Have you been feeling like that rhyme “do your ears hang low” hits far too close to home in terms of your breasts? Over time, a woman’s breasts may begin to droop as a result of the natural effects of aging, heredity, gravity, pregnancy, breastfeeding or weight loss. Many begin to feel self conscious over this and long to have those perky breasts they once had. With a breast lift, also called a mastopexy, Dr. Danielpour and Dr. Layke will be able to return youthful shape and lift to breasts that have sagged or lost volume and firmness.
Breast lifts rejuvenate the breasts by trimming excess skin and tightening supporting tissues to achieve an uplifted, youthful contour. After a breast lift, the breasts are higher on the chest and firmer to the touch. Breast lifts can also reposition and reduce the size of the areola-the dark skin surrounding the nipple-which may have stretched or drooped. For those looking to change the size, fullness, or roundness of their breasts as well, it may be necessary to consider a breast augmentation or breast reduction in conjunction with a breast lift.
The best candidates for breast lift are women whose breasts meet some or all of the following conditions:
- Breasts sag
- Breasts have lost shape or volume
- Breasts are flat, elongated, or pendulous (hanging)
- Breast skin and/or areola is stretched
- Nipples or areolas point downward
- Nipples or areolas are located in the breast crease when breasts are unsupported
- One breast is lower than the other
Most breast lifts can be performed in an outpatient surgery center rather than a hospital. Dr. Danielpour and Dr. Layke will perform your surgery in an outpatient surgery center located in the same building as our office. On the day of your surgery, you will be put under general anesthesia and the procedure will last anywhere from 1 ½ to 3 ½ hours but can run longer if a breast augmentation is being performed at the same time. There are several types of incision methods that can be used when performing a breast lift. The technique Dr. Danielpour and Dr. Layke choose will depend on the patient’s breast size, shape, degree of sagging, position of the nipples, amount of excess skin and skin quality. Which technique will be best for you will be discussed during your personalized consultation with the doctors prior to your surgery. The three most common types of incisions are:
1. Periareolar/Circumareolar Breast Lifts- Both of these breast lifts are done solely through an incision around the areola. With a periareolar or crescent lift, the incision only goes partway around the upper edge of the areola and a small amount of skin is removed. This allows the nipple and areola to be re-positioned slightly higher. It is the least invasive breast lift procedure but is not intended to produce dramatic lifting results. With a circumareolar, or “donut,” breast lift, the incision is made all the way around the areola. A donut-shaped area of skin is removed from the breast around the nipple. The edges are then drawn in toward the areola and sutured in place. This technique allows the surgeon to provide a modest amount of lifting and also provides an opportunity to reshape or re-size the entire areola if that is what the patient wants. A circumareolar incision permits the placement of a breast implant as well if the patient is having a breast augmentation performed at the same time
2. Vertical lift- also known as s “lollipop” breast lift, combines a circumareolar incision with a vertical incision down the underside of the breast to the breast crease. Women who have larger breasts with some sagging from skin laxity are the usual candidates for this procedure. Unwanted skin is removed from both sides of the vertical incision. This technique reduces drooping by creating a tighter “pocket” of skin to hold the existing breast tissue. The result is a breast that appears more youthful with a rounded cone shape rather than an elongated shape. The circular incision is used to move the nipple complex upward so it is positioned properly on the newly-reshaped breast mound.
3. An anchor or inverted-T breast lift- this approach combines the lollipop incision described in the vertical breast lift with a crescent-shaped incision along the width of the breast crease where the breast meets the rib cage This is the most extensive mastopexy surgery and is usually reserved for patients with advanced ptosis. It may be performed in combination with a breast reduction for women with very large breasts. For women with small breasts that have very pronounced drooping, either a saline or silicone implant can be readily placed through the anchor incision. Because of the placement of the incisions, the surgeon can remove more excess skin and reshape the breast dramatically. There is more extensive scarring with this technique and healing may take longer.
After Dr. Danielpour and Dr. Layke have removed the excess breast skin, the nipple and areola are shifted to a higher position. The areola, which in a sagging breast may have been stretched, can be reduced in size. Skin that was formerly located above the areola is brought down and together beneath it to reshape the breast. The nipples and areolas remain attached to underlying mounds of tissue, and this usually allows for the preservation of sensation and the ability to breast-feed.
When Dr. Danielpour and Dr. Layke complete the procedure, the skin is closed with stitches and covered with surgical tape. Some of the incisions are hidden in the breast crease. Others will be visible. All scars will mature with time and once ready, Dr. Danielpour and Dr. Layke will begin you on a scar cream to help the scars fade. After surgery, the breasts are wrapped with gauze dressings, and you may need to wear an elastic bandage or a surgical bra. After a few days, this is replaced with a soft support bra, which is worn 24 hours a day for about a month. The breasts will probably be bruised, swollen, and uncomfortable after surgery, but this will pass in a few days. Any numbness in the breasts and nipples should lessen as swelling subsides. Stitches are removed after 7- 10 days. After breast lift surgery, it is often possible to return to work within a week or so, depending on your job. In many instances, you can resume most of your normal activities, including some form of mild exercise, after several weeks. You will be able to see the results of your breast lift immediately after surgery, and you may become even more satisfied as swelling goes down and incision lines fade.
Interested in a breast lift? Give us a call today to schedule your COMPLIMENTARY consultation!
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery Group