For the woman seeking cosmetic rejuvenation, a breast lift is an option that offers significant benefits. Many women are distressed by the inevitable sagging of breasts that occurs with time and experience. A breast lift, or mastopexy, makes the patient’s breasts appear fuller and younger, but uses only her own tissues to achieve this effect. The goal of a breast lift is to raise and reshape the breasts so as to approximate the shape and firmness they had before the impacts of pregnancy, nursing, strenuous exercise and gravity affected their contours.
Breast lifts frequently incorporate a procedure that reduces the size of the areola, the circle of darker skin that surrounds the nipple. The areola often expands with age, and many women want it returned to its former dimensions along with the rest of the breast.
While the potential for mastopexy to reshape the breasts using only existing tissue appeals to many women, others may wish to replace volume they have lost over time or have always wanted. These women may choose to have breast augmentation in conjunction with mastopexy. In these cases, implants are inserted while the breast lift is being performed.
Patients with small breasts or minimal sagging may be able to achieve their desired results with a less extensive procedure than is generally performed. This procedure is called a concentric mastopexy. Concentric mastopexy requires only circular incisions around the areola, where a ring of skin is removed. Concentric mastopexy leaves only minimal scars.
A breast lift requires a careful consultation with Dr. Loving, so that the patient can thoroughly explain her medical history and cosmetic desires, while the doctor details the options, possibilities and limitations of the procedure. Dr. Loving understands that the image of the ideal breast varies widely from person to person, and that the patient must therefore clearly express her aesthetic goals.
Mastopexy does not interfere with breast-feeding, and can therefore be performed on women who may have future pregnancies. The procedure leaves the milk ducts and nipples intact. Generally, however, women are advised to wait to have their breasts lifted after having had their last child since the results of the procedure are likely to be significantly undone by the expanding and stretching effects of subsequent pregnancies.
Breast lifts are usually performed in the operating facility at Dr. Loving’s office under general anesthesia, though some concentric mastopexies are performed under “twilight” anesthesia. Mastopexy usually takes one and a half to two and a half hours. Incisions are generally made in the shape of a tulip around the areola. Excess skin is removed, the areola and nipple are lifted, and the skin is closed around them, thereby reshaping and firming the breast. After the surgery, the breasts are protected with a bandage or surgical bra. Pain following the operation is usually mild, and can be controlled with the pain medications prescribed by Dr. Loving. As with all surgery, a companion is required to take the patient home after the operation and to be available for assistance overnight. The breasts will be bruised and tender for ten days to two weeks, but most patients feel they can return to public life after a week, being careful to protect the newly-formed breasts from pressure. Stitches are removed after about a week, but a support bra must be worn day and night for about three weeks. The incision marks left by mastopexy are very low on the breasts and are hidden by any bikini top. Before and after pictures of mastopexies performed by Dr. Loving can be viewed in the photographic archives in his office.
To request more information or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Loving, please call 212-472-0900.