What is a Breast Lift?
Mastopexy, the medical term for “breast lift,” is a procedure that raises and firms the breast by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue. This provides a more youthful appearance to the breast.
Why Do Women Seek a Breast Lift?
Many changes in a woman’s life can lead to the desire for breast lift. These include:
- Weight fluctuations
Breast lift can repair the changes that have occurred, and provide a more youthful, better shape to the breast.
Limitations of a Breast Lift
A breast lift is able to create a better position of the breast; however, it will not change the size of the breast. In fact, the breast can sometimes appear slightly smaller after the procedure. A breast lift is also unable to provide upper-breast fullness that is persistent. To provide upper breast fullness that lasts, a breast implant would be necessary.
Do I need a mammogram prior to breast lift surgery?
Our guidelines are that a mammogram is necessary before surgery if you meet any of the following criteria:
- Age greater than 35 years
- You are within 10 years of the age of a family member that was diagnosed with breast cancer
- If any areas of concern are identified during your examination
Can I have a breast augmentation at the same time?
Breast augmentation and breast lift (Augmentation Mastopexy) are two opposite and competing procedures. The two procedures can be completed at the same time, although there are limitations in both the degree of augmentation and degree of lift that can be completed concurrently. It is always MidAmerica Plastic Surgery’s recommendation to proceed in a two-stage fashion for the best possible result. That said, we also recognize both financial, time, and recovery constraints of completing this in two stages and for many patients this is completed in a single surgery. A complete consultation with Dr. Ryan Diederich is necessary to determine if you are a candidate for a single stage procedure.
Before the Breast Lift Procedure
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation as needed.
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications, as recommended.
- Get a baseline mammogram before surgery and another one after surgery to help detect any future changes in your breast tissue.
- Stop smoking well in advance of your breast augmentation surgery.
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding (if OK with your primary care physician. I you cannot stop please let us know).
- Get your pre- and post-surgery checklist.
- Pick up your prescriptions so they are ready on surgery day.
The day of the Breast Lift Procedure
Breast lift surgery is usually on an out patient basis. You will come to the hospital in the morning and be able to leave in the afternoon. You are not allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight the day of your surgery. Please arrange for someone to drive you to and from the hospital on surgery day. You will also need someone to stay with you at home for the first 24 hours after surgery.
After the Breast Lift Procedure
After the surgery is completed, dressings will be applied to the incisions and a surgical bra placed. You will come to the office the day after your surgery for follow up, and we will remove the bandages for you. You may be sore for a few weeks and may also experience slight swelling and bruising. Recovery is patient dependent. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience shortness of breath, chest pains, or unusual heart beats.
Complications Regarding the Breast Lift Procedure
As with any procedure, there are risks. Fortunately, with a breast lift procedure, these risks are minimal. These include, but are not limited to:
- Unfavorable scarring
- Bleeding (hematoma)
- Poor healing of incisions
- Changes in nipple or breast sensation, may be temporary or permanent
- Anesthesia risks
- Fluid accumulation
- Blood clots
- Pain, which may persist
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Possibility of revision surgery
- Pregnancy, weight loss and menopause may influence the appearance of augmented breasts over the course of your lifetime.
Dr. Ryan Diederich is a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in a range of aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery procedures at Mid-America Institute of Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery in Glen Carbon, IL. If you’re looking for a plastic surgeon east of St. Louis, you can schedule a consultation online schedule a consultation online, or call us at (618) 288-7855 to schedule an appointment.
For more information see the American Society of Plastic Surgery topic “Breast Lift”
*This article is intended as a guideline only. This is not intended as medical advice. There are no guarantees written or implied from the information presented here. Only a consultation can provide an appropriate evaluation and discussion regarding any procedure. Refer to your physician for medical decision making and advice.