Have your breasts lost their shape or firmness? Do they sag? Would you like to have the problem corrected? Or are you, for some reason, considering breast implants? If you answered Yes to any of these questions, you should know about breast lifts. As the term implies, this procedure, also known as a mastopexy is designed to raise and reshape sagging breasts.
Why do breasts often lose their shape and firmness and start to sag? Blame it on the force of gravity (“What goes up must, eventually, come down"), pregnancy, nursing, and aging. As we grow older, the skin loses its elasticity and ultimately results in sagging breasts. Not all women encounter this problem, but it’s very common. Women with small breasts, or with breasts that have lost volume (e.g., after pregnancy and nursing), often combine a breast augmentation lift with an implant procedure for larger, firmer, and perkier breasts.
The Mastopexy or breast lift improves sagging and a loss of firmness in the breasts by removing excess skin and repositioning the tissue and nipples. Candidates include women who are in good physical and psychological health who understand the limitations of the surgery. The best results are typically achieved on women with small, sagging breasts as opposed to those with very heavy or very large breasts. Women who are planning future pregnancy are advised to postpone the surgery as pregnancy will cause the breasts to stretch and may offset the results. A consultation with Dr. Kapoor in his Los Angeles office will help to determine if the breast lift is right for you.
Dr. Kapoor may perform the breast lift surgery onsite at the Beverly Hills Wellness Surgery Center, a state-of-the-art AAAHC-certified facility. While surgical times will vary, the breast lift averages two to three hours in length. Surgery is most often performed with general anesthesia, though a local anesthesia combined with a sedative may be used for patients undergoing a less extensive procedure involving a smaller incision.
The incision most often used is shaped like an anchor in that it circles the areola, runs in a vertical line down from the nipple, and then ends in a horizontal line along the crease beneath the breast. A less extensive incision may be used for some women with smaller breasts or less sagging. Once the incision is made, Dr. Kapoor will remove excess skin and then relocate the nipples and areolas to a higher position. The breast will then be reshaped by bringing the skin down and around the areola before closing the incisions with stitches. Patients may opt to undergo an implant procedure at the same time.
After surgery, an elastic bandage or surgical bra may be applied over gauze dressings. These will be removed within a few days and replaced with a soft support bra which will need to be worn for up to a month. Moisturizer can be applied to the breasts several times daily to combat dry skin. Bruising and swelling are common, and patients may experience some moderate pain or discomfort which can be controlled with prescribed medication. The swelling may result in some loss of sensation in the nipples and breast skin which typically fades as the swelling subsides, usually within about six weeks. For some patients, however, the numbness may last for a year or longer or, in rare cases, may even be permanent.
The stitches are typically removed within one to two weeks. Patients are often able to return to work within a week or two after surgery. Some activities will need to be postponed for a period of time. Sex should be postponed for a week or longer, and strenuous sports and lifting anything higher than your head should be avoided for three or four weeks.
It can counteract the sagging and loss of firmness, enhance your appearance, and increase your self-confidence. And it works best if your breasts are small and sagging, not extra-large and heavy.
The best candidates are healthy, emotionally stable women who understand that a breast lift cannot perform a miracle-just better looking breasts.
It’s not always a simple, risk-free operation. That’s why, if you plan to have one, you should have it performed by a well-qualified cosmetic surgeon, such as
Dr. Kapoor. As with any surgery, there are possible complications, including (but uncommon) infection or bleeding, which can result in wider scars. Yes, a lift will produce permanent and noticeable scars, but your bra or bathing suit will cover them. Also, the procedure can result in unevenly positioned nipples and/or a loss of feeling in your breasts or nipples that can be permanent. If you’re a heavy smoker, you should know that it’s can cause wound healing problems, and often results in wider scars.
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Kapoor to discuss why you’re considering a lift and whether your expectations are realistic. At that time, your breasts will be examined and measured, and you’ll discuss all the variables that can have an impact on the results: your health condition, age, breast size and shape, skin condition, allergies, activities, where the nipples and areolas will be positioned (they’ll be higher), etc. You’ll also be told about the risks, limitations, scarring, where the operation will take place, and the type of anesthesia to be used. In regard to the cost, be aware that the procedure is usually not covered by insurance.