The breasts can fall victim to ptosis or drooping , as pregnancy, nursing and the natural aging process start to take their toll. Breasts that were once perky may begin to descend and droop, giving one’s breasts a much older impression than desired. If the drooping or sagging of your breasts bother you and affect how you feel about yourself, plastic surgery might be a solution.
Dr. Pearl can discuss your options with you, which might include a breast lift to restore breasts to their more youthful position and projection on the chest wall. A breast lift or mastopexy is a surgical procedure used to lift and reshape sagging breasts.
The breast lift also corrects the position of the nipple or areola to create a more natural, aesthetically pleasing appearance to the entire breast. Changes in the breasts due to pregnancy and nursing often result in significant ptosis. As a woman ages, the effects of gravity combined with a loss of natural elasticity in the skin can also result in drooping breasts. Significant weight loss can also lead to severe breast ptosis. A breast lift reverses these changes, restoring perkiness to the breasts and a more youthful body contour overall. Sometimes a breast lift includes an implant to help restore volume while correcting ptosis at the same time.
Dr. Pearl offers a breast lift both as a stand-alone procedure and in conjunction with breast implants or fat grafting to the breast when necessary to produce an optimal outcome. The goal of a breast lift is to remove excess skin from the breasts while raising its position to create a more youthful, full and natural appearance. Every patient is different. Dr. Pearl understands this and will explain whether a lift or an implant with a lift is the better surgery for you.
Is a Breast Lift Right for You?
Women consider a breast lift at different phases of life and for a variety of reasons. This procedure, whether performed alone or in combination with another form of breast enhancement or liposuction or abdominoplasty, offers a significant improvement to the appearance of the breasts that can be very long-lasting. Factors that should be considered when choosing a breast lift include the following:
- Good health overall (if you have any medical conditions or are taking any medications, Dr. Pearl will weigh that information carefully to determine whether it might interfere with the safety of your procedure).
- Tobacco use, as tobacco use can affect the safety of your procedure and the ability of your incision to heal correctly.
- Overall satisfaction with the size of your breasts, with a desire to merely correct sagging and create a more youthful position.
- A healthy outlook on your appearance and positive reasons for wanting a breast lift that do not include undergoing the procedure to please another person.
- Willingness to take sufficient time to recuperate after your procedure, as that time will be critical in a healthy and successful recovery process.
- A healthy and stable weight, because weight fluctuations after a breast lift can change the results of the procedure.
- Realistic expectations as to what the breast lift procedure will do for you and how it will affect your appearance.
Choosing a Surgeon for Your Breast Lift
Breast procedures are a standard offering by plastic surgeons throughout Georgia, so you will need to take some time and do your due diligence in selecting the right surgeon for you. Dr. Pearl is board-certified and has extensive experience in cosmetic surgery of the breast, as well as breast reconstruction and enhancement to provide you with an optimal outcome.
Benefits of a Breast Lift
The main goal of a breast lift is to raise drooping breasts to a perkier position on the chest wall. However, women who choose to undergo a breast lift will likely see a variety of benefits from this procedure:
- Sagging breasts are lifted to create a more youthful upper body profile.
- Breasts that hang unevenly or have different shapes will be balanced to create symmetry.
- Loose skin on the sides of the chest is removed to produce a firmer contour to the breast.
- Nipples that point downward will be repositioned to a natural, outward position.
- Areolas that have enlarged can be reduced in size to create a proportionate appearance.
How Long Does a Breast Lift Take?
Dr. Pearl will discuss all of the details of your breast lift during your consultation, including how long your procedure should take. Generally, we allot about three to four hours for breast lift procedures. This is an outpatient surgery. After your breast lift is done, you will be moved to a monitored recovery area. You may remain there for an hour or two while your anesthesia wears off and you regain full alertness.
You cannot (and don't want to) drive after having a breast lift. Arrange to have someone drop you off at the surgery center and pick you up when you're ready to be released. A member of the staff will contact this person when your surgery is complete and also when you're ready for release.
What Should I Expect During Breast Lift Recovery?
After your surgery is done, the surgical team may cover your breasts with gauze and a support bra. You may have drains to help excess fluid escape the area. This may depend on the extent of your lift and other factors. The likelihood of needing drains may be discussed during your consultation. If you have questions about this, please don't hesitate to ask during a presurgical visit.
In the first 24 to 48 hours after your surgery, swelling and bruising will likely develop. Your incisions and breasts may feel sore and tender. Prescription or over-the-counter pain medication should be taken as directed to help you remain comfortable. You may also experience numbness or tingling during your recovery period as your nerve endings wake up. These sensations may continue for up to about six weeks.
During your breast lift recovery, you will need to adhere to various activity restrictions. You'll need to sleep on your side or back to prevent unnecessary pressure on the breasts. You must minimize your physical activity to prevent unnecessary swelling and pain. When you return to our office for your post-op visits, Dr. Pearl will gradually clear you for increased activity. You may be able to return to work as soon as one week after your procedure. Usually, though, we recommend scheduling two weeks off.
The shape of your breasts may appear odd at first after your breast lift. This is due to the compression of the breast mound from the tightened skin. Compression can make the breasts look flat on the bottom and full or rounded on top. The shape of your breasts should soften and settle over six to 12 weeks.
Will I Have Scars After My Breast Lift?
You will have scars after your breast lift, yes. All surgery leaves scars. Dr. Pearl will discuss what to expect when he details your surgical incisions with you at your consultation. Often, breast lift incisions go around the areola, where scars are relatively hidden. They also travel down the center of the breast from the areola, and may also run horizontally across the breast crease. The resulting scars are hidden most of the time, even when you're wearing a bathing suit or lingerie. Initially, your surgical scars may appear red and raised. They fade as they mature to become pink or flesh-toned and flat. Once your incisions are fully closed, you can talk to Dr. Pearl about beginning a scar treatment program.
How Long Will My Results Last?
The reason you're considering breast lift surgery is that you want to achieve satisfying improvements that last. This procedure can give you that. Generally, the effects of aging begin to recur (visibly) 10 to 15 years after the breast lift. This isn't a given. Your results may last much longer before ptosis starts to alter your breast shape. Conversely, your results may not last as long as you had anticipated. Several factors can influence the longevity of your more youthful breast appearance. The most common factors include your weight and the condition of your skin. Maintaining a stable weight is necessary to avoid increases and decreases in breast size that can result in sagging. The resiliency of your skin and connective tissue also contribute to your results. Dr. Pearl may recommend wearing sunscreen on your chest when wearing a bathing suit or tank top. Tanning should be avoided. Also, the tissue around your breasts may be better maintained by wearing supportive bras and maintaining good upper body muscle tone.
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