A Breast Lift (Mastopexy) procedure is intended for women who are content with the volume of their breasts, and don’t desire implants, but may have pronounced asymmetry and would like to restore a more youthful, symmetric shape. Many women have an undesired appearance of their breasts from childbearing & lactation, fluctuations in weight, aging, and genetics.
A Breast Lift procedure is typically performed under MAC sedation. Surgical planning of incision pattern is based on the patient’s history of favorable scarring, esthetic expectations, and overall skin quality. Our practice philosophy is to optimize scars, by patient education, gentle tissue handling, and close post-op follow-up. The elements of a breast lift are similar to breast reduction: a) preserve nipple areolar complex blood and nerve supply; b) reducing excess breast skin and occasionally breast tissue; c) downsizing overly large areolar complexes; d) repositioning the nipple-areolar complexes to a position higher on the breast mound; e) reshaping the breast mound; f) repairing the incisions in a manner which will produce scars, which will be acceptable to the patient, in the long term.
Incisional discomfort is generally mild. Many breast lift patients are pleasantly surprised that they can rapidly discontinue the use of pain medications and resume their low impact activities, within a week. No external sutures are utilized. The best scars are produced by repairing the wound well, educating the patient when to resume exercises and how to properly take care of their wounds. Additional modalities such as the Neodyne TM “Embrace” and Cutera XCEL V can accelerate the remodeling of the scars and diminish their redness.
The decision to have cosmetic surgery is a deeply personal one and Dr. Chong is deeply committed to helping her patients make the best choices to fulfill their goals. She will be happy to personally consult with you to discuss your desires and help you formulate a treatment plan.
Do you cut my nipples off and sew them back on?
Not unless there is a catastrophic loss of blood supply to the NAC (nipple-areolar complex). There are at least 5 methods of breast lifting, all based on maintaining the blood supply. Breast lifts (& reductions) are similar to removing excess skin, breast tissue, keeping blood & nerve supply to the NAC intact, repositioning the NAC higher on the chest wall and making the breast shape more attractive. They differ only in the amount of breast tissue taken.
Will my cup size change?
If you choose a breast implant, in addition to a breast lift, your cup size will change. A breast lift alone will not change cup size, just the appearance.
Will I have drains?
Generally not, unless you are having a more complicated breast revision, which may include capsulectomy (scar removal) and/or placement of Strattice capsulorrhaphy (internal bra for implant support).
When can I wear an underwire bra?
The assumptions for first time breast implant patients are not the same as for breast lift candidates. You can wear an underwire bra as soon as you can tolerate it. Remember, although excess skin has been removed and the breast reshaped, the intrinsic “stretchiness” of the breast components hasn’t been reversed completely.
Do I have to have the anchor scar?
It depends on many factors, which are best discussed “face to face” but making the correct diagnosis of how much ptosis (droopiness) exists as well as understanding patient expectations is the first step. The shorter scar patterns (lollipop, crescent, donut mastopexy techniques) may not satisfactorily reshape the breast.
Can you even out my breasts?
Asymmetry is the rule in nature so breast lifts are useful in balancing NAC position, volume. The patient is seated upright during the operation in order to compare symmetry.
Can you make my nipples smaller?
Yes! A breast lift may include reduction of the circumference of the NAC as well as the projection of the nipples.
What techniques are there to improve the scars?
There are 3 categories which determine scar quality: patient, surgeon, and healing. If you have a history of unfavorable scarring (hypertrophic or keloid scars) please inform us; alternate techniques may be necessary. Repair of the breast lift requires gentle handling of the tissues, using internal sutures, which hold tension along the scar line and dissolve gradually in 3-6 months. Healing can be the wild card, so recommendations for wound care, garments, activity schedule and resumption of intimacy are explicitly discussed. Embrace ™ is a revolutionary silicone gel sheeting, which dramatically shortens the time for scar maturation. Alternatively, if you cannot tolerate it, our Cutera XL Laser can be used to blanch red scars.
Will I lose sensitivity in my nipples?
Not unless the blood supply is lost. Most individuals have no change in nipple sensitivity, although hypersensitivity may be marked in the initial wound healing phase.
How long will my lift last?
Like anything in aesthetic surgery, it will change and settle with time. It’s unlikely that the NAC position and skin laxity will never relapse to the initial condition.