Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
A breast lift or mastopexy is a procedure that restores breasts to a more youthful position while eliminating sagging and drooping of the breasts that can be due to massive weight loss. In addition to raising the breasts, a breast lift removes excess skin and repositions the nipple and areola for a natural appearance. The result is a naturally rounded shape and better proportion to the rest of your new body contour.
A breast lift after weight loss offers the following benefits:
- Lifts the breasts to a higher position on the chest
- Creates firmness or substance to breasts that appear “deflated”
- Repositions the nipple and areola to the breast center
- Restores breasts that are sagging due to weight loss
Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
Options in a Breast Lift
Breast lift surgery may be performed alone or in combination with other procedures, as follows:
- Breast lift alone — appropriate for women who are experiencing breast drooping due to pregnancy, weight loss or the long-term effects of gravity, but still have sufficient breast volume
- Breast lift with implants — this combined procedure, known as augmentation mastopexy, works well for women whose breasts are sagging and have lost volume
- Breast lift with implant removal — women who choose to have breast implants removed may decide to have a breast lift at the same time for an uplifted, youthful look
Dr. Rappaport is an expert on breast procedures and can help you determine which procedure or combination or procedures will offer you the results you are looking for in conjunction with your weight loss.
How is a Breast Lift Performed?
Dr. Rappaport may use one of several surgical techniques, depending on the size of the breasts and the degree of ptosis (sagging):
- A crescent incision is appropriate if you have small breasts with very slight drooping. This technique involves a semicircular incision around the upper edge of the areola and removal of a small amount of excess skin above the nipple.
- The Wise pattern, sometimes referred to as the anchor, allows Dr. Rappaport to remove the greatest amount of excess skin and sagging. The pattern involves an incision that circles the areola and extends from the bottom of the areola to the breast crease. Another incision runs horizontally along the breast crease, creating the shape of an anchor. This technique is most likely to maintain sensation in the breast and allow the patient to breastfeed after surgery.
- The circum-vertical technique, also known as a lollipop incision, works best for breasts with mild to moderate droop. The incision circles the areola and extends vertically from the nipple to the breast crease.
Dr. Rappaport usually performs breast lift surgery under general anesthesia. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis, which means you can go home the same day as your procedure. Dr. Rappaport chooses the best incision to allow him to raise the breasts and reposition the nipple and areola. The duration of the procedure will depend on the specific technique used, the amount of alteration to be done and whether other procedures will be performed at the same time.
What is the Recovery Like?
You will experience mild discomfort for the first few days after surgery. There may be some swelling and bruising for the first couple of weeks and you will be wearing a sports bra for support. Your internal stitches will dissolve. If you have external stitches, they will be removed in seven to 10 days. Most patients go back to work within a week. You can expect your scars to fade by six to 12 months after surgery.
Dr. Rappaport Answers Questions about Breast Lifts after Weight Loss
Will I still wear the same bra size after a breast lift?
In most cases, yes. A breast lift reduces the skin envelope of the breast, but does not remove breast tissue. Thus, most women wear the same bra size before and after breast lift surgery.
Aren’t implants alone enough to correct breast sagging?
Implants alone can improve the appearance of breast sagging in women with a very mild degree of ptosis. However, there is a tendency for some to go with a larger implant in this situation to try to overcome the ptosis. But then the breast becomes, in my opinion, too large for the patient’s torso and still may not correct the ptosis satisfactorily My approach is to begin by asking, ‘What is the best breast size for the patient?’ and then asking, ‘How do we deal with the breast tissue to have it in an improved position?’
What do you think distinguishes your approach to breast lifts?
Like everything else we do, we try to see what will be the best answer to the patient’s problem, and then suggest a procedure for the problem — as opposed to trying to find a problem for the procedure.
Can exercise lift my breasts?
Exercise, diet and creams will not change the lift in your breasts. A breast cannot contract to its original size without surgical intervention.
I’m still thinking about having more kids. Should I wait to have a breast lift?
Yes. I would advise you to wait to have a breast lift until you have completed your family. Pregnancy can change the shape of the breasts, and may tend to undo some of the results of breast lift surgery.
Will a breast lift affect my ability to breastfeed?
Probably not. This is more of an issue with breast reduction surgery, but I’ve had plenty of breast reduction patients who have been able to breastfeed after both types of surgery.
Dr. Rappaport is experienced in all types of surgical procedures after weight loss and will be able to recommend the best technique for your specific needs. He will walk you through the surgery process step by step, so you know what to expect from your procedure and ensure realistic expectations for your results. To learn more about the benefits of breast lift surgery after weight loss, contact Houston Center for Plastic Surgery at 713-790-4500.