As with most areas of the body, the breasts are subject to the effects of gravity. Over the years, gravity along with pregnancy and nursing can cause the breasts to begin to sag. This is compounded by the loss of elastin and collagen in the skin, which are those chemical structures which give all skin its elasticity. A breast lift or mastopexy is a surgical procedure used to reshape sagging breasts. As with all areas of aesthetic surgery, these effects are not permanent, but rather serve to turn back the clock rather than stop it. The best candidates for breast lifts are those patients who are realistic about their surgical goals and those who are happy to look better in clothing. Indeed, any size breasts can be lifted, however, larger breasts are better treated with breast reduction. Most women who seek a breast lift do so because pregnancy and nursing have left them with breasts which were initially stretched due to increased breast volume and then reduced due to usual post pregnancy changes. While breast tissue gets larger and smaller, the skin envelope which contains the breast tissue does not always bounce back after pregnancy.
Surgically, breast lifts are done by creating an anchor-like incision on the breast. This leaves the patient with an incision around the areola, a vertical incision from the areolar to the fold where the breast meets the chest, and an incision in the fold along the breast/chest margin. The complications associated with a mastopexy are quite minimal. These are mild asymmetries, scars and the potential for loss of sensation in the nipple areolar complex. This operation generally does not affect one’s ability to breast feed. It is recommended that if you are considering subsequent pregnancies, that you postpone until after your last pregnancy. This is to minimize the affects of pregnancy on the final outcome.
As with all cosmetic surgery, one should avoid all products that make you bleed, such as aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs. Women over the age of 35 should have a baseline mammogram prior to surgery. Most breast lifts are performed under general anesthesia, but this might vary among surgeons. Surgery is performed as an outpatient in either a hospital, an outpatient surgery center or in an office based operating room facility. Unfortunately, the surgery is viewed as cosmetic in nature and is not covered by most insurance carriers.
After surgery, there is minimal pain, however, there will be some bruising. A surgical bra is worn for several weeks after surgery. Most surgeons will ask you to wear this bra around the clock for at least two to three weeks. Exercise can be started at approximately one month after surgery.
As with most scars, the final outcome cannot be seen for six months to one year after surgery. Massage will help scars to fade, Most women can usually wear the lowest cut tops and bikinis, since the scars are placed in inconspicuous locations. There are times when breast implants are needed to enhance the effects of the breast lift due to severe loss of breast volume. This can easily be done as a combined operation. With realistic expectations, those women coming in for breast lift surgery are usually thrilled with the outcome and delighted to be able to wear less constrictive clothing or even no bra at all.
Insurance only for PPO and Indemnity insurance where coverage applies!