A breast lift is a procedure used to address sagging and uneven breasts, decreased breast volume, drooping nipples, and stretched areolas. There are several things that can cause breasts to sag and droop over time, including significant weight loss, the aging process, sun damage, and others. If you’re interested in rejuvenating your bust, call aFresh® Med Spa & Plastic Surgery in Chicago, IL to discuss your options.
This procedure was developed to rejuvenate a sagging bust by lifting your breasts and creating a more youthful shape. If you have too little or too much breast volume, a breast augmentation or breast reduction may be an option in addition to your lift. It all depends on your unique condition and the aesthetic goals you’ve set for yourself.
Are You a Good Candidate for a Breast Lift?
If you’ve become more unhappy or distressed about the look of your sagging breasts, you may wonder what a breast lift, otherwise known as a mastopexy procedure, can do for you. If your breasts are pendulous but adequate size-wise, lack substance or firmness, or your nipples and areolas point downward, then this procedure may be perfect for you.
Other candidates for the surgery may notice that their breasts are not equal in size and/or appear different from each other.
How the Procedure Is Performed
A mastopexy procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. There are different techniques involved in the procedure, and the locations of the incisions will depend on which technique is used to remove breast skin and reshape the breast.
Your surgeon will select the best technique based on your breast size, shape, areola position, degree of sagging, skin quality and elasticity, and how much extra skin you have. You can expect to talk about all of this in detail before your surgery so your outcome will be just the way you want it.
During the Procedure
Your surgeon will remove excess breast skin and move the nipple and areola to a higher position. If your areolas have become stretched and are abnormally large, they can be reduced in size. A lift is created by bringing skin that was formerly located above the areola down and together, beneath the breast, to reshape it.
Once lifting and reshaping are complete, your surgeon will remove excess skin, sew the breast back together and place sutures deep in the breast tissue to support the new positioning for a longer period of time.
What Options Do You Have?
As mentioned, several options for incision patterns and techniques are available for your surgeon to choose from. Your surgeon will make every effort to place the scars in hidden areas to minimize them with the goal of achieving the best possible results they can while leaving the shortest possible scar. Special tissue handling and suture techniques are incorporated in an effort to further minimize scars.
The Anchor Incision
The anchor incision is made around the perimeter of the areola, vertically down from the areola to the breast crease and then horizontally along the breast crease. The incision gets its name from the anchor shape created and produces the most scarring out of all of your options.
This incision is generally used on women who suffer from severe sagging and won’t be able to achieve satisfactory results by less invasive options. The anchor incision is the oldest technique and often used when a patient opts for breast reduction at the same time as a breast lift.
The Lollipop Lift
The lollipop lift is sometimes referred to as a “keyhole” incision and is made around the perimeter of the areola and vertically down to the breast crease. The shape of the incision resembles a lollipop on a stick or a keyhole in an old-fashioned door. The technique is often suitable for women with a moderate degree of sagging and do not want breast implants and won’t be helped sufficiently by other techniques.
The Donut Lift
Also known as the periareolar incision, this one is made around the perimeter of the areola only. There is no additional incision extending down to the breast crease as with the lollipop lift. A donut lift is suitable for women with mild-to-moderate sagging. When a donut lift is used in conjunction with implants, the results can be particularly pleasing in patients with significant, obvious sagging.
The Crescent Lift
The crescent lift is a less commonly-used technique that involves making an incision that lies just along the upper half of the areola. It’s usually used in conjunction with implants on patients who experience only minor breast sagging because it can’t accomplish the same degree of lifting as the other techniques. However, for those who require only minor lifting, it can be an excellent option.
The various mastopexy procedure techniques that are available can be combined with breast implants and treatments like Thermage, Smart Lipo, and/or Quill Threads. These additional procedures are best for patients with very little sagging and won’t accomplish the same amount of lift as other techniques that utilize larger incisions.
How Long Will the Results Last?
A properly performed procedure will keep your breasts from returning to their pre-operative droop for decades. However, the duration of your results can be affected by significant weight fluctuations or pregnancy. Also, some post-operative settling may occur, but your new nipple positioning should remain intact.
