Bellevue, Seattle Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
A woman’s breasts change over time, losing their youthful shape and firmness. The droop of breast tissue is due to loss of elasticity of the skin envelope, loss of breast volume from pregnancy, breastfeeding, heredity, weight fluctuations as well as the pull of gravity. Commonly referred to as a breast lift, mastopexy raises and firms the breasts by removal of excess skin, redistribution of fatty tissue from the bottom to the upper portion of the breast, and elevation of the nipple/areolar complex. A new, rejuvenated breast support is thus created. Breast lift is often needed and performed along with implant revision surgery, especially when large, heavy implants produce breast droop.
Various techniques are utilized for mastopexy. As a breast reconstructive & plastic surgeon with many years of experience, Dr. Zemplenyi will discuss with you the breast lift technique that is best for you. In some cases, breast implants may be recommended to be placed at the same time as mastopexy to achieve fuller breasts by adding more volume to the upper pole of the breast where atrophy (loss of volume) occurs with breast feeding. In other instances, breast implants may be inserted as a two-stage procedure. (Please see augmentation surgery). As the areola stretches and enlarges over time, a breast lift is also used to reduce the areolar size (diameter). A mastopexy rejuvenates your figure with a breast profile that is more youthful and uplifted. The surgical scar following a breast lift is shaped as a keyhole (lollypop) coursing around the areola and extending down the middle of the lower portion of the breast into the breast crease (infra-mammary fold). Through careful planning before and during surgery, Dr. Zemplenyi will take measures to achieve balance, minimizing the size and the width of the scar.
Breast Lift FAQ
- What is a breast lift?
- The breast lift procedure, also known as mastopexy, aims to reverse the changes caused to the breast by pregancy, breastfeeding, aging, gravity or weight fluctuations. The procedure raises the breast through the removal of excess skin and the redistribution of fatty tissues. If there is too much or too little volume in the breasts, a breast reduction or breast augmentation may also be performed to provide the desired look.The areola, the colored part around the nipple, if enlarged, can be reduced in size during a mastopexy.
- Who is a breast lift candidate?
- Woman who are bothered by changes in breast contour, shape and position are candidates for mastopexy. Mastopexy rejuvenates breasts which sag, have lost their shape and become pendulous. Nipples and areolas which point downward with the nipples falling below the breast crease when not supported are raised to a more natural level by a breast lift. For best results a potential mastopexy candidate should maintain a stable weight and not smoke.
- How can I prepare for a breast lift?
- Your physician will go over a list of items to help you prepare for your surgery. These instructions will include quitting smoking and the cessation of any medications that can make bleeding more likely such as aspirin or anti-inflammatory medication and vitamin E. You may also be prescribed antibiotics. A baseline mammogram is recommended before any breast surgery. You will also need to arrange for someone to drive you to the procedure and stay with you overnight after surgery.
- What kind of anesthesia is used during breast lift surgery?
- Breast lift is usually performed under general anesthesia, although intravenous anesthesia can be used. The type of anesthesia best suited for your safety and surgical requirements will be discussed by your surgeon.
- What can I expect during the breast lift procedure?
- The type of procedure used by the surgeon depends on the amount of breast sagging, position of areolas, breast size, shape as well as the amount of excess skin. Before the procedure the surgeon will mark the breasts for the proper placement of the nipple. Depending on the type of lift, incisions can be made just around the areola, and down to the breast crease, and horizontally around the breast crease. The tissue is then redistributed, lifted and reshaped to improve the breast contour. Enlarged areolas can be reduced by excision of skin while the nipple and areola are repositioned to a higher more youthful level. Excess skin is removed to make up for lost tissue elasticity. The incisions are then closed. Some of the incisions are well hidden in natural breast creases while others on the breast surface are visible but fade with time to become less apparent.
- What can I expect post procedure and what is the recovery time?
- Dressings and bandages are applied after the procedure. A support bra should be worn after surgery for comfort, support and to maintain the breasts' new shape. There may be small drains placed to remove excess blood and fluids. These are usually removed the next day The stitches placed may be resorbable and thus do not need to be removed. The support bra should be worn for several weeks to a month. The area will be tender for a few days. This post-operative discomfort usually responds well to oral pain medication.
- What is the post-procedure care for breast lifts?
- After surgery it is best to limit your physical activity, especially any heavy lifting. You will be scheduled to visit your doctor’s office for post-operative visits to ensure that there are no complications.
- What are the risks associated with a breast lift?
- The risks for breast lifts can include infection, bleeding and scarring. Breast asymmetry, nipple necrosis, changes in nipple sensation and anesthetic risks are among other possible complications. Your doctor will go over instructions that will reduce the risk of any complications.
- How much does a breast lift cost?
- The cost of a breast lift can vary depending upon the type of lift, as well as whether you will receive an augmentation or a reduction. Your doctor will discuss all costs during your initial consultation.