Breast Lift is also known as Mastopexy is the plastic surgery mammoplasty procedure for raising the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour.
It also correct sagging, deflated breasts (known as breast ptosis.) This not only can improve a patient’s appearance by restoring her youthful, but also creating an overall better proportioned, natural looking breast.
Women who find they liked breast lift have the following concerns:
- Stretched skin and enlarged areolas.
- Saggy breast following pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight fluctuations, aging, heredity and gravity.
- Women who are unhappy with the shape, volume and/or firmness of their breast.
- Nipples and areolas that point downward, especially if they are positioned below the breast crease.
- Asymmetrical breast.
Preparation for your operation
You will usually have your breast lift under a general anaesthetic. This means you will be asleep during the procedure. No food is allowed at least 8 hours prior to any surgery, this includes any sweet like chewing gum. If there is no fasting instructions given, you must not consume any food or drink from midnight before your scheduled surgery. Clients who do not comply with this requirement risk having their surgery delayed or risk being denied surgery.
DO NOT take any Aspirin and NSAIDS drugs for at least 2 weeks prior to surgery. (Aspirin may be re commenced after 48hrs post op.) If you take Aspirin or any other form of blood thinning medication for a medical condition, please discuss this with Dr. Thanakom.
Smoking must be stopped at least 3-4 weeks. If you cannot quit, cut back as much as possible. Smoking constrict the blood vessels, which can delay wound healing. While drinking alcohol must be stopped at least a day or two prior to surgery.
The procedure usually takes 3-4 hours and you are required to stay in hospital overnight.
Do not wear contact lenses, makeup, nail polish, jewelry, including any body piercings, hair accessories containing metal (such as barrettes or clips with metal springs, etc.) on the day of your surgery.
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered. The choices include intravenous sedation or general anesthesia.
Step 2 – Skin Incision
Different techniques for removing breast skin and reshaping the breast determine the location of the incisions and resulting scars. Dr Thanakom will select a technique based on your breast size and shape, areola size and position, degree of breast sagging, skin quality and elasticity and how much extra skin you have. Incision options include:
- The “anchor” incision or “Inverted-T” incision made around the perimeter of the areola, vertically down from the areola to the breast crease and horizontally along the breast crease, produces the most scarring. It is for women with a severe degree of sagging who will not be helped sufficiently by less invasive techniques. This incision, which is the oldest technique, is often used for a breast lift in conjunction with a breast reduction.
- The “lollipop” lift, also known as a “Vertical” incision, made around the perimeter of the areola and vertically down from the areola to the breast crease, is suitable for women with a moderate degree of sagging who will not be helped sufficiently by the periareolar technique and who do not want breast implants.
- The “donut” lift, also known as the “periareolar incision,” made around the perimeter of the areola only, is suitable for women with a mild-to-moderate degree of sagging.
- The “crescent” lift, which is less commonly used, is an incision that 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 in women with minor sagging. It cannot accomplish the same degree of lifting as the other incision techniques.
Step 3 – Closing the incisions
The lower breast is then reshaped with internal stitches, then skin is closed using dissolving stitches to assist in minimizing scarring.
Dr Thanakom will provide set of medications such as pain killers, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory etc. These will be provided following breast lift with implants surgery.
While you’ll be able to get up and walk around on the same day or a day after surgery, take it easy for the first few days. Also, expect to sleep on your back for the first several weeks or more after surgery. If you normally sleep on your side or stomach, invest in some extra pillows to help keep you from turning over.
You may be instructed to wear a support bra around the clock for the first week or two. It will be important to keep your incision clean and dry at all times. Be sure to follow all instructions carefully.
The stitches are taken out after 10-14 days. If you have dissolvable stitches, the amount of time they will take to disappear depends on the type of stitches. However, for this procedure, they should usually disappear in about six weeks.
Physical activity is limited for the first several weeks, with most patients able to return to work and their normal activities within two to three weeks.
The common recovery side effects include bruising, numbness, or changes in nipple sensitivity, itching around incision sites and increased firmness or fullness in the breast tissue. These side effects should subside over the next few weeks, with some residual effects lasting up to three months following the surgery. Contact the clinic where the operation was carried out as soon as possible if you have severe pain or any unexpected symptoms.
What are the risks and possible complications?
Any surgery poses a certain amount of risk and potential complications. Potential complications include, but are not limited to:
- Collections of fluid or blood within your abdomen
- Sensation changes to the breast or nipple
- Delayed healing
- Bruising and swelling
- Irritation from dressings
- Nipple Sensation
- Nerve injury
- Poor scars
- Skin contour irregularities (stretch marks, rippling and wrinkles
- Changes in size and shape with age & weight fluctuations
- Capsular contracture
During your consultation, Dr Thanakom will explain all these risks, what they do to avoid and treat them, and the rates at which they occur.
Is it possible to breastfeed after breast lift surgery?
The possibility of breastfeeding will depend on the type of incision. It is still possible to breast feed after breast lift as long as the nipple is left attached to the underlying breast tissue. However in most of the cases, breast lift will result to diminished sensation and can hinder the ability to breastfeed.
Should I wait until after pregnancy to get a breast lift?
Pregnancy can change a woman’s breasts. Dr Thanakom usually recommend to delay breast surgery if patient plans to get pregnant. The reasons is that the breast will be different after pregnancy. How different a breast will become is impossible to predict.
When will I be able to see the results of breast lift surgery?
Although the breast lift results are quite immediate, you should not risk taking the bandages off to check. Your bandages will be removed in a few days at a postoperative visit and then you will switch to a soft support bra that will be worn for 6 weeks.
How Long Does a Breast Lift Last For?
Traditional Breast Lifts are long lasting but not permanent, as the effects of gravity on the body eventually take their toll. While breasts of any size can be lifted, the results may not last as long in women who have a large, heavy breast size. Other factors such as genetics, age, weight fluctuations, pregnancy and breastfeeding, excessive sun exposure, and a history of smoking can reduce the lifetime of the cosmetic benefits from your Breast Lift. It is recommended to wear support bra most of the time to prevent quick sagging.
Will a breast lift give me the cleavage and breast volume I used to have?
Most likely not. A breast lift does remove excess skin, making the breasts tighter and bringing the nipples back into an aesthetic position on the breasts. However, the lift does not increase volume. By repositioning the existing tissue, some fullness in the upper part of the breasts may be restored, but this is not always the case. In those that desire increased volume or extensive upper breast fullness, a breast implant is needed in addition to a mastopexy.