Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
Considered one of the top plastic surgeons in the Carolinas, Dr. Ram Kalus has built his great reputation by making women feel confident about their breasts and their bodies. After undergoing surgery, his breast lift patients enjoy the benefits of more youthful breasts with improved contour and greater self-confidence.
Why Breast Lift Surgery?
As you age, the skin of your breasts may lose some of its elasticity and cause a sagging appearance. Pregnancy and lactation, weight fluctuations, and heredity all have a significant impact on a woman’s breasts. Many women consider breast lift surgery when their breasts become pendulous, lose firmness, or have nipples and areolas (the dark pigmented skin surrounding the nipples) that fall or point below the breast crease. Some women even opt for a breast lift with the addition of breast implants to replace volume that may have been lost with age or after childbirth. In a breast lift surgery, also called a mastopexy, the surgeon removes excess skin and tightens the surrounding tissue to raise and reshape the breasts. Although milk ducts and nipples can remain intact after a breast lift surgery, if a woman has naturally shaped breasts that are looser or more saggy than desirable, she may choose to undergo the operation before having children. A breast lift should not affect your ability to breastfeed; however, be sure to discuss your plans for breastfeeding when consulting with Dr. Kalus about breast lift surgery.
Candidates for a Breast Lift
Good candidates for breast lift surgery have some degree of skin laxity and/or volume loss and wish to rejuvenate the look and feel of sagging breasts. While women wishing to restore their pre-pregnancy figure comprise a large portion of individuals seeking a breast lift, those whose breasts are affected by gravity, aging, or genetic influences can also achieve excellent results with the procedure. For women also seeking to increase or decrease the size of their breasts, a lift can be combined with a breast augmentation or breast reduction to comprehensively fulfill a patient’s aesthetic goals. Ideal candidates for a breast lift generally include:
- Women who are near their ideal weight
- Women who are finished with childbearing and breastfeeding
- Women whose nipples and areolas fall below the fold or point downward
- Women who are in reasonably good health to undergo a surgical operation
Volume changes in the breasts associated with pregnancy, nursing, and substantial weight loss can often cause additional breast sag and compromise the results of a lift. If these factors are applicable, it is generally advisable to undergo breast lift surgery after weight loss, childbearing, and breastfeeding are finished to achieve an optimal, long-lasting result. A discussion of your needs with Dr. Kalus can help determine whether breast lift surgery will benefit you.
After a thorough examination and discussion, if you are a good candidate, Dr. Kalus will recommend a lift type or combination procedure that is best suited for you. The various types of breast lift include:
In the periareolar mastopexy, the surgeon makes an incision around the entire areola. This will be the only incision necessary to tighten the breast. This procedure allows less scarring because incisions on the edge of the areola are concealed; however, this technique is not effective in achieving significant tightening. It is an excellent choice for patients with limited breast sagging.
“Lollipop Incision” or Short Horizontal Scar Technique
The lollipop or short scar technique uses two incisions that resemble a lollipop, one around the areola and one vertically from the areola to the breast crease. Occasionally, there is a small horizontal component in the crease below the breast. The short scar technique eliminates the large transverse, or anchor-shaped, scar that results from traditional breast lifts, leaving the patient with less scarring and a very aesthetic and lasting result. This technique can be utilized for moderate sagging.
Full Mastopexy (“Anchor Type Incision”)
The full mastopexy, commonly referred to as a traditional breast lift, is used primarily for larger-breasted women with severe to extreme sagging. It is the most extensive of all mastopexy procedures and has a scar that is similar to that of a breast reduction. It is selected when there is simply too much skin to be removed through more limited incisions.
Combination Breast Procedure
All of the mastopexy techniques can be combined with a breast augmentation. In a procedure that combines a breast lift and breast augmentation, the surgeon adds breast implants for a fuller and more enhanced appearance. For some women, breast implants are an excellent complement to a breast lift. Plus, a breast lift can also be performed as part of a comprehensive mommy makeover— an innovative enhancement option that can allow individuals to restore their pre-pregnancy figure by combining multiple treatments to address a range of concerns. Because pregnancy and nursing can cause the breasts to sag, decrease in volume, or become flatter and softer, a breast lift is typically a great addition to a mommy makeover procedure. During your evaluation, Dr. Kalus will explain all risks and benefits of these combination surgeries and help you determine the options that are best for your needs.
About the Procedure
Typically an outpatient procedure, basic breast lift surgery takes about one to three hours. If you are combining a breast lift with another treatment, the operation can take longer. This surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia. During the procedure, Dr. Kalus will lift and reshape underlying breast tissue; reposition the nipple and areola; reduce enlarged areolas, if necessary; and remove excess breast skin. Expert levels of care will be taken to provide a natural-looking result and minimize the appearance of scarring.
Breast Lift Recovery
After your surgery, you will wear a surgical-type sports bra to reduce swelling and support your breasts as you heal. It is common to experience temporary bruising or swelling after the procedure, but this typically subsides as your recovery progresses. Any discomfort can generally be managed with oral pain medication. Following the operation, patients should rest for the remainder of the day, but light activities can usually be resumed within a few days. Exercise and aerobic activities will need to be avoided for a few weeks. Many patients plan for approximately one week of downtime to ensure an adequate amount of time for the healing process, but specific post-operative instructions depend on the complexity of your procedure. Dr. Kalus will provide detailed recovery information at the time of operation.
Over the next few months, your breasts’ shape and position will gradually settle into place and incision lines should fade and improve. Following the procedure, many women enjoy a more rejuvenated and shapely breast appearance with restored firmness and breast projection.
If you are interested in breast lift surgery, or a combination breast surgery, contact Dr. Kalus at Plastic Surgery of the Carolinas to schedule an appointment for a consultation.