A woman's breasts may change shape over the course of her lifetime, prompting comments like “My breasts have deflated and are not where they used to be before I had kids.” Gravity, hormonal changes, heredity, pregnancy, breastfeeding or weight gain and loss may all contribute to changes in breast shape. These unwelcome changes include sagging or “drooping” (also called ptosis), large areola, and lower nipple position. A breast lift, also called a mastopexy, is performed to return breasts to their youthful shape.
Breast lifts rejuvenate sagging breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the supporting tissues to achieve an uplifted, youthful contour. After a mastopexy, the breasts are higher on the chest and often firmer to the touch. Breast lifts also reposition and reduce the size of the areola which may have stretched or drooped.
Breast size does not change after a breast lift, nor does the fullness or roundness in the upper part of the breasts. Women who desire larger, smaller or more rounded breasts may want to consider a breast augmentation or breast reduction together with a breast lift.
The best candidates for breast lift are women whose breasts meet some or all of the following conditions:
It is also very important that breast lift candidates maintain a stable weight, are generally healthy, do not smoke, and have realistic goals that they can discuss with Dr. Schwartz at his practice in New York City.
Women planning to have children in the near future are advised to postpone surgery, since pregnancy and nursing can counteract a breast lift by stretching the skin.
Mastopexy does not affect breast size or upper fullness. Women who desire larger, more youthful “uplifted” breasts may be candidates for breast augmentation alone or breast augmentation with mastopexy. Women who desire smaller “uplifted” breasts may want to consider a breast reduction.
There are several techniques available for breast lifting depending on the severity of the sagging, the degree of deflation, the size and position of the areola, and the skin quality. They all have the common goal of elevating the nipple by the removal of skin. The three most common incision types are as follows:
It is typically done on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia or sedation. In certain cases with minimal deformity, it may be performed with local anesthetics alone. The surgery usually lasts from 1 to 3 hours.
In all cases, at his New York City practice, Dr. Schwartz makes the necessary incisions, and then lifts and reshapes the breast tissue into its new, rejuvenated contour. The nipple and areola complex is moved to a higher position on the breast and the extra skin around the perimeter of skin around the areola is removed if necessary. Finally, the excess breast skin that resulted from poor elasticity is removed. Sutures layered deep throughout the breast tissue support the lifted breasts.
After surgery, the breasts are wrapped with gauze dressings, and a soft support bra, which is worn 24 hours a day for about a month. The breasts will probably be swollen, and uncomfortable after surgery, but this will pass in a few days. Any numbness in the breasts and nipples should lessen as swelling subsides. Stitches are usually buried and dissolvable and will not require removal. Patients usually return to work one week after surgery and resume exercise and strenuous activities at approximately two weeks after surgery. Contact Dr. Mark Schwartz at his practice in New York City.
All surgery carries some uncertainty and risk. The possible complications, though unlikely, are infection, bleeding, abnormal scarring, temporary or permanent nipple numbness, and asymmetry requiring a revision.
Patients are thrilled with the look of your lifted breasts. You will be able to see the results of your mastopexy immediately after surgery, and you may become even more satisfied as the swelling diminishes and incision lines fade.
If you are interested in learning more about a Breast Lift in New York City, call 212-737-9090 to schedule a consultation.