The aging process can take a toll on the breasts as the skin loses elasticity, causing the breasts to droop or sag. The loss of elasticity results in breasts that are less able to resist the effects of pregnancy, nursing, and gravity. A breast lift (mastopexy) may be beneficial to raise and reshape sagging breasts, removing excess skin and tightening tissue giving you perky, youthful breasts. Breast lift surgery may be combined with breast implants for a fuller appearance. A breast lift can also reduce the size of an enlarged, stretched areola (the dark pigmented skin around the nipple).
The specific mastopexy technique used will be based on an individual evaluation, but generally two incisions are made: one around the areola and one that runs vertically from the bottom edge of the areola to the crease under the breast. Sometimes a third that runs horizontal beneath the breast along the crease is needed. The decision as to which types of scars one may have depends on each individual’s breasts. If they are mildly sagging, then you may be candidate for a breast lift with a scar that only is around the areola. If your breasts are sagging a little more and considered moderate, then you will likely need a breast lift with a scar that is around your areola with the vertical scar as well. If you have significant sagging, then a horizontal scar under your breast may also be necessary. The scars fade with time and are easily concealed by a normal bra. Since they are around and, occasionally, below the nipples, they should not be noticeable even in low cut clothing or a bathing suit.
Once the excess skin is removed, the nipple, areola, and breast tissue are lifted up to a more youthful, natural position and the remaining skin aligned to reshape the breast. The skin is reshaped to conform to each breast’s new, taut contour and sutured in place. If one has a small volume of breast tissue, a breast implant, silicone or saline, may be considered.
After the surgery, you will wear a surgical bra over your dressings. There may be some swelling or bruising, but any discomfort rarely lasts more than a few days. Most patients resume most normal activities within a week or two after the procedure and fully resume their regular schedule within a month.