Breasts that have lost their firm, uplifted contours can affect a woman’s self-image and confidence.
Breast lift surgically relocates the breasts to a higher location on the chest wall, removes excess loose skin and thus tightens and reshapes the breast to make it firm and youthful looking. A Breast lift can also reduce the size of the areola (pigmented skin surrounding the nipple).
TYPES OF BREAST LIFTS
The Periareolar Lift
The Benelli or ‘’Donut mastopexy’’ is appropriate for a small breast lift only. It involves aperiareolar scar.It is mainly used for small repositioning of the nipple. Because it is a skin lift rather than an internal breast tissue lift, there can be a tendency for the NAC to flatten out and less frequently for the areola to widen out if the permanent suture fails.
The Vertical lift
Also called the ‘’lollipop lift’’ the vertical lift addresses both the underlying droopy breast tissue and overlying saggy skin to give the breast a rounder and firmer shape in addition to lifting. The internal suturing helps hold the breast in its natural position for a good number of years. The scars in this lift are smaller than in the inverted T Lift, are barely noticeable and fade well with time. The Vertical Lift gives a great shape and volume to your breasts keeping people guessing that you have gone the silicone way !
The Inferior Pedicle
Also called the’’ Wise or Anchor technique’’ this is by far the commonest type of breast lift. This technique creates an inverted T scar around the areola down vertically the lower breast pole and a long horizontal scar running in the inframammary fold. The Wise technique has been the traditional workhorse of breast lifts and breast reductions for over 30 years now.
Does my Breast Lift need an Implant ?
In a breast lift an implant is Not a necessity and are required only if you want to achieve bigger breasts. HoweverIf you are smaller than you want to be, you need a breast implant.
Placing an implant also gives more fullness and shape particularly in the upper part of the breast and cleavage. If you are happy with your size only a breast lift is recommended. An implant guarantees you will undergo a second surgery in the future particularly those who are a C cup or higher. AlsoImplants do not age as natural tissue ages.
Am I the Ideal Candidate for a Breast lift ?
You are the Ideal Candidate for a breast lift if
- Your breasts have lost volume and firmness
- You have breasts that are pendulous with a flatter, elongated shape
- Your nipples point downward or fall below the breast crease when the breast is unsupported
- You have stretched skin and/or enlarged areolas
- You have breasts which are asymmetrical (one breast lower than the other)
- For patient’s with small, saggy breasts with lost volume, it is desirable to combine breast implants with the breast lift.
- Have a positive outlook and realistic expectations about outcome.
Although mastopexy can be performed at any age, it is usually recommended to wait until breast development is complete. Most surgeons will recommend waiting until a woman has completed her family, since pregnancy and breastfeeding may have significant and unpredictable effects on the size and shape of your breasts.
The First Consultation
During the consultation, you will be asked about your desired breast shape and size. This will help to understand your goals and expectations and determine if they can be achieved realistically. Any risks or complications involved will be explained. Details of the surgery regarding nipple and areola repositioning and desired volume will be discussed.
It is important for you to provide complete information about your past medical history, any medical illness, drug allergies, previous surgeries including breast biopsies, and medications that you currently take. It is recommended that you stabilize your weight prior to surgery. Individual factors and personal preferences will determine the specific technique selected to lift your breasts.
General Guidelines prior to surgery for Mastopexy
- An initial Breast examination and detailed chest and breast measurements will be taken along with pre operative photographs.
- Pre-operative Anaesthetic assessment for fitness for surgery
- Agreement to proceed with the surgery by signing an informed Consent Form
- Stop smoking 2-3 weeks prior to surgery
- Avoid taking anti inflammatory medicines 2 weeks prior to surgery
- Stop taking the oral contraceptive pills 6 weeks prior to surgery and use alternative means of contraception.
Grading of Breast Ptosis
1st Degree ptosis:the nipple-areola complex is slightly below or in the level of the inframammary fold.
2nd Degree ptosis: the nipple-areola complex falls less than 3 cm below the inframammary fold.
3rd Degree ptosis:the nipple-areola complex falls more than 3 cm below the inframammary fold.
Pseudo Ptosis : The lower pole of the breast lies below the Inframammary fold while the NAC lies above it gibving the appearance of ptosis.
Breast Lift Surgery
Your breast lift surgery will be performed in the hospital under general anaesthesia for your comfort. The attending Anaesthetist will explain the type and risks of the particular form of anaesthesia for your operation. Modern Breast Lift is now usually done by the vertical scar technique in which case only a single vertical scar will result. In some instances however the inverted T scar or the Benelli techniques are required. A tube to drain out collected blood may need to be placed, depending upon the amount of dissection.
You usually have to stay a minimum of one night in the hospital after your operation. If tube drains have been placed in your breasts they are generally removed 1-2 days later. It usually takes 2-3 days to recover from the surgery. All wounds are well healed within 7-10 days of the procedure. Stitches are usually absorbable and do not need to be removed.
There will be some bruising and swelling which usually lasts for approximately 2- 4 weeks. It is important to remember that the breasts may take approximately 3-6 months to achieve their final shape and feel.
Patients can get back to work within a week and to a normal exercise programme 4 weeks after the surgery. You will be instructed to wear a support bra for 6-8 weeks, until the swelling and discoloration of your breasts diminish.