BREAST LIFT (MASTOPEXY)
A woman’s relationship with her breasts can be a very complicated thing. While their primary purpose is to provide nutrition, many women also feel that their breasts represent sexuality and femininity. Whether or not you felt satisfied with the appearance of your breasts when you were younger, the effects of gravity, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and aging can result in breasts that lose their youthful firmness and shape. Whether smaller or larger, your breasts may appear to “deflate,” losing volume and sagging downward, which can affect your confidence and even your self-esteem. A breast lift, or mastopexy, can essentially help “turn back time,” lifting sagging breasts and giving them a perkier and more youthful appearance. Should you desire fuller breasts, breast augmentation may be combined with a breast lift. For women who wish to regain their pre-pregnancy figures, a breast lift (with or without augmentation) can be part of a comprehensive “mommy makeover” plan.
Is a breast lift right for me?
If you feel that your breasts have begun to “deflate” or sag as a result of pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight loss or gain, or aging, then a breast lift may be right for you. In order to maintain your results, however, you should:
- be at a stable weight/goal weight, with no plans for major weight loss
- be finished with childbearing
While neither of these would specifically prohibit you from having a breast lift, they could potentially negate the results, causing further stretching and drooping.
Benefits of a breast lift
The benefits of a breast lift are obvious: more youthful, perkier breasts; a more defined bustline, allowing you to wear a greater variety of clothing, including items that hug your body; enhanced self-esteem and confidence; and if you have lost a significant amount of weight, it will further complement your trim, fit new figure. Not to be forgotten is the effect a breast lift can have on your physical health, as some women can experience back and neck tension due to drooping breasts as well as severe chafing under the breast crease.
Breast lift options
After discussing your desired outcome, Dr. Moya will choose one of several different breast lift techniques, which vary based on the incision pattern. These include:
- Keyhole Mastopexy – incisions are in the shape of an anchor (around the areola, down to the base of the breast, and along the breast crease); reduces sagging and droopiness on the lower half of the breast; can be performed on most women
- Vertical Mastopexy (“lollipop breast lift”) – incision around your nipple and areola, with a smaller incision down to your breast crease; a good choice if you need a moderate lift, with less scarring than a standard lift.
- Doughnut Mastopexy – incision around your nipple and areola; less skin removal and less scarring than a standard breast lift, and can also reshape and resize stretched or misshapen areolas; may not be ideal for larger breasts
It is very important to note that although a breast lift differs from a breast reduction, because some skin and breast tissue are removed during a lift, you will notice a decrease in the fullness of your breasts. If this is an issue for you, you may wish to undergo breast augmentation along with your lift in order to compensate for the volume loss, as this can result in a more dramatic change and a more youthful appearance. Implant options include saline-filled and silicone gel, and while Dr. Moya feels that silicone implants provide the most natural-appearing results and feel more natural as well, he will be happy to discuss the pros and cons of each with you.
How is a breast lift performed?
A breast lift has a number of factors to take into consideration, including your breast size and shape, skin elasticity, position and size of your nipple and areolae, and desire for augmentation. Since there are several different options for a breast lift, the procedure and time will vary for each patient, but will generally take about two to three hours, depending on your needs and the extent of the lift. All incisions are closed with internal sutures and sealed with skin glue. Because of Dr. Moya’s technique, you will not require surgical drains, and thus your recovery process will be that much simpler.
Recovery after a breast lift
After 48 hours, you will be able to shower and begin performing minor activities of daily living. You will most likely be comfortable using only non-prescription pain medication, but can combine this with a small amount of prescription pain medication if necessary. You should plan on taking at least one week off from work, and will need to avoid strenuous activities, including any heavy lifting or exercise, for six weeks. You will also need to wear your surgical support bra at all times during the recovery period (except when showering) in order to help minimize swelling and provide your breasts with strong support.
Breast Lift results
A breast lift can give you an immediate and noticeable improvement, making your breasts appear perkier and more youthful. Because of swelling and scar strengthening, however, the final results of your surgery may not be apparent for several months. Although the results can last for decades, time and gravity will eventually take their toll. You can help maintain your results, however, by keeping your weight stable and supporting your breasts with a well-fitting bra.