Breast Lift - aka Mastopexy, breast re-shaping, breast reconstruction
What is it?
A breast lift, also known as mastopexy, is a cosmetic surgery procedure that is designed to raise and firm the breasts by removing and tightening the breast tissue. The overall goal of the surgery is to reshape the breasts, giving them a more youthful contour and appearance.
Many women choose to have this cosmetic procedure done as a woman’s breasts often change in appearance over time. There are several common reasons why a woman’s breasts will change and lose elasticity, including:
- Weight fluctuations
This procedure is not designed to substantially change the size and shape of a woman’s breasts, but rather to restore their position on the woman’s chest.
There are several possible incision sites that the surgeon may choose to use for this surgery. The type of incision will be based upon the following factors:
- The woman’s breast size and shape
- The size and position of the woman’s areolas
- The degree to which the woman’s breasts have begun to sag
- The woman’s overall skin quality and elasticity
Following the decision of where the incision will take place, medications will be given to the patient prior to surgery for anesthesia purposes. These medications will be administered through an IV.
The incision will take place either around the areola, around and below the areola, around and then both vertically and horizontally around the areola.
The physician will reshape the breast tissue to gain a more ideal appearance. Many times the nipple and areola areas will also be repositioned. Extra skin will also be removed. Once the ideal position and shape have been obtained, the incision will be closed up and the patient will be moved into recovery.
Alternatives to Surgery
There are many bra enhancers that can be used to reshape the breasts while in clothing. Also, physical exercise and activities that are focused on those muscle groups can be effective in some instances in firming the breasts. There are not currently any non-surgical techniques that will restore the breast fully to its desired position.
Before the Operation
In many cases it will be required to have lab tests and a medical examination prior to the operation to ensure that the woman is in good enough physical condition. Also, it is not uncommon for the physician to require a mammogram both before and after surgery to help to develop a baseline for the breast tissue. This is important for the future of breast health maintenance, as it gives the physician something to measure annually against.
After the Operation- In the Hospital
The time in the hospital following the operation is for recovery. Every hospital and physician is slightly different on their requirements, but as this is an outpatient surgery, the health care team will be observing to determine when it is safe for the patient to leave the premises. Someone will need to be there to drive the patient home, as they will still be under heavy pain medication and anesthesia. The patient will leave the hospital with dressings and bandages to prevent swelling and to cover up the incision sites.
After the Operation- At Home
The time at home following the breast lift operation is designed for recovery. It is important to let the physician know if there is any shortness of breath, chest pains, unusual heart beats or any other negative reaction from the operation, pain medication or anesthesia. Also, it is important to follow any specific medical advice that the physician gave prior to the patient leaving the hospital, including taking all prescribed medications.
There is generally a period of time that activity should be restricted, and this is crucial to a healthy recovery. Becoming active prior to the recommended time can not only promote infection, but can possibly put strain on the incision site causing it to re-open.
There are a variety of possible complications from breast lift surgery, including:
- Bleeding and hematoma
- Poor healing at the incision site
- Changes in the woman’s nipple sensations
- Breast shape irregularities
- Fluid accumulation
- Excessive breast firmness due to scarring
- Skin discoloration
- Blood clots
It should also be noted that it is possible that having breast lift surgery can interfere with future medical diagnosis and some medical testing. It is important to discuss these possibilities with your physician.
It is advised to receive several breast lift quotes and to meet with a variety of possible surgeons prior to making a selection. Not only is cost a factor, but overall training and experience should be considered. It is very important to disclose any and all medical issues and any medication that is currently being taken to ensure that there are not any complications.
Estimated Costs for Breast Lifts