Age, gravity, pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight fluctuation, and other factors can all take their toll on the breasts’ size, shape, and feel. As time passes, these influences can cause breasts to sag, soften, flatten, and sometimes shrink for an appearance that may not be your aesthetic ideal. A breast lift is designed to lift, firm, and reshape sagging breasts to provide a more youthful appearance. The procedure can also reduce the size of an enlarged or stretched areola (the dark pink skin around the nipple), depending on patient desire.
- Breast Lift Benefits
- Breast Lift Candidates
- Breast Lift Procedure
- Breast Lift Recovery
- Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Lift
Benefits of a Breast Lift
The primary goal of a breast lift is to elevate the breasts to a higher position on the chest wall to provide more projection and reduce the appearance of sagging. This is accomplished by excising excess breast skin to allow for the realignment and reshaping of remaining breast tissue. Breast surgery can also achieve benefits such as:
- Restored “youthfulness” in breasts
- Increased breast firmness
- Repositioning of the nipples to a more central location
- Decreased nipple and areola size
Whatever your unique cosmetic concerns may be, our experienced plastic surgeon, Scott Miller, MD, will customize your treatment plan to help you obtain your desired outcome.
Candidates for a Breast Lift
Breast lift surgery can be beneficial for women with a substantial amount of breast “droop,” culminating from a loss of volume and/or increased skin laxity. The best candidates for surgery may include:
- Women whose nipples face downward, or are at the lowest point in relation to the breast crease
- Women who are finished with childbearing, as pregnancy and nursing can increase skin laxity and breast drooping
- Women who are near their ideal goal weight, as significant weight loss after surgery can lead to additional breast drooping
- Women in reasonably good physical health to undergo surgery
While a breast lift can improve the look and feel of sagging breasts with natural-looking results, the procedure is not designed to add volume to the breasts or increase a patient’s cup size. However, if additional volume is desired, Dr. Miller can perform the breast lift and breast augmentation surgeries simultaneously with one procedure. A breast lift with implants is one of the most common combination surgeries performed, as a large number of individuals seek enhancement for both breast volume and breast sag.
Breast Lift Procedure
Breast lift surgery takes approximately two hours and is done under general anesthesia. The incisions are placed around the areola and, when necessary, along the natural contours of the breast. Once the incisions are made and excess skin is removed, the nipple, areola, and breast tissue are lifted to a more youthful and natural position. The remaining skin is then aligned and tightened in order to reshape the breasts to a more rejuvenated appearance.
Breast Lift Recovery
Following surgery, post-operative dressings may include gauze and a surgical bra—Dr. Miller will provide you with information about the necessary length of time these garments should be worn, as well as any other recovery instructions. It is common for patients to experience temporary bruising or swelling for a few days after the procedure. Medications can help manage these symptoms. There may be a temporary loss of nipple sensation, but this generally improves with time. Patients are usually up and around in a day or two. Sutures are removed within two weeks. Any scarring from incisions typically fade with time, and is easily concealed with a normal bra. Since incisions are placed around—and occasionally below—the nipples, they should not be noticeable in low-cut clothing or a bathing suit.
While many patients only require around one week of downtime before they return to their normal routines, individuals should refrain from aerobic exercise until they receive confirmation from Dr. Miller—typically six weeks post-surgery. When swelling dissipates and recovery is complete, many women find a renewed sense of self-esteem and self-confidence as a result of their cosmetic breast enhancement.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Will a breast lift affect my ability to have children or breastfeed?
A breast lift will not have any effect on your ability to have children. Depending on the type of incision utilized, breastfeeding may be more difficult. It is generally a good idea to pursue the procedure when you are finished with childbearing and do not plan to breastfeed. Pregnancy and nursing often increase an individual’s potential for breast sag and skin laxity, which are factors that usually accompany an additional loss of breast volume. Consequently, having children after breast lift surgery can reverse the aesthetic benefits that the procedure originally sought to achieve.
Can exercising improve breast drooping?
While certain exercises may tone the pectoral muscle, there is no exercise that can correct the excess skin and breast tissue loss that results in breast sagging. In fact, substantial weight loss may contribute to existing breast droopiness, as exercise does not resolve a lack of skin elasticity. Currently, there is no natural remedy that can firm, elevate, and reshape the breasts for results comparable to breast lift surgery.
How much downtime should I anticipate for breast lift surgery?
Because plenty of rest is vital for the body’s healing period, patients should plan for at least one week of downtime before returning to work and normal activities. Light household activities can generally be resumed one or two days after surgery. Following Dr. Miller’s post-operative instructions and maintaining periodic check-ups as necessary after surgery can help accelerate the recovery process.
To learn more about the breast lift procedure, or to schedule a consultation, please contact Miller Cosmetic Surgery today.