Shapely breasts are an important part of any woman’s self-image, but many women develop problems with ptosis, or sagging, of the breasts. Normally, this is caused by skin inelasticity, which can result from the natural loss of collagen and elastin as you age or it can result from factors like weight changes, breastfeeding, or pregnancy that stretch the skin. Sagging breasts can cause practical issues like making it difficult to find flattering clothing, but more importantly, they can make your whole body look heavier and older, causing self-consciousness and wrecking your confidence in low-clothing situations like the beach or the bedroom.
Fortunately, sagging does not have to be permanent. A breast lift, or mastoplexy procedure in Dearborn, can restore your breasts to a youthful shape by removing excess skin and reshaping the internal tissues for a shapelier and rejuvenated body. The procedure can even reduce the size of areolas that have been stretched by pregnancy and breastfeeding to provide a younger look.
Preparing for Breast Lift Surgery
Before getting your breast lift, you’ll have an in-depth consultation with Dr. Masri. At this time, you’ll be able to explain your problems and list your goals and concerns for the procedure. Dr. Masri will conduct a thorough examination and give you his professional evaluation of your potential surgical outcome. After the examination, he’ll discuss the options for your surgery and give you his recommendations.
There are a number of ways that a breast lift can be performed. The traditional mastoplexy uses an anchor technique that utilizes three incisions. The first goes around the areola, the second down the breast in a vertical line, and the third horizontally along the crease under the breast, creating an overall shape that looks like an anchor. This technique allows for maximum skin removal and tissue adjustment, which gives the maximum possible lift for large breasts or breasts with severe ptosis. It also can accommodate augmentation at the same time.
For more moderate sagging, a lollipop lift is available that uses only the periareolar incision and the vertical incision but skips the horizontal incision in the crease. This allows a medium level of skin removal and tissue adjustment. Patients with smaller breasts or minimal sagging can also consider the donut lift, which uses only the perioareolar incision. This doesn’t allow much tissue readjustment, but provides room for a small amount of skin removal and some relocation of the nipple and areola.
A crescent lift that has an incision only along the upper edge of the areola is also occasionally used, but it provides a very minor lift and is not often recommended. Dr. Masri can advise you if this method or other low-scarring methods may be appropriate in your case.
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In addition to going over methods for your lift, you’ll also discuss any other procedures you may wish to combine with the breast lift. An breast augmentation or breast reduction can also be done at the same time as the lift to adjust the size of your breasts or correct an asymmetry. Some women also add a tummy tuck or lower body lift for a full-body improvement.
Finally, once you’ve settled on the details of your procedure, Dr. Masri will go over your medical history and review any precautions that you should take to minimize the normal risks that are faced when going into any surgery.
After a final review of the details of your procedure, you will be sedated for the procedure. Breast lifts can be performed under general anesthesia or using local anesthesia with an intravenous sedative, depending on your preferences, your medical history, and the extent of the procedure.
Once you are sedated, Dr. Masri will make the incisions. He’ll adjust your breast tissue, using deep internal sutures to provide support. Once everything is properly contoured, the skin will be pulled tight, and the nipple and areola will be relocated. At this point, the areola can also be resized if necessary.
Finally, the excess skin will be trimmed off, and the incisions will be carefully closed. Dressings and possibly surgical drains will be applied before you are removed to the recovery room. The entire procedure will take one to three hours.
Your initial results will be masked by bruising and swelling which can last for several weeks. You will feel some discomfort for the first week or so, but medicated will be prescribed to mitigate it. At first your chest will feel quite tight, and you may have a difficult time raising your arms above your head. Moving around may feel awkward, but you are encouraged to do so anyway in order to reduce the risk of clotting.
Once the dressings come off, you’ll be given a soft bra that you’ll need to wear for 3-4 weeks to support your healing tissues. Strenuous exercise should be avoided for at least two weeks, and any upper body work should be avoided for at least a few weeks after that. Most patients are able to return to work in 1-2 weeks, as long as the job is not physically strenuous.
Risks and Complications
As with any surgery, a breast lift carries the risks of bleeding, infection, hematoma, and reactions to anesthesia. In addition, some patients experience changes in sensation throughout the breast. In most cases, this consists of numbness in the nipples, and it usually fades within 1-2 months. Occasionally it takes up to a year to fade, and rarely it can persist after that. Breast lifts that are accompanied by an augmentation also face the normal augmentation risks of capsular contracture and implant rupture.
Breast lift FAQs
Will a breast lift change the size of my breasts?
A breast lift will not intentionally change your size, but most women will lose about half a cup size due to the skin removal and tissue rearrangement. For most women, this change is not a problem due to the improvement in the shape of the breasts, but if any decrease in size is unacceptable to you, you may wish to have an augmentation in addition to your lift. Conversely, if you’d like a more substantial decrease in size, many women with larger sagging breasts choose to have a reduction at the same time.
Will I be able to breastfeed after my breast lift?
Most women are able to breastfeed after a lift. Dr. Masri is careful to maintain the connections between the nipple and the breast tissue and to disrupt the tissue itself as little as possible so that lactation isn’t impaired. Some tissue dissection is necessary in most cases, however, so some women find that their milk production is lower than it was before surgery.
How do I tell if I need a lift or an augmentation?
A lift corrects sagging while an augmentation improves volume. In most cases, if you are pleased with the appearance of your breasts under clothing while wearing a supportive bra, a lift alone will be sufficient. On the other hand, if you dislike your unclothed breasts but the nipples still point forward rather than down, an augmentation alone might be enough. If neither of these applies, you may want to have both procedures. If you’re unsure, a professional consultation can be useful to determine the best course of action.
Is there any way to correct sagging without leaving a scar?
Unfortunately, no. So-called scar-less techniques typically give very minimal results and leave the patient unsatisfied. That said, the scars from a normal breast lift usually turn out much better than most women expect. With careful treatment such as not smoking and avoiding unprotected sun exposure, most scars fade very nicely within a year.
How long do the results last?
A correctly performed breast lift gives greatest improvements in the shape of the breasts. The excess skin will not come back, and the internal sutures typically do a good job of supporting the breasts, so even though age will naturally cause some degree of additional sagging, most patients will never return to the former level of sag. However, worse sagging can be caused by lifestyle issues that affect breast size or skin elasticity like large weight changes, smoking, or pregnancy, so it’s important for the patient to be careful to maintain their results.