Breast Lift Scottsdale
A breast lift can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but it won’t necessarily change your looks to match your ideal, or cause other people to treat you differently. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with your surgeon.
The best candidates for mastopexy are healthy, emotionally-stable women who are realistic about what the surgery can accomplish. The best results are usually achieved in women with small, sagging breasts. Breasts of any size can be lifted, but the results may not last as long in heavy breasts.
Many women seek mastopexy because pregnancy and nursing have left them with stretched skin and less volume in their breasts. However, if you’re planning to have more children, it may be a good idea to postpone your breast lift. While there are no special risks that affect future pregnancies (for example, mastopexy usually doesn’t interfere with breast-feeding), pregnancy is likely to stretch your breasts again and offset the results of the procedure.
All Breast Surgery carries some uncertainty and risk
Bleeding and infection following a breast lift are uncommon, but they can cause scars to widen. Mastopexy does leave noticeable, permanent scars, although they’ll be covered by your bra or bathing suit. (Poor healing and wider scars are more common in smokers.) The procedure can also leave you with unevenly positioned nipples, or a permanent loss of feeling in your nipples or breasts.
Planning your Breast Lift Plastic Surgery
In your initial consultation, it’s important to discuss your expectations frankly with your surgeon, and to listen to his or her opinion. Every patient — and every physician, as well — has a different view of what is a desirable size and shape for breasts.
The surgeon will examine your breasts and measure them while you’re sitting or standing. He or she will discuss the variables that may affect the procedure — such as your age, the size and shape of your breasts, and the condition of your skin — and whether an implant is advisable. You should also discuss where the nipple and areola will be positioned; they’ll be moved higher during the procedure, and should be approximately even with the crease beneath your breast.
Dr. Lille will describe the procedure in detail, explaining its risks and limitations and making sure you understand the scarring that will result. It is critical that the patient discontinue smoking and no tobacco substitutes for 6 weeks before surgery.
Preparing for your Breast Lift Plastic Surgery
Depending on your age and family history, your surgeon may require you to have a mammogram (breast x-ray) before surgery. You’ll also get specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications.
While you’re making preparations, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery and to help you out for a few days if needed.
Where your Breast Lift Surgery will be performed
Your breast lift may be performed in a outpatient surgery center, for cost containment and convenience.
Types of anesthesia for Breast Lift Surgery
Breast lifts are usually performed under general anesthesia, which means you’ll sleep through the operation.
The Breast Lift Surgery
Mastopexy usually takes two to three and a half hours. Techniques vary, but the most common procedure involves a donut shape around the areola or the anchor-shaped incision following the natural contour of the breast.
The incision outlines the area from which breast skin will be removed and defines the new location for the nipple. When the excess skin has been removed, the nipple and areola are moved to the higher position. The skin surrounding the areola is then brought down and together to reshape the breast. Below the skin stitches are usually located around the areola, in a vertical line extending downwards from the nipple area, and along the lower crease of the breast.
Some patients, especially those with relatively small breasts and minimal sagging, may be candidates for modified procedures requiring less extensive incisions. One such procedure is the “doughnut (or concentric) mastopexy,” in which circular incisions are made around the areola, and a doughnut-shaped area of skin is removed.
If you’re having an implant inserted along with your breast lift, it will be placed in a pocket directly under the breast tissue, or deeper, under the muscle of the chest wall.
After your Breast Lift Surgery
After surgery, you’ll wear an elastic bandage or a surgical bra over gauze dressings. Your breasts will be bruised, swollen, and uncomfortable for a day or two, but the pain shouldn’t be severe. Any discomfort you do feel can be relieved with medications prescribed by your surgeon.
Within a few days, the bandages or surgical bra will be replaced by a soft support bra. You’ll need to wear this bra around the clock for three to four weeks, over a layer of gauze. The stitches will be removed after a week or two.
If your breast skin is very dry following surgery, you can apply a moisturizer several times a day. Be careful not to tug at your skin in the process, and keep the moisturizer away from the suture areas.
You can expect some loss of feeling in your nipples and breast skin, caused by the swelling after surgery. This numbness usually fades as the swelling subsides over the next six weeks or so. In some patients, however, it may last a year or more, and occasionally it may be permanent. If you have an implant placed at the same time, the patient will have a drain.
Getting back to normal after Breast Lift Surgery
Healing is a gradual process. Although you may be up and about in a day or two, don’t plan on returning to work for a week or more, depending on how you feel. And avoid lifting anything over your head for three to four weeks. Dr. Lille will give you detailed instructions for resuming your normal activities. You will avoid strenuous sports for about a month. After that, you can resume these activities slowly. If you become pregnant, the operation may affect your ability to breast-feed, since your milk ducts and nipples will be left intact.
Your new look after Breast Lift Surgery
Dr. Lille will make every effort to make your scars as inconspicuous as possible. Still, it’s important to remember that mastopexy scars are extensive and permanent. They often remain lumpy and red for months, and then gradually become less obvious, sometimes eventually fading to thin white lines. Fortunately, the scars can usually be placed so that you can wear even low-cut tops.
