In breast lift surgery, also called mastopexy, the breasts are raised, the nipples are repositioned and the areolas (the darker skin around the nipples) may be reduced in size. If you have lost breast volume over the years and you want to add more fullness, implants may be inserted during breast lift surgery to increase breast size.
Is a breast lift right for me?
A breast lift can be performed at any age but plastic surgeons usually recommend waiting until breast development has stopped. Pregnancy and breast-feeding may affect the size and shape of your breasts, so you may wish to postpone surgery until after having children. Still, many women elect to go forward with the surgery before having children, knowing that they can address any pregnancy-related changes later. The milk ducts and nipples typically are not affected during breast lift surgery, so usually the procedure will not alter your ability to breast-feed.
You may be a good candidate for breast lift surgery if you have any of the following conditions:
- Breasts are pendulous, but are a size that is satisfactory to you
- Breasts lack substance or firmness
- Nipples and areolas point downward, especially if they are positioned below the breast crease
In many cases, women seek breast lift surgery to correct inherited traits or asymmetry – one breast may be firm and well-developed while the other is not. Breasts of any size can be lifted. However, the results are more long-lasting for women whose breasts are smaller and lighter.
How is a breast lift performed?
Your anatomy, your surgeon’s preferences and your desired results will determine the specific method chosen for your breast lift. A common method of breast lift surgery involves three incisions. One incision is made around the areola. Another runs vertically from the bottom edge of the areola to the crease underneath the breast. The third is a horizontal incision beneath the breast that follows the natural curve of the breast crease. This is for very descended breast. Other options include incisions around the areola alone, or incisions in a “lollipop” shape.
After the surgeon has removed the excess breast skin and shaped the remaining breast tissue, the nipple and areola are shifted to a higher position. The areola, which is usually stretched out in sagging breasts, can also be reduced in size. Skin that was formerly located above the areola is brought down and together to reshape the breast. The nipple and areolas remain attached to the underlying mounds of tissue and this usually allows for the preservation of sensation and the ability to breast-feed.