Breast Lift Surgery in Salt Lake City, UT
What is Breast Lift?
Mastopexy (breast lift) is a surgical procedure for lifting and reshaping sagging breasts. Aging, pregnancy, weight loss and gravity can all cause breasts to sag. By trimming excess skin and tightening supporting tissue, breasts can be made to sit higher on the chest and be firmer to the touch. In addition, the nipple and areola can be repositioned or resized to further enhance breast appearance. Because mastopexy does not change breast size, it is often combined with breast augmentation or reduction.
Who are Candidates For Mastopexy?
An eligible mastopexy candidate is in good overall health, maintains a stable weight, and has realistic expectations about what mastopexy can do. A woman who chooses to undergo mastopexy has one or more of the following:
- Sagging breasts
- Breasts that have lost shape or volume
- Breasts that are flat or elongated
- Nipples or areolas pointing downward
- One breast lower than the other
A woman planning to have (more) children should not undergo mastopexy because pregnancy and nursing can counteract its benefits.
What is the Mastopexy Procedure?
Mastopexy is performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia, and usually takes 1 to 3 hours. Depending on the size and shape of the breasts, as well as the degree of sagging and amount of excess skin, one of the following types of incisions is often used:
- Two rings, one larger than the other, around the areola
- A keyhole shape, around the areola and down to the breast crease
- An anchor shape, beginning in the breast crease, and extending up to and around the areola
The first type of incision (above) is used for small breasts and leaves the least amount of scarring; the third type is used for breasts with significant sagging.
After the incisions are made, breast tissue is removed and reshaped to achieve the desired breast contour. The nipple and areola are usually moved higher on the breast or resized. Excess skin is trimmed to create a tighter, more defined appearance. Incisions are closed with stitches.
Breast lift vs. breast augmentation
How to tell which procedure is needed?
The goals of these two surgeries with Dr. Chidester are different. Some women assume you can simply place breast implants to overcome sagging and loose skin. While implants can reverse mild sagging, and return the volume to the upper breast area that is more prone to flattening, they cannot reverse extensive sagging. That’s the job of a breast lift.
There is also some misunderstanding about breast lifts. The goal of a breast lift is to return the breasts to their former, higher position on the chest. To do this, Dr. Chidester removes excess sagging skin, reshapes the breast tissue, and usually moves the areolae to compensate for the removed sagging tissue. Breast lifts do not add volume to the breasts. Because the breasts are brought back up on the chest, there is less mass at the bottom of the breasts, which can even dictate a smaller cup size in the bra.
So, lift or augmentation, which is the way to go? If you have minimal sagging and would like to add volume and shape to your breasts, augmentation is the answer. If you have flattened breasts and a fair amount of sagging, a breast lift is an answer. However, if you want to lift the breasts and gain volume, then you should have a breast lift with implants.
Can a breast lift with implants correct asymmetrical breasts?
Most women have some degree of asymmetry between their breasts; this is completely normal. If this bothers you, Dr. Chidester can provide symmetry with either a breast lift or a breast lift with implants. This is possible because the breast lift procedure changes the elevation of the breasts and that can be customized to each breast so they end up symmetrical.
Can a breast lift and breast augmentation be performed in the same surgical session?
Yes. Adding implants to a breast lift is a simple extension of this surgery. Dr. Chidester can use the incisions he has made for your breast lift to place your implants. This eliminates the need for extra incisions. It’s as if adding the implants is just an add-on to the lift procedure. Plus, you only have a single recovery, rather than two.
Is it possible to breastfeed after a breast lift?
Here’s the thing. Patients opting to have a breast lift should have made the decision that they are not interested in having additional children. That’s because the size gain and loss of pregnancy, along with the volume loss due to breastfeeding, will negate all of the benefits you received from the breast lift in the first place. Plus, there is a good chance your weight gain will distort your incision scars.
OK, but things happen, even if they weren’t planned for. In those cases, there will likely be some disruption of your milk glands with a breast lift. This is because the nipple/areola complex is usually moved.
Should I wait until after I have children to have a breast lift?
Dr. Chidester stresses to patients interested in breast lifts that they need to be done having children to have this surgery. After all, most patients want breast lifts due to the sagging, stretched skin, and volume loss that has been caused by pregnancy and breastfeeding. If you become pregnant and breastfeed again, you’ll simply negate all of the results from your surgery. And you’ll likely distort your incision scars. Breast lifts are involved procedures and they require a significant recovery, so they should only be considered if you’ve already decided to not have any additional children.
what is the Recovery From Mastopexy?
For a few days following mastopexy, patients are likely to have bruising, soreness and swelling. Breasts are usually wrapped in an elastic bandage or a surgical bra for about a week; a support bra is then worn continuously for a month. Stitches are removed after 1 to 2 weeks. Most patients return to work within a week; exercise and other strenuous activity should be avoided for about a month.
what are the Results Of Mastopexy?
Mastopexy produces immediate results. As swelling subsides and scars fade, breasts continue to improve in appearance. Patients who thoroughly discussed their goals prior to surgery, and had realistic expectations of what it could provide, report high satisfaction levels. Although the breasts are still subject to the effects of aging, mastopexy produces long-lasting results.
What will my long-term results be like after my breast lift?
The sagging and excess skin removed by Dr. Chidester with your breast lift are permanently gone. Of course, your body will continue to age and your tissues will continue to weaken and sag. Still, any future sagging will start from a much better place.
The only way to really negate any of your results would be to gain and lose a large amount of weight, or to become pregnant again.
If you’ve opted for augmentation with your breast lift, implants have a lifespan of usually around 10 years, so you’ll probably need to have your implants replaced at least twice during your life (depending on your age).
what are the Risks Of Mastopexy?
In addition to the usual risks associated with surgery and anesthesia, risks specific to mastopexy include the following:
- Temporary or permanent change in nipple/breast sensation
- Irregularities in breast contour/shape
- Partial or total loss of nipple/areola
Depending on the incision type used, mastopexy can produce visible scars. Although some incisions can be concealed in the natural breast contours, others cannot. In most cases, however, scars fade over time, becoming much less apparent.