in Norwalk, CT
Natural changes such as pregnancy, weight loss, or simply the natural aging process can cause your breasts to sag, which may result in an undesirable appearance and loss of self-esteem. While little can be done to prevent these changes from happening, we can help restore the appearance of your breasts. Breast lift surgery repositions and supports the breast tissue, creating perkier, more attractive breasts.
What Is Your Stage of Ptosis?
Breast ptosis (sagging) can occur slowly over time, or you might experience a sudden, dramatic change in your breast appearance caused by either having children or losing weight. The degree of ptosis dictates the breast lift technique needed for your surgery. While a consultation is needed to personalize the best procedure to achieve your goals, identifying the extent of your breast shape and position can help you better understand your aesthetic needs.
- Grade I – Mild ptosis, where the lower pole of the breast sits at the inframammary line.
- Grade II – Still mild sagging, but some breast tissue may sit below the inframammary line.
- Grade III – Moderate droop, with a portion of your lower breast sitting below the breast crease. Your nipples may begin to point slightly downward.
- Grade IV – Severe ptosis with a significant section of your breast tissue sitting below the inframammary line. Additionally, your nipples point down.
How Is Breast Lift Surgery Performed?
Breast lift surgery is an outpatient procedure performed under sedation or a light general anesthetic. We place incisions on the breasts to elevate sagging tissues. Internal sutures hold the breasts in place and provide long-lasting support. All incisions are closed with self-dissolving sutures to minimize scarring, and an ace bandage is applied for two to three days. Then, the wrap is removed, you are placed in a bra, and you may start to shower. Minimal discomfort is present with a breast lift procedure.
What Are My Breast Lift Incision Options?
- Periareolar incisions are created along the colored border of the areola. This technique is best used to treat mild forms of ptosis. The incision camouflages nicely at the junction of the colored areola and normal skin.
- Lollipop incisions run around the areola as well as vertically down the lower breast tissue. This technique is commonly used for moderate drooping.
- Anchor incisions utilize the areolar and vertical incisions of the lollipop technique while including an additional incision along the breast crease. Anchor incisions are used to correct severe forms of sagging.
The incision chosen from the above options is based on the position of the nipple-areola complex, the location of the breast tissue, and the amount of breast tissue present. In a small-breasted woman, for example, the addition of an implant will lift the breast and nipple complex to a degree permitting less of a scar in some cases.
What Is the Acellular Dermal Matrix?
Acellular dermal matrix (ADM) is a composite mesh used internally to provide additional support to the breast tissue. ADMs are only used when indicated by the surgeon and may affect the cost of your procedure. You will be notified during your consultation if ADM is necessary to achieve the results you desire. Breast skin with extensive stretch marks and loss of tone is an example of a case where ADM would be very beneficial in maintaining the uplifted breast position and results.
How Is Nipple/Areola Repositioning Performed?
For patients experiencing sagging, the nipple-areola complex may have moved from its natural position at the center of the breast. By repositioning the areola complex, we can re-establish a more flawless aesthetic to your breast appearance. In some cases, we may also improve the size of the areola for a more balanced look. The nipple-areola complex does not need to come off the body to accomplish the goal; the skin is tucked around it, raising the nipple to a more attractive, youthful position.
Should I Combine My Breast Lift With Breast Augmentation or Breast Reduction?
We often combine breast techniques to create your ideal breast shape. If you desire larger breasts and have laxity, we can consider a combination of augmentation/mastopexy, which involves placing implants in addition to lifting the breast tissue.
In other cases, overly large, sagging breasts can cause physical discomfort. To alleviate pain and create a better-positioned breast placement, we will combine a lift and reduction. In these cases, we remove excess breast tissue while raising the remaining portions to craft a more attractive bustline.
How Long Is My Breast Lift Recovery?
There is very little discomfort from a breast lift alone. There will be some bruising and swelling that subside rapidly. All sutures are dissolvable to minimize scarring, and your breasts will be wrapped in an ace bandage. When the wrap is removed, a specialty support bra will be applied and you may shower. This bra is to be worn throughout your recovery to reduce swelling and improve results. You should rest for the first 48 hours after your surgery; you may need to take a week off of work, but rarely longer. Throughout your recovery, you will need to limit physical activity. You can return to workouts after four weeks, but only with surgeon approval. Most swelling and bruising resolves quickly, and your final result will be visible at that time.
When Will I See My Breast Lift Results?
Minor swelling can persist for up to three to four months, which is normal, and final shape and result is seen by about three to six months. Once all swelling subsides, your new breast look will stay for many years if no pregnancies or significant changes in weight occur. Breast lift surgery provides long-lasting enhancement, though it does not prevent the effects of future aging and gravity. You may experience subtle changes to your breasts over the years, and additional pregnancies or weight fluctuations can impact your appearance.
Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Lift Surgery?
Am I a candidate for breast lift surgery?
Ideal candidates for breast lift surgery are displeased with the appearance of their sagging breasts after pregnancy, weight loss, or the natural aging process. Most women who experience breast ptosis are candidates for this surgery as long as they do not smoke, are generally healthy, and have realistic expectations of their results.
Breast lift surgery is appropriate for women who wish to restore youthfulness to their breasts. It is not appropriate for those who wish to see a significant fluctuation in size.
Do I have to wait until after having children to undergo breast lift surgery?
We typically recommend waiting until you have finished having all of your children before considering breast lift surgery. Pregnancy is one of the most significant factors when it comes to desiring this procedure. The rapid fluctuations during the childbearing process (with both pregnancy and breastfeeding) change the appearance of the breasts more than anything else. Pregnancy after a breast lift will negatively impact the quality of your results.
Should you choose to undergo a breast lift after significant weight loss or a first pregnancy, the surgery will not affect your ability to have children, and you may still be able to breastfeed to some extent.
Will I need a breast lift if I undergo breast revision surgery?
Breast lift surgery is commonly combined with breast revision surgery for women who choose to remove their implants entirely or change implant sizes. Having large implants can place excess pressure on the glandular tissues and skin, causing the breasts to sag prematurely. If you choose to remove heavy implants (or implants that you have had for many years), a breast lift may be necessary to restore youthful elevation.
How do I know if I need a breast lift or a breast reduction?
Many women who are unhappy with their large, sagging breasts are unsure whether they need a breast lift, a breast reduction, or both. Breast lift surgery tightens the tissues, trims excess skin, and repositions the nipple-areola complex. It does not remove the excess breast tissue or fat that contributes to overly large breasts.
If you are unhappy with the size and weight of your breasts, a breast reduction is needed. Breast reduction surgery is always combined with a breast lift to tighten the newly reduced contours.
Will a breast lift give me larger breasts?
When the sagging tissues are tightened, and the excess skin is removed, the breasts go from being elongated to more compact, which can sometimes give the impression of larger breasts; however, breast lift surgery does not add volume. If you desire an increase in size, you will need to combine your breast lift with breast augmentation.
How can I prolong the length of my breast lift results?
Breast lift surgery cannot prevent the aging process or gravity; however, you may be able to prolong the quality of your breast lift results by:
- Maintaining a stable weight
- Avoiding pregnancy
- Wearing a supportive bra
- Following a healthy lifestyle