Make sure you talk to your surgeon about the technique that will be used. Most often, aesthetic surgeons do not rely solely on a simple skin lift to get the job done. They sculpt the entire breast tissue, which creates a longer-lasting lift.
What You Can Do to Ensure the Longevity of Your Results
Nobody wants to get a second procedure because they failed to properly maintain their first. While the effects of a breast lift can greatly improve how you look and feel, they cannot stop the effects of aging. However, there are a few things you can do to help make sure your breast lift results last as long as possible.
Take Care of Your Skin
Your skin’s elasticity is partially due to genetics, though you do have a little control. Be careful to avoid prolonged sun exposure and always use sunscreen when you go outside (even if it’s cloudy). Also, ask your physician about any natural supplements you can take to improve flexibility, such as vitamin C, a vitamin that’s essential in forming collagen and cartilage.
Always Wear a Bra
Going without a well-fitted bra will allow your breasts to sag again over time. It is particularly important to wear a bra while exercising, especially if you’re a jogger, to maximize your results.
Avoid Pregnancy and Weight Fluctuations
Undergoing cosmetic surgery with the intention of improving your body’s look and contour isn’t the best idea if you intend to get pregnant again in the future. It is very important that your body weight remains stable and does not significantly increase, whether due to pregnancy or weight gain.
The First Step: Your Initial Consultation
You’ll have the opportunity to discuss what you want to achieve with your breast lift with your surgeon at your initial consultation. It is here that your surgeon will evaluate you as a candidate for the procedure and explain what procedures may benefit you most given the current state of your body. It’s important to be both honest and accurate at your consultation.
During the examination, your surgeon will measure and photograph your breasts for your medical record. They will also consider the current size and shape of your breasts, the size and shape you desire post-surgery, the quality and quantity of your breast tissue, your skin quality, and the placement of your nipples and areolas.
If you feel the size of your breasts is wrong, whether too large or too small, your plastic surgeon may recommend a reduction or augmentation instead of a breast lift.
Your surgeon will want a complete account of your medical history at your initial consultation. You will want to include information about previous surgeries (including breast biopsies), any past and/or present medical conditions, allergies and current medications you take (including over-the-counter meds and herbal supplements), medical treatments you’ve received, familial history of breast cancer, and your current mammogram results.
If you have any plans to lose a significant amount of weight, make certain to tell your plastic surgeon. It may be recommended that you stabilize your weight before you undergo the procedure to ensure the maximum results.
This also goes for pregnancy. If you’re unsure whether you’re done having children, make sure to discuss it with your surgeon. The alterations pregnancy makes in breast size can be unpredictable, and could, therefore, affect the long-term results of the procedure.
Preparing for Your Procedure
To ensure you get the best results that last as long as possible, you need to closely follow your surgeon’s pre-operative instructions. If your surgeon recommends weight benchmarks or lifestyle changes, be sure to achieve them to ensure the best results. You may be asked to quit smoking and stop taking certain medications (anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen must be avoided). In addition to smoking cessation, you may be advised to reduce your alcohol consumption to no more than two or three drinks per week.
Be sure to make any necessary arrangements before surgery. For example, stock your fridge with high-protein, low-sodium foods. It can help to pre-make your meals for the first several days, if not longer, to minimize any unnecessary bodily movements. If you need assistance with childcare or taking care of yourself, make arrangements with a friend or family member before your surgery.
Last but not least, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure and to stay with you for at least the first night.
Ready to Start?
If you suffer from sagging or low-volume breasts and it is affecting your self-esteem, you may be an excellent candidate for a breast lift. Depending on your aesthetic goals, there are many options from which you can choose, and it’s possible to incorporate a breast augmentation or reduction in the procedure if it’s warranted.
The results of your procedure will last for decades, provided you take care of your body and avoid unnecessary weight fluctuations. If you have additional questions or concerns, call aFresh® Med Spa & Plastic Surgery in Chicago, IL to make an appointment and get started on a younger look today.