A breast lift, also known as a mastopexy, raises and reshapes sagging breasts to give a more youthful appearance by removing and tightening skin and the surrounding tissue. An enlarged areola can also be reduced. A mastopexy can increase fullness if there is adequate breast volume.
Who Is a Good Candidate?
A good candidate for a breast lift is physically healthy, has realistic expectations and has breasts that are fully developed. Some other considerations that may indicate you are a candidate for mastopexy are:
- You are bothered by feeling that your breasts sag or have lost shape and volume.
- Your breasts have a flatter, elongated shape or are pendulous.
- Your nipples rest below the breast crease when your breasts are unsupported.
- Your nipples and areolas point downward.
- You have stretched skin and enlarged areolas.
- One breast is lower than the other.
What to Expect
Your cosmetic surgeon will make an incision around the areola in a keyhole-shaped pattern and down the breast to the crease, or around the areola in an inverted T or anchor-shaped incision pattern. While the incision lines that remain after cosmetic surgery are visible and permanent scars, they are usually well concealed beneath a swimsuit or bra. Your plastic surgeon will discuss which type of incision is most appropriate for you.
After the incision is made, the underlying breast tissue is lifted and shaped. Excess breast skin is removed to compensate for a loss of elasticity. Then the nipple is repositioned to a more youthful and natural height while maintaining the original blood and nerve supply. If a reduction in the size of the areola is needed, it is accomplished by removing skin at the perimeter.
The incision is then brought together to reshape the breast. Sutures are layered deep within the breast tissue to create and support the newly shaped breast, while the skin is closed with sutures, skin adhesives and/or surgical tape. Over time, in most cases, the incision lines will fade.
Initially after surgery, dressings or bandages may be applied to your incisions. An elastic bandage or support bra may be worn to minimize swelling and support the breasts as they heal. A small, thin tube (drain) may be temporarily placed under the skin to remove any excess blood or fluid.
You will be given specific instructions after plastic surgery, including:
- How to care for your breasts following surgery
- Medications to apply or take orally
- Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health
- When to follow up with your surgeon
For more information about this cosmetic procedure, visit The American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Find a Doctor
To locate a board-certified cosmetic surgeon affiliated with Gwinnett Medical Center–Duluth, search the online physician database or call 678-312-5000.