Restore a Youthful Appearance with Breast Lift
After pregnancy or a significant weight loss, most women will experience a loss in their breast volume, giving them an excess amount of breast skin. For some, they encounter this simply because of time and aging. This combination frequently leads to an empty, sagging breast – leaving women very self-conscious about their appearance. Without sufficient support like brassieres, many are disappointed with the lack of shape of their breasts. These women are often the ideal candidates for a breast lift or mastopexy. Breast lift is the removal of excess skin with the tightening and repositioning of the breast tissue to a more youthful, elevated position. This procedure also corrects breast asymmetries that may have always existed or have developed after pregnancy and/or breastfeeding. Dr. Vincent Marin performs breast lifts on patients not only from La Jolla and Del Mar but also those from the greater San Diego area.
Ideal Candidates for Breast Lift
- Sagging breasts that lost their shape and volume
- Elongated or pendulous breasts
- Nipples which fall below the breast crease
- Large areolas
- Asymmetrical breasts
- Nipples and areolas pointing downward
- Physically and emotionally healthy body
- Realistic expectations regarding the outcome of the surgery
Breast Lift Goals
In general, our patients who choose to undergo breast lift need to make a decision to accept some form of scarring. This is to help improve the size, shape, and appearance of their breasts. Scarring is largely dependent on the position or shape of the breast at the time of surgery. If the nipple is in a relatively good position, the skin is tightened through smaller incisions. If the nipple is pointing downwards, more work – which means a longer scar – is required to enhance your breast shape.
On the brighter side, breast lift offers many benefits to patients like:
- Improvement in position of sagging breasts
- Restoration of their youthful appearance
- Correction of post pregnancy and breast feeding changes
- Improved self-confidence and body image
WHAT TO EXPECT FOR YOUR BREAST LIFT
2 – 4 hours
Infection, asymmetry, implant failure, capsular contracture, incomplete correction
2 – 3 months for implants to completely descend into the final position
General or local with sedation
More strenuous activity: 3 – 6 weeks
DURATION OF RESULTS
Results depend on skin elasticity and quality. Possible implant replacement only entails a minor procedure.
Temporary swelling, mild bruising and some pain.
In addition to the tightening of the skin, breasts with lost volume may require saline or silicone breast implants. This is called the augmentation mastopexy, which can lead to a dramatic improvement in a woman’s breasts. Likewise, breast lifts are often combined by our patients with tummy tuck surgery to undergo a complete “mommy makeover”. This combination of procedures helps to restore you to your pre-pregnancy appearance.
Types of Lifts
For women who have a very subtle droop to the breast (and are usually undergoing a simultaneous augmentation with implants), a small crescent of skin above the areola (the pigmented part of the nipple) can be removed to elevate the nipple. The incision is no larger than what would be used for a standard breast augmentation and is very well tolerated.
This lift is designed to elevate the nipples and limit the scarring on the breast. Scarring is confined to the edge of the areola but encircles it entirely. Larger areolas can be reduced to a more youthful size and position. This is used for women whose complaint is having excessively large areolas. This is termed as a “concentric mastopexy”.
Circumvertical “Lollipop” Mastopexy
This technique incorporates a vertical component to the lift for patients with more extensive ptosis (droop) to their breasts. Although there is more scarring, this is one of the most effective procedures we can use to restore a youthful breast shape. This lift allows Dr. Marin to limit the amount of scarring along the breast crease that can occasionally be visible in low cut blouses or tops. It is often called a “lollipop” lift because the scar takes this final shape.
A standard mastopexy is the most powerful lifting technique and is commonly reserved for breasts with the most significant ptosis or droop. The scar is in the shape of an anchor and provides Dr. Marin with the most lifting ability. Despite the scar, the standard mastopexy provides the most dramatic cosmetic improvements of any lift, often improving a patient’s breasts beyond their original shape, and at times, expectations.
Undergoing Breast Lift Surgery
In general, a breast lift procedure lasts for 2-3 hours. It will start with putting you under anesthesia for your comfort. It can either be general or local, as recommended by your doctor and anesthesiologist.
Dr. Marin will begin cutting incisions based on what you have decided prior to the surgery. After the incisions are made, the breast tissue will be reshaped and lifted to improve the contour of your breasts. Your nipples and areolas will also be repositioned higher for a more natural look. Dr. Marin will reduce large areolas if needed be. Finally, he will remove excess breast skin, and tighten the remaining to make the breasts firmer.
Once the desired look is achieved, Dr. Marin will start closing the incisions. Most of these are concealed in the contours of the breast while some are slightly visible. These are permanent, but over time, it will improve and fade away.
After Your Breast Lift
For the first 2-3 weeks after your breast lift, you may experience discomfort, swelling, and bruising around your chest area and incisions. Your incisions will look red or pink for a few months, and it may cause you pain and soreness. Dr. Marin will prescribe pain medications for your comfort. It is also normal to feel numbness around your nipples, areolae, and breast skin. This may last for six weeks. Small drainage tubes may be placed near your incision sites to remove excess blood or fluid. Should your surgery involve drainage tubes, Dr. Marin will remove them after a few days.
Recovery and Scarring
Recovery after breast lift varies from one person to another. You may need someone to help assist you for the first 2 days after your surgery. You may be able to go back to work as early as a week after. Here are some tips for a better recovery and healing:
- Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
- Do not strain your upper extremities.
- Do not smoke for at least a month after your breast lift. It slows healing.
- During the first week, refrain from bending and lifting heavy things, or any activity that may put pressure to your chest. This cause bleeding and swelling.
- Do not wear underwire bras for the first month. Make use of the surgical bra Dr. Marin will provide you.
- Keep your incisions away from the sun to reduce the intensity of scarring.
For the first few months, scars from the incisions will be noticeable. They will appear red and lumpy at first, but they will continue to fade as you go through your recovery. Like most surgeries, they will be permanent but most women find the long-term results of breast lift worth it. Anyhow, scars are usually hidden by bras and bathing suits.
Your New Look After Breast Lift
Women who have undergone breast lift enjoy firmer breasts and a more youthful appearance. The results of breast lift are long-lasting but it is always important to keep a stable and healthy weight to maintain the results.
Request Your Consultation
To learn more, you can schedule an appointment online or you can call 858-638-9800