Age, gravity, breastfeeding, and weight loss can all cause significant changes to the size, shape, and skin of the breasts. Breast tissue disappears, the breast sags, and the nipple drops to a lower position on the breast. Stretch marks appear.
Breast lift, or mastopexy, can correct all of these changes. Mastopexy involves removing excess breast skin and reshaping the breast gland itself to return the breast and nipple to a more youthful position on the chest. Sagging is eliminated and a rounder, more projecting shape is created. If you are interested in increasing in cup size, a saline or silicone gel-filled implant can be inserted under the chest muscle at the time of mastopexy, creating even more fullness and projection.
If you have unwanted breast drooping or sagging, you may be a potential candidate for breast lift or mastopexy.
Breast lift, or mastopexy, is almost always performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure. It takes from one to three hours to perform, depending on breast size and whether or not augmentation is performed simultaneously. Before going to the operating room, and with the patient awake and standing, Dr. Sewell outlines the areas to be lifted using a felt tip marker. In the operating room, generous amounts of local anesthetic are injected to provide postoperative comfort. Incisions are made and a precise amount of skin is removed, equalizing the breast envelope/breast volume balance. The breast gland is reshaped, eliminating flatness and drooping and lifting the nipple higher up on the chest. A saline or silicone gel-filled breast implant may be inserted at this point if the patient wants a larger cup size. The incisions are closed with dissolvable sutures, and soft dressings and a surgical bra are placed. Small drainage tubes are occasionally inserted and left for several days.
Following surgery, you will be sent home with pain medication and antibiotics. You will be up and around that same day. The dressings are removed and a shower is encouraged on the day after surgery. Most patients switch to ibuprofen within a couple of days and return to work in a week or so. Other activities are gradually increased, with a return to full activities, including exercise, within four to six weeks.
Complications are infrequent with breast lift or mastopexy, but like any operation, there are risks, including bleeding, infection, scarring, delayed wound healing, and slight asymmetries.
If you are dissatisfied with your breasts, breast lift surgery is a choice to consider. Dr. Sewell will speak with you to find out what your desired results are and if you are a candidate.