Many women find as they age, their once-firm breasts begin to sag, especially following pregnancy, breastfeeding or weight loss. Also referred to as mastopexy, breast lift surgery from The University of Kansas Health System can reshape and reposition sagging breasts so you can feel like your best self again.
What is a breast lift?
The sagging and drooping that occurs due to age and gravity affects your breast appearance, particularly after physical changes such as pregnancy or major weight loss. A breast lift raises and reshapes your natural breast tissue to restore a firmer, more youthful breast profile. Breast lift surgery can be ideal for women who want to enhance their figure but aren't interested in getting breast implants.
Who can have a breast lift?
You may be a candidate for breast lift surgery if you suffer from breast ptosis (sagging) and are dissatisfied with the shape of your breasts. Breast ptosis may be classified as:
If you are considering breast lift surgery, you should quit smoking at least 6 weeks prior to surgery. Also, it is recommended that women wait until after pregnancy to schedule breast lift surgery.
How does a breast lift work?
While regular exercise and a balanced diet help to maintain weight and increase muscle tone, surgery is the only way to significantly lift sagging breasts. During the procedure, excess skin is removed, breast tissue is reshaped and the areola and nipple are repositioned to complement the appearance of the breast.
See your breast lift in 3D
Benefits and risks of breast lift
The primary benefit of breast lift surgery is that the procedure elevates the breast to a more youthful, attractive position. Breast lift surgery does leave scars, as with any surgery. You can also expect some changes in nipple sensation, which is a common side effect.
What happens during breast lift surgery?
Mastopexy surgery lasts approximately 1-3 hours and usually takes place in an outpatient facility. You will most likely receive general anesthesia, though local anesthesia may be administered for small incisions.
Incision location for breast lift surgery depends on a number of factors, but the most common sites are around the nipple, vertically beneath the nipple and horizontally along the breast crease. Your surgeon will also select the shape and extent of the incision:
- Periareolar = Full circle around the areola
- Crescent = Half circle around the areola
- Lollipop = Periareolar incision and vertical incision from the bottom of the areola to the breast fold
- Inverted T or anchor = Lollipop incision and horizontal incision along the breast fold
Next, the surgeon accesses the underlying tissue, then reshapes and lifts it to improve shape and texture. The nipple and areola are repositioned to create a more youthful appearance, and excess breast skin is removed. Finally, the incisions are closed with sutures.
After your breast lift, the incisions and dissolvable sutures will be covered with gauze or tape that will be removed within about a week. You will be given a special bra to wear 24 hours a day for the first 3-4 weeks as your breasts heal. Activity should be limited for as long as 6 weeks, though initial recovery is typically achieved within 1-2 weeks.