Breast Lift Surgery (Mastopexy)

Breast Reduction (Mastopexy) Procedure

Breast LiftBreasts that were once firm and shapely often begin to sag and droop giving them a loose or heavy appearance. Breast lift surgery, or mastopexy, is designed to help restore a firmer, shapelier breast and to lift it to a new, more upright position. Mastopexy improves body contours and gives the breasts a perky and youthful appearance. During a breast lift procedure, loose, excess skin is removed, and the remaining skin is tightened.

There are generally three degrees of ptosis, or sagging. Determined by the position of the areola relative to the inframammary fold and the sternum, ptosis can be classified as minor, moderate, and severe. During your consultation, our surgeon will assess the degree of ptosis of your breasts and determine the procedure that is best for you.

In general, ptosis is categorized as minor, if the areola lies at the inframammary fold. If the areola lies approximately one to two centimeters below the inframammary fold, the breasts have moderate ptosis. If the areola lies two to three centimeters below the inframammary fold and rotate downward, severe breast ptosis is said to exist. There are four basic breast lift techniques used to correct various degrees of ptosis: periareolar, circumareolar, vertical, and anchor technique.

The periareolar, or crescent, technique involves a half-moon shaped incision made around the top of the areola. Although this technique is the least invasive, the degree of lift that can be achieved is the smallest. Consequently, it is used on individuals with small breasts or minor breast ptosis.

Similar to the periareolar, the circumareolar, or doughnut, technique provides a smaller degree of lift. This minimally invasive procedure involves a circular incision made around the areola. Similarly, it is appropriate for individuals with small breasts or minor breast ptosis.

The vertical technique involves a v-shaped incision that extends around the top of the areola and down the midline of the breast. Although this procedure is slightly more invasive, it also achieves a large degree of lift. Therefore, this technique is recommended for individuals with larger breasts and moderate to severe breast ptosis.
The last technique is called anchor technique and it involves an anchor-shaped incision that extends around the top of the areola and laterally across the lower portion of the breast. This technique is the most invasive type of breast lift. Nevertheless, it achieves the greatest amount of lift. This technique is recommended for individuals with large breasts and severe breast ptosis and is reported to be the most common technique performed today.

General Procedure
Depending on the complexity of the procedure and whether breast augmentation is done at the same time, a breast lift surgery may last between one and four hours. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia. In the U.S., this type of surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis. Our doctors practice very conservative medicine and ask our clients to stay at the hospital for a couple of days after the surgery to ensure a quick and infection-free recovery. Our contracted plastic surgeons operate in state-of-the-art operating suites and use anesthesiologists rather than anesthesiology assistants.

In the anchor technique procedure, the surgeon first draws incision guidelines to indicate the areas of skin that will be removed during the procedure. Using a scalpel, the physician carefully makes an incision along the pre-marked lines. The incision extends beyond the upper perimeter of the areola. This area marks the new upper perimeter of the areola. The areola and nipple are left intact. In the area below the areola, the excess tissue will be removed and the remaining tissue will be pulled together and tightened.

Once the excess skin has been removed, the physician sutures the uppermost perimeter of the areola to the outermost perimeter of the incision. In doing so, the areola and breast tissue are lifted to a new, more upright position. The surgeon then closes the incision by placing sutures along the vertical midline and inframammary fold, as well as around the perimeter of the areola. Lastly, steri-strips or gauze bandages may be applied in order to protect the incision sites as you heal.

Recovery Process
After the surgery, you may experience some minor pain, bruising, and swelling, as well as numbness around the areola. The pain can be treated effectively with oral medication. All these symptoms should dissipate in several weeks. Complications following breast augmentation surgery are rare and usually minimal. They may include bleeding (hematoma), capsular contracture, swelling and pain, infection and a change in nipple sensation.

Even though you are going to be staying at tropical destination, after the surgery you will not be able to swim in the ocean or be in direct sunlight. Our doctors recommend plenty of rest and limited movement. You should continue to avoid strenuous activity such as exercise for three or four weeks after your procedure to speed up the healing process and recovery time. Bandages are applied right after surgery to aid the healing process and to minimize movement of the breasts. Once the bandages are removed, a specialized surgical bra must to be worn for several weeks. This tight-fitting garment will help to reduce swelling by preventing fluid buildup, as well as provide comfort and support as you heal. You should be able to return to work one week after the surgery.

You will notice a dramatic difference in the shape and position of your breasts immediately following your procedure. You may continue to observe changes in the appearance of your breasts as swelling subsides and they settle into their new positions. In fact, it may take up to one year before the final results from your procedure are apparent. Although you will have permanent scars following a breast lift, the scars will slowly fade to thin, white lines with time.

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