Aging doesn’t just affect the face. The skin all over the body begins to sag and lose elasticity over time, including the breasts. As the breasts begin to age, they sag (known as breast ptosis), and can become elongated as their weight stretches them downward and support gives out. Some of the factors that contribute to breast ptosis include the loss of skin elasticity, pregnancy and breastfeeding, hereditary factors, and weight fluctuations. The loss of youthful contour is a natural consequence of aging, but it can be very disheartening for many women. Often, ptosis makes women uncomfortable about being seen in bathing suits, tank tops, or other garments that don’t offer much support. If you’d like to feel empowered to wear the clothes you want once again without feeling self-conscious, then a breast lift with a board certified plastic surgeon at Premier Image in Atlanta might be the perfect solution for you.
What is a Breast Lift?
Unlike breast augmentation, a breast lift’s goal is not to make the breasts bigger but to lift the existing breast tissue and improve the overall contour and appearance. The breast lift is a surgical procedure, typically performed on an outpatient basis. The process involves lifting sagging tissues, removing and tightening excess skin, and contouring the breasts so that they become perky and youthful once again. Enlarged areolas may also be reduced and re-shaped. Once healing is complete, patients are typically thrilled with the natural appearance of the lifted breasts.
The Benefits of a Breast Lift
A breast lift is a cosmetic procedure, but the benefits can also be psychological as well. Women sometimes express feeling younger and more vibrant after breast lift surgery. The lift and shape of the breasts after a breast lift typically makes clothes fit better, making women feel more comfortable out in public. The breasts will be positioned higher on the chest, have enhanced firmness, and look more perky and well-contoured. Many moms decide to undergo this procedure as part of a “Mommy Makeover” after they are done having children, since pregnancy and breastfeeding can often cause early sagging of the breast tissue. The results of a breast lift are long-lasting as long as a stable weight is maintained and there are no further pregnancies. However, the breasts will continue to age slowly over time.
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For many women, sagging breast tissue isn’t the only concern they have about their breasts. Some are also concerned with the size as well—either the breasts are too small for their satisfaction, or are too large and cause problems like back pain. A breast lift is easily combined with either breast augmentation or breast reduction for comprehensive results. Performing both procedures at once means only one surgery and one recovery period, plus cohesive and comprehensive results patients love. When a breast lift is combined with implants, the procedure is known as BAM (Breast Augmentation with Mastopexy), while a breast lift and reduction is known as a mammoplasty and mastopexy.
Are You a Good Candidate?
If you are interested in becoming a breast lift patient, you will first need to make sure you are a candidate for mastopexy. Good candidates for the procedure are women with pendulous, elongated, or sagging breasts. The nipples may point downward, and the areolas may be enlarged. It is best to undergo this procedure after you are done having children, since the results can be compromised by hormonal changes related to pregnancy, as well as breastfeeding. Women who would like to move forward with a breast lift should be in general good health and have realistic expectations for the results of the procedure.
Your Breast Lift Consultation
Should you decide that you’d like to move forward with a breast lift, your next step is to schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon at Premier Image, in Atlanta. Before you make a decision, you will need to discuss your goals with a board certified plastic surgeon and get an expert opinion on your candidacy. This meeting has several benefits. You’ll get advice on whether or not the procedure is a good choice for you, you will get a definitive answer about your candidacy, and you’ll have a chance to get to know your surgeon and ask any questions you may have. During the consultation, you will begin to plan your procedure, and you’ll be armed with all the information you need to make the decision that’s right for you.
The Breast Lift Procedure
The procedure is very customized, as each individual surgery is designed to give patients maximum results.
A breast lift is usually performed under general anesthesia. During the procedure, our surgeons reposition the breast tissue using sutures to hold the tissue in place, thus creating a youthful lift. They also tighten the skin and remove the excess for a firmer contour. If necessary, the areolas will be reduced and repositioned. Finally, the sutures are closed, and the procedure is complete.
Recovery and Downtime
Patients will need someone to take them home and assist them during the first few days. A special surgical bra will be worn initially, and then other bras recommended by your surgeon may be worn. It is important that the tissues get constant support while they heal. Swelling may necessitate that several different sizes be worn during the recovery period.
Swelling and discomfort are to be expected, but patients are provided with pain medication to ease the discomfort. Cold compresses may also be used, and patients should keep their head elevated as much as possible initially. During the first week or two, lots of rest and very light activity are recommended. Patients should not do any strenuous exercises for at least 4-6 weeks while the breasts heal.
What are the risks of breast lift surgery?
As with any surgery, there are some risks involved, which is why patients must be in good health and should not smoke. Bleeding, infection, anesthesia complications, unfavorable scarring, and a poor aesthetic outcome are all possible risks. However, these can be reduced by choosing a reputable plastic surgeon.
How much longer is the recovery for a mastopexy with breast augmentation vs. a mastopexy alone?
Patients may need some extra time to recover following a combination procedure. Your doctor will advise you on the differences between the recovery periods before you plan your surgery.
Do I need a breast lift, or a breast augmentation?
Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell which surgery is right for you without consulting a plastic surgeon. If you have small breasts that are not elongated, you might want a breast augmentation. If the nipples sag and point down, a breast lift may be appropriate. Or, you might elect for both!
Can a breast lift fix asymmetry?
While it’s not possible to make the breasts perfectly symmetrical, your surgeon will do their best to ensure that the breasts are as symmetrical as possible following surgery.
How visible are scars after a breast lift?
Depending on the technique used, scars may be visible or small and completely hidden in the natural folds of the breasts.
Should I wait until I’m done having children to get a mastopexy?
Because pregnancy and breastfeeding can drastically change the breasts, it is best to wait until you are done having children to have a breast lift. If you do get pregnant, you may still be able to breastfeed, but the pregnancy might compromise the results of the surgery.
Will I lose or gain any volume during a breast lift?
Not significantly. The procedure aims to lift and contour the breasts, not change the volume. A small amount of skin may be removed, but the size should not change much.
Are the results permanent?
While the results of a breast lift are long lasting, the aging process does not stop after surgery. Patients should expect the breasts to slowly begin to show signs of aging, but the results should last for years. Maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle and avoiding smoking can help extend the life of the results.
Do I need a mammogram before my breast lift?
It is typically recommended that you get a mammogram before the procedure.
When will the final results be apparent?
Swelling will be present immediately after surgery and remain for several months. While you’ll see the difference right away, the final results might take up to six months to become apparent, after the residual swelling has faded.
Regain Your Confidence
If you’re self-conscious about your breasts and you’re excited about the idea of reclaiming their youthful contour, you might be a candidate for a breast lift. To learn more, come to Premier Image in Atlanta, GA, for a consultation with our body experts. The board certified plastic surgeons at Premier Image can help you reach all your plastic surgery goals. Call 770-457-6303 today to schedule your consultation.