What Is A Breast Lift?
A breast lift, medically known as a mastopexy, is a plastic surgery procedure performed to rejuvenate breasts that have a somewhat saggy or droopy appearance and return them to a more youthful and attractive position.
This popular surgical procedure removes excess skin and tightens the surrounding tissue to create a more youthful breast contour. A lift can also reduce the size of the areolas if they have become enlarged over time.
Types of Breast Lifts
The type of lift you will need to achieve your desired outcome will be determined by your surgeon. It is also possible to combine breast lift surgery with breast implant surgery if you wish to achieve fuller breasts.
Anchor, Vertical & Lollipop
For all of the mentioned, the incision is made around the perimeter of the areola, vertically down from the areola to the breast crease. However, for the Anchor, it then goes horizontally along the breast crease, and for the Lollipop, it goes vertically down from the areola to the breast crease (see here)
- These are the oldest and most common types of Breast Lifts
- These Breast Lift procedures are ideal for correcting moderate to severe sagging
- These procedures makes it possible for the surgeon to correct from multiple angles
- Breast Lift surgery can be combined with Breast Implant surgery
- These procedures are ideal for women who cannot be helped by less invasive procedures
Although not as commonly used as the other techniques, there is a fourth incision type wherein the incision line lies just along the upper half of the areola. A crescent-shaped piece of skin is removed above that line, and the surrounding skin is reattached to the areola.
- This type of lift is usually done in conjunction with breast augmentation
- Suitable only for women with a very small degree of sagging.
- Cannot accomplish the same amount of lifting as the previously mentioned incision techniques.
The incision is made around the perimeter of the areola only, which is why this technique is technically referred to as the “peri-areolar” incision; also called a “Benelli” lift (so named for the surgeon who pioneered the technique).
- This technique is suitable for women with a mild to moderate degree of sagging
- When used by a skilled surgeon in conjunction with the placement of implants, it can produce a satisfactory result for patients with more pronounced sagging.
Breast Lift details
Pregnancy, nursing, weight loss and previously having large, heavy breasts can all contribute to accelerating the aging process of the breasts and can cause premature or more excessive sagging.
Some women feel very self-conscious about the deflation of their breasts and wish to have a breast lift to restore their breasts to a more feminine and natural position. In most cases, the breast lift procedure also repositions the nipple and areolar placement to enhance the new breast appearance.
Your breast lift procedure can be achieved through a variety of incision patterns and techniques.
The appropriate technique for you will be determined based on:
- Breast size and shape
- The size and position of your areolas
- The degree of breast sagging
- Skin quality and elasticity as well as the amount of extra skin
The procedure is done under a general anaesthesia
After your doctor makes the incisions:
- The underlying breast tissue is lifted and reshaped to improve breast contour and firmness.
- The nipple and areola are repositioned to a natural, more youthful height.
- If necessary, enlarged areolas are reduced by excising skin at the perimeter.
- Excess breast skin is removed to compensate for a loss of elasticity.
After your breasts are reshaped and excess skin is removed, the remaining skin is tightened as the incisions are closed.
Some incision lines resulting from breast lift are concealed in the natural breast contours; however, others are visible on the breast surface. Incision lines are permanent, but in most cases will fade and significantly improve over time. Our surgeons advise using Rosehip Oil or Vitamin E Oil once your wounds are healed.
Many women desire the smallest scar possible. However, your plastic surgeon will recommend the incisions which best suit your anatomy.
Listen to your surgeon and do not diminish your result by demanding an incision that will not be appropriate for you.
Sutures are layered deep within the breast tissue to create and support the newly shaped breasts. Sutures, skin adhesives and/or surgical tape may be used to close.
Most Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Breast Lifts
How long will it take to recover?
Full recovery can take up to 12 months, but you will see results immediately post surgery. Your breasts will be lifted to the new position, your wounds (scars) will fade over time. But you can go back to work 2 weeks post surgery, which is usually when you get home from Bangkok. It is also advised to use Vitamin E oil or Rosehip oil when your wounds have closed to improve the scars and skin.
Can I just have a breast lift or do I also need implants?
An “augmention” means to add to, or make bigger. A breast augmentation (implants) will make your breast bigger. A mastopexy is a breast lift that tightens up a breast that has a loose skin envelope. So it really is up to you. If you don’t want implants and only the lift, then just a breast lift may be all you need, however, if you want excess skin to be removed (lift) but you also want more fullness as maybe post pregnancy or weight loss, you have lost volume, then you can also have implants. Your surgeon will give you a personalise assessment.
What type of lift will I need?
This depends on the amount of ptosis (sagginess) you have. See diagram showing degrees of sagging.
Can I breastfeed post breast lift surgery?
It is possible to breastfeed after breast lift as long as the nipple is left attached to the underlying breast tissue. Occasionally in lifts with tremendous amounts of excess skin it may be necessary to remove the nipple and place it back on as a free nipple graft. This is exceedingly rare. And while it is possible to breastfeed after mastopexy surgery, it is not guaranteed, there are too many variables at play.
Should I wait until after all pregnancies to get a breast lift?
Pregnancy can really, really change a woman’s breasts. I usually recommend that if a patient is going to get pregnant in the next year, she delay breast surgery just because the breast will be different after pregnancy. How different a breast will become is impossible to predict. That being said there is no contraindication to pregnancy after an augmentation or lift, you just run the risk of wanting a revisionary surgery.
What if I lose more weight post breast lift surgery?
Breast lift surgery is lifting up the breast tissue and removing excess skin. If you lose weight after this procedure, you may experience some sagging of the skin and minor changes in the overall contour and shape of your body. So it is advisable to be at your goal weight prior to surgery if possible and to maintain this weight post surgery.
Can I have my areola reduced at the same time?
Yes, this can be done and is usually discussed in the consultation and assessment. Usually this area is stretched with pregnancy and weight gain, so in many cases, the areola is also made smaller in breast lift surgery if this is what you would like.
How much smaller will my breasts be post surgery?
You can expect half to one cup size smaller due to the excess skin being removed. However, if you are wanting more of a reduction, then you would be a candidate for a Breast Reduction. Your surgeon will advise you of this once they see your photos and medical form.
Is this surgery painful?
Not usually. You can expect painkillers post surgery, but you will feel more uncomfortable than pain. Swelling will occur post surgery, this is why you must wear compression bras and you will need to sleep on your back for at least 2-6 months so this may be uncomfortable for you as you may be used to sleeping on your side or front.
Will I need to wear a compression bra?
Yes you will. Swelling will occur post surgery, so it is very important to wear a compression garment for 6-8 weeks post surgery. Then you can move into a strong sports bra for support while still in the healing stage. You will need to support your breasts so your wounds can heal safely.