Breast lift, or mastopexy, surgery raises and firms the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour.
What is a Breast Lift? Also known as mastopexy, a breast lift raises and firms the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour.
Surgery Length: 1 – 3 Hours
Anesthesia: Intravenous Sedation or General Anesthesia
Hospital Stay: —
Stay in Thailand: —
Recovery: Initial swelling 1-2 days, completely subsides in 2 â€“ 4 weeks
Procedure Cost: —
What a Breast Lift Can Do
A breast lift can rejuvenate your figure with a breast profile that is youthful and uplifted.
A breast lift can correct loss of skin elasticity resulting from:
- Weight fluctuations
Best Candidates for A Breast Lift
Ideal breast lift candidates are women who are seeking a remedy for drooping breasts. It is important to have realistic expectations about the results of mastopexy surgery. Although a breast lift can be performed on any size breasts, women with smaller breasts seem to attain the most benefits from mastopexy.
Ideal candidates for breast lift surgery include:
- Women over the age of 18.
- Women who have drooping breasts (breasts with stretched skin and less volume than in the past).
- Women in good physically healthy and emotionally stable.
- Women who are not pregnant or breastfeeding (and does not plan to get pregnant).
- Women who do not not have plans to loose excessive amounts of weight.
Is Breast Lift Surgery Right for Me?
Breast lift surgery is a highly individualized procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image. Undergoing breast lift surgery maybe a good option if:
- You are physically healthy and maintain a stable weight
- You do not smoke
- You have realistic expectations
- You are bothered by the feeling that your breasts sag, have lost shape and volume
- Your breasts have a flatter, elongated shape or are pendulous
- When unsupported, your nipples fall below the breast crease
- Your nipples and areolas point downward
- You have stretched skin and enlarged areolas
- One breast is lower than the other
Preparing for Breast Lift Surgery
The success and safety of your breast lift procedure depends very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle.
Prior to surgery, you may be asked to:
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Get a baseline mammogram before surgery and another one after surgery to help detect any future changes in your breast tissue
- Stop smoking well in advance of surgery
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
Special instructions you receive will cover:
- What to do on the day of surgery
- The use of anesthesia during your breast lift
- Post-operative care and follow-up
Your plastic surgeon will also discuss where your procedure will be performed. Breast lift surgery may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical center, outpatient / ambulatory surgical center, or a hospital.
If your breast lift is performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
Breast Lift Surgery Overview
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Breast Lift Incision
Your breast lift surgery can be achieved through a variety of incision patterns and techniques. The appropriate technique for you will be determined based on:
- Breast size and shape
- The size and position of your areolas
- The degree of breast sagging
- Skin quality and elasticity as well as the amount of extra skin
There are three common incision patterns:
- Around the areola
- Around the areola and vertically down from the areola to the breast crease
- Around the areola, vertically down from the breast crease and horizontally along the breast crease
Reshaping Your Breasts
After your doctor makes the incisions:
- The underlying breast tissue is lifted and reshaped to improve breast contour and firmness.
- The nipple and areola are repositioned to a natural, more youthful height.
- If necessary, enlarged areolas are reduced by excising skin at the perimeter.
- Excess breast skin is removed to compensate for a loss of elasticity.
Closing The Incisions
After your breasts are reshaped and excess skin is removed, the remaining skin is tightened as the incisions are closed.
Some incision lines resulting from breast lift are concealed in the natural breast contours; however, others are visible on the breast surface. Incision lines are permanent, but in most cases will fade and significantly improve over time.
Sutures are layered deep within the breast tissue to create and support the newly shaped breasts. Sutures, skin adhesives and/or surgical tape may be used to close the skin.
Breast Lift Surgery Results
The results of your breast lift surgery are immediately visible. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade. Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover and realize the fulfillment of your goal for breasts which have been restored to a more youthful and uplifted position.
The final results of your breast lift will appear over the next few months as breast shape and position continue to settle. These results will be long-lasting, however over time, your breasts can continue to change due to aging and gravity. But, you’ll be able to retain your new look longer if you:
- Maintain your weight
- Keep a healthy lifestyle
Special note: While a breast lift does not usually affect breast function, if you are planning to become pregnant, discuss this with your plastic surgeon. Changes that occur in the breasts during pregnancy can minimize or reverse the improvement a breast lift provides. Likewise, plans for significant weight loss should also be discussed.
Will There be Scars?
Scarring is permanent and will be noticeable for the first few months, however the scars will continue to fade for several months after.
Breast Lift Surgery Recovery
After your breast lift procedure is completed, dressings or bandages will be applied to the incisions. You’ll need to wear an elastic bandage or support bra to minimize swelling and support your breasts as they heal.
A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.
You will be given specific instructions that may include: How to care for your breasts following surgery, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection, and when to follow-up with your plastic surgeon.
Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period:
- Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
- What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
- Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?
- Are stitches removed? When?
- When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
- When do I return for follow-up care?
When You Return Home
If you experience shortness of breath, chest pains, or unusual heart beats, seek medical attention immediately. Should any of these complications occur, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment.
The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.
Following your physician’s instructions is key to the success of your surgery. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.
Possible Risks of Breast Lift Surgery
The decision to have breast lift surgery is extremely personal and you’ll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable.
Your plastic surgeon and/or staff will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks or potential complications.
Possible risks of breast lift surgery include:
- Unfavorable scarring
- Bleeding (hematoma)
- Poor healing of incisions
- Changes in nipple or breast sensation, which may be temporary or permanent
- Anesthesia risks
- Breast contour and shape irregularities
- Skin discoloration, permanent pigmentation changes, swelling and bruising
- Damage to deeper structures â€“ such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles, and lungs â€“ can occur and may be temporary or permanent
- Allergies to tape, suture materials and glues, blood products, topical preparations or injected agents
- Breast asymmetry
- Fatty tissue deep in the skin could die (fat necrosis)
- Fluid accumulation
- Excessive firmness of the breast
- Potential partial or total loss of nipple and areola
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Blood clots
- Pain, which may persist
- Possibility of revisional surgery
You should know that:
- Breast lift surgery can interfere with diagnostic procedures
- Breast and nipple piercing can cause an infection
- Breast lift surgery does not normally interfere with pregnancy, but if you are planning to have a baby, your breast skin may stretch and offset the results of mastopexy and you may have more difficulty breastfeeding after this operation
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.
Note: It’s very important to ask your plastic surgeon questions about your breast lift surgery. It’s natural to feel some anxiety, whether it’s excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don’t be shy about discussing these feelings with your plastic surgeon.
Breast Lift Terms and Definitions
- Areola: Pigmented skin surrounding the nipple.
- Breast augmentation: Also known as augmentation mammaplasty, breast enlargement by surgery.
- Breast lift: Also known as mastopexy; surgery to lift the breasts.
- Breast reduction: Also known as reduction mammaplasty, reduction of breast size by surgery.
- Excision: To remove the skin.
- General anesthesia: Drugs and/or gases used during an operation to relieve pain and alter consciousness.
- Hematoma: Blood pooling beneath the skin.
- Intravenous sedation: Sedatives administered by injection into a vein to help you relax.
- Local anesthesia: A drug injected directly to the site of an incision during an operation to relieve pain.
- Mammogram: An x-ray image of the breast.
- Mastopexy: Surgery to lift the breasts.
- Sutures: Stitches used by surgeons to hold skin and tissue together.