Breast lift surgery, or mastopexy, restores a more youthful appearance to a woman’s breasts. Over time, breasts can lose their shape and firmness due to pregnancy, nursing, and loss of skin elasticity, causing breasts to sag. Mastopexy will raise and reshape breasts, slowing the effects of aging and gravity. This procedure can reduce the size of the areola, the darker skin surrounding the nipple.
Mastopexy is sometimes performed in conjunction with breast augmentation (implants) to increase breast firmness and size, which may appeal to women who have lost breast volume after pregnancy. Pregnancy and nursing often result in stretched skin and, therefore, decreased volume. If you are planning a future pregnancy, it is advisable to postpone your breast lift as pregnancy will likely cause further stretching.
Though not a simple operation, mastopexy is normally safe when performed by a qualified plastic surgeon. Breast lifts are usually performed under general anesthesia. Local anesthesia may be used with a sedative if the incision is small; in this case, you’ll be awake but relaxed and will feel minimal discomfort.
A more common approach involves an incision along the natural contour of the breast where excess skin will be removed. The nipple and areola are then repositioned. The skin surrounding the areola is brought together to reshape the breast, with stitches around the areola and the lower breast area.
Recovery: What to Expect
After surgery, your stitches will be covered with gauze and an elastic bandage or a surgical bra will hold the breasts in place. Your breasts will be bruised, swollen, and you may experience some mild discomfort for a couple of days. Dr. Cimino will prescribe pain medication. A soft support bra replaces the bandages or surgical bra after a few days. In the recovery stage, it is important to wear the bra at all times.
After a week or two, the stitches are removed. Some noticeable, permanent scarring is normal, but easily covered by your bra or bathing suit. The scars may be red and heavy for a few months, but the appearance of scars varies greatly by individual, with most scars eventually fading and becoming less obvious.
To ensure proper healing, plan to stay home for at least one week before returning to work. You need to avoid lifting anything over your head for three to four weeks and avoid strenuous sports for one month.