What Is a Breast Lift (Mastopexy)?
Breast lift, also known as mastopexy, is a surgical procedure that can elevate your breast to a more youthful and attractive position. A breast lift is the treatment of choice in women with sagging or drooping breasts (ptosis) caused by development, aging, weight fluctuations, pregnancy and nursing.
Many women believe that breast augmentation with implants is the procedure they need to lift the breasts, which is untrue. In fact, placing breast implants in a sagging breast which lacks good support will only worsen breast ptosis over time. Therefore, women who wish to enhance or restore the size, shape and projection of their sagging breasts will benefit from breast augmentation surgery with implants at the same time as their breast lift surgery.
Currently, there is no exercise routine, cream or pill that can significantly lift the breasts in the same way that a skilled plastic surgeon such as Dr. Dahan can with breast lift surgery.
Breast Lift Candidates
Women who are unhappy with the appearance of their breasts and have an undesirable degree of breast ptosis (sagging) are good candidates for breast lift surgery. Dr. Dahan will evaluate your condition and classify you in the appropriate breast ptosis category. By assessing the position of the nipple in relation to the breast inframammary crease, the degree of breast ptosis can be measured.
Based on the degree of breast ptosis (mild, moderate or severe), Dr. Dahan will recommend the best breast lift technique for you. You must be in good health and a nonsmoker. It is advised that smokers quit 4-6 weeks before and after surgery. Breast lift surgery should be delayed if you plan to have future pregnancies, are currently or in the future plan to nurse. Dr. Dahan recommends to wait at least 1-3 months after you discontinue nursing (dry) before proceeding with breast lift surgery.
Breast Lift Techniques
There are 4 breast lift techniques that are currently used on patients with breast ptosis. None of these techniques involve removing the nipple areola complex and tend to preserve nipple sensation and the ability to nurse. Breast ptosis has 3 grades based on the position of the nipple relative to the inframammary fold. The 4 breast lift techniques are:
- Crescent Mastopexy
- Circumareolar Mastopexy (Benelli Lift or Doughnut Lift)
- Vertical Mastopexy (Vertical Lift or Lollipop Lift)
- Wise Pattern Mastopexy (Full Lift or Anchor Lift)
For patients with only slightly low position of one or both nipple areola complexes, the Crescent Mastopexy is the treatment of choice. In this procedure, an ellipse of skin is removed above the nipple areola complex to place it in the desired position with minimal scar. This technique is limited to patients requiring only approximately an inch of nipple areola complex and breast lift.
For patients with minimal to moderate breast ptosis and dense, well-formed breasts, the Circumareolar Mastopexy (Benelli Lift or Doughnut Lift) is a good option. This technique resizes the nipple areola complex and removes circumferential excess areola and breast skin allowing the nipple areola complex and breast to be placed in a more desired position with minimal circumareolar scar. A permanent purse string suture is placed to maintain the new breast position and areola size. Dr. Dahan has performed hundreds of the Circumareolar Mastopexy especially in patients requesting breast augmentation at the same time.
Circumareolar Technique or Doughnut Lift
The Vertical Mastopexy (Vertical Lift or Lollipop Lift) is performed on women with moderate to severe breast ptosis. This technique is excellent in patients who have moderate to large breasts and wish to have a breast lift with or without breast implant augmentation. The vertical mastopexy is the most common breast lift technique. It is performed in women who do not wish to have breast implant augmentation at the same time or who wish to remove their breast implants and require a breast lift. Dr. Dahan is one of the only plastic surgeons in Nevada who uses a vertical breast lift technique. This technique lifts and repositions the bottomed-out lower portion of the breast under the upper portion of the breast where it is sutured to the muscle. This enhances the shape and contour of the breast while lifting the breast.
In Dr. Dahan’s hands, this technique results in a breast with a longer lasting younger appearing shape and projection. Dr. Dahan has performed hundreds of the vertical mastopexy with great results.* This technique results in a more youthful and attractive breast which is also longer lasting compared to most other vertical breast lift techniques. Dr. Dahan’s vertical mastopexy technique also resizes the nipple areolar complex and removes circumferential excess areola and breast skin as well as lower mid vertical breast skin. This allows the nipple areola complex and breast to be placed in a more desired position with minimal circumareolar and vertical lower breast scar (lollipop).
Vertical Technique or Lollipop Lift
Wise Pattern Mastopexy
Finally, the Wise Pattern Mastopexy (Full Lift or Anchor Lift) is reserved for patients with severe breast ptosis usually related to large breasts, significant weight loss, pregnancy and nursing. These women also tend to have thin skin with abundant stretch marks and very poor support of the breast tissue. Dr. Dahan performs a technique similar to the vertical mastopexy, but also excises lower breast skin at the inframammary fold to further tighten and reposition the breast tissue. Dr. Dahan has performed hundreds these breast lifts with excellent results as well.*
Wise Technique or Full, Anchor Lift
Dr. Dahan commonly performs the Crescent Mastopexy and Circumareolar Mastopexy in his office under local anesthesia. This is unless the patient chooses general anesthesia or wishes to undergo breast augmentation at the same time. These procedures take approximately 30-90 minutes. Patients undergoing Vertical Mastopexy or Wise Pattern Mastopexy undergo these procedures under general anesthesia in an outpatient surgery center and usually take approximately 90-120 minutes. The goal of the breast lift is to tighten and elevate the breast tissue moving the nipple areola complex into a more aesthetic position while removing excess unwanted skin. Incision patterns may vary based on the procedures mentioned above. The breast tissue may be removed from one or both breasts to achieve better symmetry and outcome.
The incisions are closed with sutures that minimize scarring and most of them resorb (melt) over time significantly decreasing discomfort. A non adherent supportive gauze dressing is applied for comfort and to diminish swelling as well as bruising. You will return home 1-2 hours after surgery with minimal discomfort. You should be able to move around without difficulty. Pain medications, antibiotics and anti nausea medication prescribed by Dr. Dahan will allow you to have a comfortable and uneventful recovery.
Breast Lift Recovery
Dr. Dahan will see you the next day in his office to change the dressing. You may shower 2-3 days after surgery, after which you will wear a comfortable sports bra for support. Dr. Dahan removes the sutures 7-10 days after surgery. Dr. Dahan recommends that you wear a supportive bra as much as possible for the next few months to have the best results. He will also recommend scar creams to minimize the scar.
It is important that you limit activities and avoid tension on the incisions for the first 2-4 weeks. You may return to exercise approximately 3 weeks after surgery. Most patients experienced minimal discomfort, bruising, swelling or change in sensation. The results in Dr. Dahan’s hands is a younger looking and much more attractive breast. Although the results are long-lasting, breast lift surgery cannot prevent the normal effects of aging, weight fluctuations, pregnancy and nursing.*
Dr. Dahan, Just wanted to tell you how much I love my new friends. Thanks so much for the awesome job.*
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*results may vary