You should also keep in mind that a breast lift won’t keep you firm forever—the effects of gravity, pregnancy, aging, and weight fluctuations will eventually take their toll again. Women who have implants along with their breast lift may find the results last longer.
Your satisfaction with a breast lift is likely to be greater if you understand the procedure thoroughly and if your expectations are realistic.
Breast Lift Questions and Answers
Are there different types of breast lift procedures?
Dr. Lille employs two different kinds of breast lift procedures. One is called the donut mastopexy where the scar is placed and confined around the areola. The goal of this procedure is to lift the nipple areola complex only. There is some removal of some loose centralized breast skin however there is no significant shaping to the breast and no removal of breast tissue.
The second type of breast lift procedure is called a full mastopexy. This involves an anchor scar going around the areola, vertically down the front of the breast and a horizontal scar from side to side underneath in the crease of the breast. This procedure allows the maximum amount of movement of the nipple as well as removing the most amount of skin and shaping the bottom part of the breast tissue to achieve the most lifted and shaped breast of the breast lift procedures.
What are the advantages of the donut mastopexy?
The advantages of the donut mastopexy include a faster recovery, less scarring, reduction of the diameter of the areola and less of a financial commitment.
What are the disadvantages of the donut mastopexy?
There are limitations in regard to shaping the breast with the donut mastopexy since there is no breast tissue removed and the inability to remove skin at the bottom or sides of the breast. In addition, the nipple can only be lifted approximately 2 to 3 cm maximum.
What are the advantages of a full breast mastopexy or breast lift?
The advantages include a greater elevation or lift of the nipple areola complex and the ability to remove as much skin and breast tissue that is allowed to shape the breast in a more youthful appearance.
What are the disadvantages of a full breast mastopexy or lift?
The scar is longer, it is more surgery, with more time and more recovery. Because the surgery is longer there is a greater financial commitment compared to the donut mastopexy. If the nipple areola is significantly lower than the patient’s breast fold, a full mastopexy is the only option available.
Are there any conditions where a donut mastopexy versus a full mastopexy is ideal?
The full mastopexy is ideal in patients that have a significant amount of sag to their breast tissue and when the position of the nipple is significantly lower in relation to the bottom breast fold. The full mastopexy may also be more optimal in patients who desire the maximum amount of breast shaping. Donut mastopexy is ideal in patients who want minimal scar but most importantly whose nipple does not fall very far below the bottom breast fold.
Are drains used with any of the procedures?
There are no drains used with the donut mastopexy including those procedures done in combination with breast implants. A full mastopexy with breast augmentation usually requires drains however no drains are required with only a full mastopexy .
Can breast augmentation procedures be done at the same time as a breast lift?
Yes, implants can be used at the same time as a breast lift. Implants have the advantage of providing a more projected breast with the lift and a greater degree of upper breast fullness. As such, patients are much happier with a more youthful restored breast.
Can I choose as big of an implant as I want when I have a breast lift at the same time?
The size of the implant for a patient depends on their breast width dimensions as well as the characteristics of their skin. However implants are usually smaller than what a patient would have if they were undergoing a primary breast augmentation compared to an augmentation with a breast lift. The reason is that there is a significant amount of stress on the skin flaps and the nipple when a breast lift is performed. The added stress induced by a breast augmentation with an implant can potentially increase the danger significantly. As such, Dr. Lille is very conservative and will choose an implant that does not put the patient at this higher risk. If the choice of implant at the time of clinic is too small for the patient’s liking, and the patients physical dimensions allow for a bigger implant; then the procedures can be separated by approximately six to nine months to allow new blood supply to grow in to the flaps which allows a consistently safer procedure.
What is the recovery from a breast lift?
Patients can usually return to work with a donut mastopexy with a breast implant at approximately seven to nine days for a desk job. Those that require a full breast lift with a breast implant are usually able to return to a desk job in approximately eight to fourteen days depending upon the individual and their recovery. Drains are usually removed at approximately a week for a breast implant and full mastopexy procedure. Activities in the gym can be resumed at approximately three weeks or later; however, running, bicycling and swimming should not be performed until after two months.
How long does it take for the scars to fade?
Scars do not disappear but do progress and fade. It generally takes anywhere from six to sixteen months for scars to fade. However they will always be present.
Are there any significant complications from a breast lift and breast augmentation procedure?
Complications include bleeding, infection, excessive scarring, loss of sensitivity to the breast including the nipple, nipple loss, skin loss, implants can be exposed, damage can occur to the deeper structures of the chest, implants may eventually rupture, implants can migrate requiring further surgeries. In addition a potential risk includes a capsular contracture which may require additional surgery. All of Dr. Lille’s outcomes have been significantly low, approximately less than one and a half percent for these complications.
How long does a breast lift and augmentation procedure last?
Breast augmentation/mastopexy procedures may require a small revisionary surgery at some point. However not all patients require this. Significant weight gain, weight loss or stress may interfere with skin elasticity and relifting may be desired.
What happens if I become pregnant after breast lift, will I need another surgery?
Patients that have a breast lift/ breast augmentation procedure and then become pregnant may need a revision after pregnancy. This can also present in the same fashion as those undergoing significant weight fluctuations.