Why consider a breast lift?
Breast skin and tissue holds the breast in place. Over time, the breast will sag as the skin that covers it stretches. Simultaneously, breast volume is lost, and as a result, the breast loses its youthful appearance.
A breast lift can improve the appearance of sagging breasts. The procedure corrects ptosis or drooping of the breasts. It also raises the position of the areola/nipple. Furthermore, the size of the areola can be reduced by board-certified plastic surgeon Matthew Malamet, MD during the procedure. The appearance of the breasts after surgery depends upon a couple of factors, including skin quality and breast size. To achieve optimal results, patients should discuss their expectations and goals with Dr. Malamet.
What can I expect during a breast lift?
During a breast lift, general anesthesia or local anesthesia with intravenous sedation is used to maintain patient comfort throughout the procedure. A breast lift typically takes 1 to 3 hours and is done as an outpatient procedure.
Before surgery, Dr. Malamet will identify the best surgical approach depending on the degree of drooping. This is determined by measuring the distance between the nipples and clavicle/collarbone. If there is significant drooping, skin along the inframammary crease under the breast is removed, along with skin below and around the nipple.
The location of incisions and resulting scars depend on the technique chosen. There are cases when the incision is done only around the areola. In some instances, a vertical incision running from the areola to the breast crease, and another incision along the inframammary creases are needed. The patient may have three incisions during surgery.
What can I expect after a breast lift?
After surgery, the patient can expect some discomfort which can be relieved by pain medications prescribed by Dr. Malamet. Bruising may remain for up to 2 weeks while swelling may persist for up to 6 weeks. Final results can be seen approximately 6 months after surgery. Results vary from patient to patient and sagging may continue as a person ages.
What are the limitations of breast lift surgery?
The breast is held in a better position if the breast skin has a good tone. If the skin is stretched, drooping will likely happen even with a breast lift. The greater the droop, the more skin has to be removed, thereby requiring longer incisions and scars. Although scars typically fade in 6 to 12 months, they are permanent and their appearance is hard to predict. Patients who are interested in a breast lift have to carefully consider the scarring that comes with surgery and decide if they are ready to have some degree of scarring in exchange for more youthful-looking and more attractive breasts. As for those who are breastfeeding, it is usually possible to continue doing so since the procedure does not separate the nipple from the milk glands.
For patients who wish to have larger breasts in addition to improving breast shape and position, a breast lift can be done in conjunction with breast augmentation.