Over time a woman’s breasts, both large and small, will lose their youthful firmness and elasticity. While the majority of women experience this change as they age, there are younger women with very large breasts that tend to lose their shape due to gravity. Other reasons for the loss of firmness and sagging breasts are the results of numerous pregnancies or the loss of significant weight after Bariatric surgery. Another concern for some women is the fact that their breasts are not identical in size, one breast being noticeably smaller than the other. All of these situations are valid reasons that can be corrected with breast lift surgery, medically known as Mastopexy.
Breast Lift Surgery
Breast lift surgery is performed as an out-patient procedure in either a clinical or hospital setting. Before the operation, your breasts will be outlined with a surgical marker to indicate where your nipples will be positioned after the surgery. You will be given a general anesthetic so that you will be asleep during the operation and will not feel any pain. The surgery will take 3 to 5 hours for completion, depending on your individual situation. While you will be going home the same day, you will need to remain in recovery after the surgery for observation. You will need to have someone available to drive you home when you leave the clinic or hospital.
- The Donut approach makes an incision around only the areola area.
- The Keyhole approach is an incision around the areola area and then an incision vertically downwards to the crease of the breast.
- The Anchor approach is an incision around the areola area, an incision vertically downwards to the crease of the breast, and a third incision along the underside of the breast fold area.
After the incisions are made, your surgeon will remove the excess skin with a scalpel. The breast tissue is reshaped and lifted upward, the nipple is repositioned into its new location, and the remaining breast skin is closed with sutures. Because your breast contains several layers, your surgeon will use sutures to close the deeper layers first and proceed to the uppermost layer. This procedure is repeated for the other breast. At the end of the surgery, your breasts will be wrapped in a gauze dressing and covered with a surgical bra that will provide gentle compression on the breasts to prevent swelling. You will be taken to a recovery area where you will remain for several hours before going home.
Before you leave the surgical area, the surgeon will review your home care procedures during your recovery. You will be told how to care for your breasts, how long you need to recuperate before resuming daily activities, when you can return to work, and when to schedule your follow-up office visits. While the inner sutures will not need to be removed, the outer stitches will be removed by your surgeon during a follow-up office visit. The surgical scars will fade with time.