What Is a Breast Lift?
Also known as mastopexy, a breast lift is an elective surgery that raises the breasts to improve any sagging and drooping. In addition to raising the breasts, a breast lift may involve reshaping breast tissue and/or removing excess breast tissue to make your breasts look more firm and perky. In certain instances, one or both areola can also be reshaped to improve symmetry and make the breasts appear more aesthetically pleasing.
In many cases Dr. Wermeling can also perform other surgeries at the same time including breast augmentation, tummy tuck, and liposuction. Breast lift is major surgery and usually requires around six weeks of downtime and recovery.
What Are the Benefits of a Breast Lift?
A breast lift can benefit any woman who wants to rejuvenate or enhance the appearance of her breasts. A breast lift can do the following:
- Improve the contour of the breasts, especially after significant weight loss or pregnancy
- Restore a perky shape to the breasts if breasts are drooping or sagging
- Reposition the nipples to point forward if they are pointing downward
- Remove excess skin contributing to drooping or sagging breasts
- Correct any asymmetry of the breasts by reshaping and repositioning breast tissue and/or nipples
A breast lift cannot enhance the size of your breasts. However, some women choose to combine breast lift surgery with breast augmentation to enhance both the size and appearance of their breasts at the same time.
What Happens During Breast Lift Surgery?
Dr. Wermeling has many techniques for breast lift. Each situation is unique and takes a specialized approach. Each breast lift surgery is different from the next, as women have this procedure for several reasons, often to improve specific features of their breasts. Your surgeon can give you more details about what will happen during your breast lift procedure based on your personal situation.
A breast lift usually takes about one to two hours to perform. First, you will be given a sedative or anesthesia to help you relax and feel more comfortable during your procedure. Then, Dr. Wermeling will make a series of incisions on your breasts near the sites being rejuvenated. Incisions may be made around the areola only, or vertically and/or horizontally in the fold of the breast.
Dr. Wermeling will then reposition underlying breast tissue to reshape and lift your breasts and/or the nipples. Excess breast skin and tissue are also removed at this time. At the end of the procedure, Dr. Wermeling will close the incisions using a series of sutures. He will position your incisions in the natural contours or folds of your breasts, though any incisions made in a visible area will gradually fade over time.
What Is Recovery Like After a Breast Lift?
Breast lift surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure, which means you will go home after surgery to relax and recover. Your breasts will be wrapped and covered with bandages or a surgical bra to reduce swelling. Dr. Wermeling has a post operative protocol which will advise you to take it easy for the first several days of recovery and to sleep on your back to avoid compromising the results of your surgery.
You can return to work a week after your breast lift surgery, though Dr. Wermeling will advise against strenuous exercise or activities that can open your wounds and delay healing. Total recovery usually takes up to six weeks. After the eight-week mark, you typically will get approval to resume all normal activities, including wearing an underwire bra.
Who Are Ideal Candidates for a Breast Lift?
Ideal candidates for a breast lift are women who want to enhance the appearance of breasts that are sagging, drooping, or asymmetrical, or whose nipples and areolas are pointing downward. Ideal candidates must also be in good overall physical health and nonsmokers, given how smoking can delay healing and increase the risk of surgical complications.
Women who decide to have breast lift surgery should have realistic expectations about the outcome of their surgery. Breast lift surgery cannot increase the size of your breasts, and it cannot change your fundamental appearance. Talk F. Ryan Wermeling, MD to learn more about whether you’re a candidate for a breast lift, or if you qualify for another procedure that can help you achieve the look you want.