A Breast Lift — also known as mastopexy — is a surgical procedure performed by a plastic surgeon to change the shape of your breasts. During a breast lift, excess skin is removed and breast tissue is reshaped to raise the breasts.
Common natural causes such weight loss, pregnancy, breast-feeding, and aging can manipulate and cause stress to the breasts over time. A breast lift, also known as mastopexy, elevates and firms the breasts by removing sagging skin and reshaping the surrounding tissue to support a more preferred breast contour. Often times, the use of implants alone will not sufficiently lift the breasts, thus a breast lift is additionally recommended to improve position.
Good candidates for Breast Lift Surgery are women who demonstrate:
- Breasts that have lost volume and shape
- Breasts that are flat or elongated
- Breasts that have enlarged or stretched areolas
- NBreasts that have nipples that point downward and/or below the crease of your breasts
- Non-smokers and those who are in overall good health
Breast Lift Procedure
A breast lift requires incisions to shape and firm the breasts. The most common incision patterns used during a breast lift procedure are:
- Incision around the areola
- Incisions around the areola and then vertically from the bottom edge of the areola to the breast crease
- Incisions around the areola and then vertically from the bottom edge of the areola to the breast crease and finally extending horizontally in the breast crease
The size and shape of the breasts, size of the areolas, and extent of sagging are factors that will help our surgeon determine the good technique to use. Occasionally, it may be determined that a small breast implant may be necessary or desired to enhance the fullness of the upper portion of the breast. This can be done at the same time as the lift or at a later date.
Breast Lift FAQ’s
1) What is a breast lift?
A Breast lift is a procedure that typically involves the remoulding of the breast tissue and removal of excess skin in order to reshape the breast and give it a firm curvy appearance. Although it can be used in youth to improve or match shape, mostly it’s used to correct the effects of pregnancy and ageing.
The breast is also lifted by inserting implants, particularly those of a specific conical shape. This, of course, restores lost volume.
Everyone is different, and your Personiks Clinic surgeon will advise you which technique or combination of techniques will be most suitable for you. Sometimes he will combine all 3 techniques-mastopexy, fat grafting and implants.
2) Can I have a breast lift without implants?
Yes. There are several options.
A breast lift without implants (mastopexy) will give you a natural and more youthful breast shape by raising the position of the nipple and removing excess skin. This procedure elevates your nipple-areolar complex and reforms the natural breast tissues restoring your breasts to their youthful perky position. A mastopexy provides an opportunity to improve shape and symmetry. The correction of droopiness is a considerable confidence boost.
Most women, who want to regain their youthful appearance and correct the effects of ageing and pregnancy, prefer this procedure. The breasts will look smaller but that is just an illusion as only a small amount of skin tissue is removed. A mastopexy results in minimal changes in breast volume.
3) What scars can I expect to see from breast lift surgery?
Breasts may develop with low nipples and sometimes with tubular breast shape. A breast lift or mastopexy can be the answer. Much more commonly the breasts sag with age and particularly after pregnancy. There is a wicked combination of loss of volume and stretched skin.
Breast lifts (mastopexy) will remove surplus skin and lift the nipples to a proper level and reducing the surrounding areola, if necessary. Breast implants alone will replace volume and if shaped appropriately lift the nipples. This will mean that the implants need to be larger enough to take up the surplus skin. Putting in implants too small creates the peculiar double bubble deformity. A combination of implant and mastopexy skin reduction is often an appropriate option.
The skin is sutured tightly, and it takes a few months to achieve, more natural, result as the skin relaxes. Any pre-existing asymmetries of the breast or nipple height will be addressed by the mastopexy. The breast will be restored to a proper level on the chest wall and nipples properly placed on the breast.
4) Will my volume or cup size change?
The volume of the breast is not reduced significantly in a breast uplift surgery (mastopexy) procedure, so it’s more a case of re-shaping the volume you already have. Breast lift without implants generally results in minimal changes in breast size and volume because only a small amount of skin tissue is removed.
The usual outcome of the mastopexy procedure is a perky and curved breast with improved symmetry that will give you a youthful appearance. If the uplift is combined with a breast augmentation, then the cup size will obviously increase in proportion to the size of the implant; your surgeon will guide you in this regard.
Breast uplift surgery with implants results in a significant increase in breast size and volume. This gives you a better cleavage as compared to mastopexy alone. Mastopexy is the good option for you if you are craving for perky round breasts.
5) How many types of breast lifts exist?
Different techniques may be required for different patients. This is often due to the age of the patient, the size of the breast, the amount of breast tissue to be removed and also depending on the end result the patient is looking for.
There are four main types of breast lift surgery technique:
Crescent Lift – involves a crescent of skin removed at the top of the nipple to improve nipple position. This is the least invasive breast lift.
Benelli Lift – Otherwise known as a Circumareolar Lift. This is used for slight nipple asymmetry or a mild lift. A doughnut-shaped incision is made around the areola to remove tissue and the skin is then ‘purse-stringed’ to tighten the breast skin. It is less invasive than full mastopexy. A flattening effect on the breasts may occur.
Lollipop Lift – Or Vertical Scar Mastopexy. A lollipop-shaped incision is made from the crease of the breast vertically and surrounds the nipple. This is a very effective lift for many women with low hanging breasts.
Anchor Lift – For significant breast droop. This is when the incision is made similar to the lollipop, but also travels along the breast crease, forming an anchor shape. This is the most invasive breast lift procedure, but very effective for women with a long inframammary fold (distance from breast crease to nipple).
6) How long does a breast lift last?
“How long does a breast lift last?” is one of the most common questions a woman asks when she plans a breast lift. Well, it is possible to obtain long-lasting results from a breast lift. However, the truth is there is no single answer. Once a lift is performed your breasts will have a better shape, lifted and fuller, but your breasts are constantly ageing along with the rest of your body. It takes time for the breasts to sag again and be reassured that most patients find that the one lift or mastopexy is adequate.
You should not forget that the technique employed in the mastopexy is all important in determining not only the shape , but also the longevity of the result.
7) Should I massage my breasts after surgery?
Massaging is a very important part of the healing process and helps to soften your skin, adjacent tissue, and help the area to adjust to its new contour.
8) How is a breast lift procedure performed?
Breast lift surgery or mastopexy is performed under general anaesthesia as a day case procedure. At the Personiks Clinic we use TIVA (Total IntraVenous Anaesthesia), so you wake up quickly and do not feel sick. You are ready to go home. Pain is minimal, but you will be given simple analgesia as a stand-by.
There are various methods of breast uplift, but essentially the breast tissue is repositioned higher as a firm mound, the nipples put at the appropriate level with matching areolas and excess skin removed.
You will need to maintain this support day and night for 4 weeks and during the day for 3 months. Dressings will be changed at a week and you can probably shower between dressings or when they are finally removed. Our wound care nurses will give detailed advice.