Over the years, factors such as pregnancy, nursing, and the force of gravity take their toll on a woman’s breasts. Women who are satisfied with their breast size but want their breasts to look firmer and rest higher also may benefit from breast lift. As the skin loses its elasticity, the breasts often lose their shape and firmness and begin to sag.
Breast lift, or mastopexy, is a surgical procedure to raise and reshape sagging breasts. If your breasts are small or have lost volume after pregnancy, breast implants inserted in conjunction with mastopexy can increase both firmness and their size. Dr. Robert Colgrove of Vinings Surgery Center is highly skilled at removing stretched skin and elevating the nipples to a higher position. As a result, our lift patients enjoy a perkier, more youthful chest appearance.
Breast lift is often combined with other breast enhancement surgery procedures such as breast augmentation. If you are dissatisfied with both the shape and size of your breasts, breast enlargement surgery can be combined with a breast lift. This combination is especially common as part of the “mommy makeover” procedure, a treatment designed to help women regain a youthful figure after childbearing. As a top plastic surgeon in Atlanta, Dr. Colgrove can design a complete breast lift surgery plan to give you the breasts you desire.
During the consultation, Dr. Colgrove determines the breast lift procedure to be used, how the breast should be shaped, and if other breast enhancement surgeries are needed to best meet the patient’s breast appearance desires.
Breast lift surgery will be performed at Vinings Surgery Center as an outpatient procedure. The surgery will take about 1.5 to 3 hours and is performed under general anesthesia. A more limited breast lift may be performed under local anesthesia in select cases.
Although techniques vary, typically Dr. Colgrove makes incisions along the breast’s natural contour. When the excess skin is removed, the nipple and areola are moved to the higher position. The skin surrounding the areola is then brought down and together to reshape the breast. Stitches are usually located around the areola, in a vertical line extending downwards from the nipple area, and along the lower crease of the breast.
Risks and Recovery
A breast lift is not a simple operation, but it’s normally safe when performed by a qualified, skilled plastic surgeon. Nevertheless, as with any surgery, there is always a possibility of complications or a reaction to the anesthesia. Bleeding and infection following a breast lift are uncommon, but they can cause scars to widen. You can reduce your risks by closely following your surgeon’s advice both before and after plastic surgery.
Mastopexy does leave noticeable, permanent scars, although they’ll be covered by your bra or bathing suit. (Poor healing and wider scars are more common in smokers.) The procedure can also leave you with unevenly positioned nipples, or a permanent loss of feeling in the nipples or breasts.
After breast lift surgery, breasts are wrapped with gauze and bandaged. Surgical drains may be placed in the breast area to remove excess fluids. Most patients are released from our surgical facility a few hours after completion of the procedure. Breast lift patients should rest for the remainder of the day but should try to move around for short intervals the day after surgery. Pain is controlled with medication and should subside after several days.
A few days after surgery, our breast lift patients return to our offices. Any surgical drains are removed and dressings are changed. Some patients may have to wear a support bra for a few weeks. Healing is a gradual process. Although you may be up and about in a day or two, don’t plan on returning to work for a week or more, depending on how you feel.
While the results of breast lift surgery will last a long time, they will not last forever. Eventually, gravity and aging will take their toll on skin elasticity and the breasts will begin to sag. This may happen sooner for larger, heavier breasts. To correct this situation, additional breast lift surgery may be performed in 5 to 10 years.