A breast lift, or mastopexy, is a procedure designed to rejuvenate the breasts by elevating and reshaping them. Of all the procedures in plastic surgery, a breast lift is one of the most rewarding. It is not unusual to hear a woman note after her surgery, that she wished she had done it years before. Mastopexy helps improve the shape and position of breasts that have ptosis or are sagging. As we age, the breasts lose their youthful shape and firmness, causing the nipple position to drop and projection to decrease. This may be the result of pregnancy, aging, weight loss, or heredity. Patients with such concerns generally range in age from 20 years old and higher.
Dr. Davis uses various techniques to lift and rejuvenate the breast shape with an eye to minimizing the inevitable scars. His experience and training allow him to combine techniques from the United States, Brazil, and Europe to create fuller more youthful breasts. During a breast lift, the skin of the breast is redraped over the breast tissue. The breast itself and the nipple are not removed. Rather, Dr. Davis creates an internal support for the breasts with their own tissue. In doing so, he creates a natural brassiere which reshapes the breasts and helps maintain them in a more youthful position.
As a breast lift does not significantly change the size of the breast, some patients may also want to consider a breast augmentation in concert with the lift. This is particularly advantageous if the patient has very little breast tissue in addition to the sagging. Also, issues such as breast asymmetry or nipple retraction can be addressed at the same time. During your consultation, Dr. Davis will discuss your planned procedure with you in detail. Dr. Davis places an emphasis on achieving natural, more youthful results for his patients who choose to have a breast lift. At the same time, his philosophy is to accomplish this in the most minimally invasive manner.
Types of Procedures
A breast lift can be performed in a hospital or in an outpatient surgery center, although most are performed on an outpatient basis allowing the patient to recuperate at home. The surgery is done under anesthesia and times vary based on the type of procedure performed. There are two approaches which Dr. Davis utilizes most often for moderately sagging breasts. Both techniques result in significantly shorter scars than the older traditional techniques.
- Concentric: This involves an incision that goes around the areola (the darker skin surrounding the nipple.) Also known as a peri-areolar, or Benelli, mastopexy, this procedure improves the nipple position and breast shape and is often combined with a breast augmentation. Variations of this technique allow for small to moderate amounts of lift.
- Vertical: Also known as a lollipop incision, this type of breast lift involves an incision around the areola and down toward the crease of the breast. This allows for a more thorough remodeling of the breast and greater lifting of the nipple position.
For more ptotic or sagging breasts, a more extensive lift is required, utilizing an additional incision hidden in the crease or fold under the breasts. This allows the loose extra skin below the nipple to be reduced effectively restoring a more youthful shape.
Recovering from a breast lift varies from patient to patient and depends upon the extent of the procedure. Following surgery, our patients wear a supportive brassiere. They are encouraged to wear a sports bra, or similarly supportive bra without underwire, for 4 to 6 weeks following surgery. Swelling and bruising will be present after surgery. Bruising usually resolves within 7 to 10 days. Swelling resolves gradually. The results continue to improve over time as swelling continues to decrease and the incisions continue to smooth and fade.
Depending upon their occupation, most patients can return to work 4 to 5 days after their breast lift surgery. After 2 to 3 weeks, patients can resume non-impact lower body exercise. Four weeks after surgery, they can resume impact exercises and 6 weeks following surgery they can resume upper body exercise.
While patients will, of course, see results immediately after surgery, there is always swelling that develops. During the first week after surgery, the breasts and surrounding area are swollen and may appear high. Over the course of several weeks, the swelling subsides and breasts settle creating a more natural appearance. As with any cosmetic surgery, the key to success is to have realistic expectations. Through open communication and innovative surgical techniques, Dr. Davis helps his patients achieve their desired results.
Even though complications occur infrequently, risks associated with breast lift surgery include bleeding, infection, and loss of sensation. Dr. Davis will discuss the risks/complications associated with the surgery in detail.
Dr. Davis and his staff are committed to the care and well being of every patient. Dr. Davis sees his patients frequently in the postoperative period and continues to follow their progress for an extended period. The staff is also available to patients for any future needs they may have.