medication. In many cases, patients are ready to switch to over-the-counter pain medication like Tylenol within a few days. Post-operative discomfort is mild and does not prevent light activities like getting up and walking around the house. Patients will sleep on their back for several days so pressure is not placed on the repositioned skin and tissue.
What Are The Risks of Breast Lift Surgery?
Surgical procedures carry general risks associated with anesthesia, bleeding, and infection. Following post-operative care instructions as directed decreases some of these risks. Breast procedures should be conducted only by a board-certified plastic surgeon. This decreases the risks of poor cosmetic outcomes such as significant asymmetry. All breasts have some degree of asymmetry, with or without surgery. However, a skilled plastic surgeon utilizes artistic techniques to improve this as much as possible.
Schedule A Consultation
If you're interested in learning more about stretch mark treatment please contact us for a consultation at 407-678-3116 or fill out our contact us form. We will discuss your needs and concerns, and determine your best course of action.