Raise and firm your breasts

Time is not always good to your breasts.  When you combine time with other factors like pregnancy, nursing, and gravity, it isn't uncommon that a woman's breasts can go from a point of pride to one of concern.  As the skin loses its elasticity, the breasts often lose their shape and firmness and begin to sag.

A breast lift, technically a mastopexy, surgery raises and firms the breasts by tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour and by removing excess skin. Many women also turn to mastopexy surgery to reduce the size of the areola, the darker skin surrounding the nipple.

If you're considering a breast lift surgery, this outline will give you a basic understanding of the procedure when it can help, how it's performed, and what results you can expect.  It can't answer all of your questions, since a lot depends on the individual patient and the surgeon.  Dr. Walker is more than happy to clarify any misunderstandings, please contact her office with any questions or concerns you may have.

The best candidates for a breast lift

A breast lift can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but it won't necessarily change your looks to match your ideal, or cause other people to treat you differently.  Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with your surgeon.

The best candidates for mastopexy are healthy, emotionally-stable women who are realistic about what the surgery can accomplish.  The best results are usually achieved in women with small, sagging breasts.  Breasts of any size can be lifted, but the results may not last as long in heavy breasts.

Many women seek mastopexy because pregnancy and nursing have left them with stretched skin and less volume in their breasts.  However, if you're planning to have more children, it may be a good idea to postpone your breast lift.  While there are no special risks that affect future pregnancies (for example, mastopexy usually doesn't interfere with breast-feeding), pregnancy is likely to stretch your breasts again and offset the results of the procedure.

If you have more questions about breast lift surgery, take a look at our resources and education section.

What goes on during breast lift surgery?

Your mastopexy surgery can be achieved through a variety of techniques. The appropriate technique for you will be determined based on:

  • Breast size and shape
  • The size and position of your areolas
  • The degree of breast sagging
  • Skin quality and elasticity as well as the amount of extra skin

Step 1 - Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during breast lift surgery.

Step 2 - The incision
There are three common incision patterns:

  1. Around the areola
  2. Around the areola and vertically down from the areola to the breast crease
  3. Around the areola, vertically down from the breast crease and horizontally along the breast crease

Step 3 - Reshaping your breasts
After the incisions, the underlying breast tissue is lifted and reshaped to improve breast contour and firmness.  The nipple and areola are repositioned to a natural, more youthful height and if necessary, enlarged areolas are reduced by excising skin at the perimeter.  As well excess breast skin is removed to compensate for a loss of elasticity.

Step 4 - Closing the incisions
After your breasts are reshaped and excess skin is removed, the remaining skin is tightened as the incisions are closed. Some incision lines resulting from breast lifts are concealed in the natural breast contours however, others are visible on the breast surface.  Incision lines are permanent but in most cases will fade and significantly improve over time.  Sutures are layered deep within the breast tissue to create and support the newly shaped breasts.  Sutures, skin adhesives, and/or surgical tape may be used to close the skin.

Step 5 - See the results
The results of your breast lift surgery are immediately visible. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade.  Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover and realize the fulfillment of your goal for breasts which have been restored to a more youthful and uplifted position.

If you have more questions about breast lift surgery, take a look at our resources and education section.