Breast lift surgery, also called a mastopexy, lifts sagging breasts and removes stretched skin. You may be a candidate for breast lift surgery if your breasts have lost their natural firmness after pregnancy, nursing, substantial weight loss, or aging. It may also be helpful if your areolas (pigmented areas around nipples) are enlarged.
The breast lift procedure is sometimes combined with breast augmentation surgery, and can also be performed alone for women who desire more shapely breasts without increased size. A breast lift is also an inherent part of a breast reduction surgery.
Your breast lift surgery is usually performed under IV sedation and can be as short as 2 hours if performed alone, or up to 3.5 hours if combined with a breast augmentation procedure. It is typically performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you will go home a couple of hours after the procedure. There are several procedures for performing a breast lift in Denver. Dr. Hunsicker typically uses various types of incision patterns depending on the severity of your droop. This involves an anchor-shaped incision following the natural contour of the breast for severe droop or a lollipop pattern in those with less droop.
After lifting and repositioning the breast, Denver’s board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Hunsicker will close the incisions using a combination of internal sutures (that will dissolve on their own) and Dermabond (a surgical super glue) on the skin surface. This combination helps to minimize scarring.
After surgery, you may experience some swelling and bruising that will quickly subside. If you have only the lift (with no augmentation), your discomfort should be relatively minor, but you will have medication should you need it. If you have a lift with augmentation, you will have slightly more discomfort due to muscle spasm. We use Exparel® to help significantly reduce the amount of prescription pain medication needed after surgery, as well as the need for narcotics. This helps make for a more comfortable recovery time for our patients. You should expect to have lifting and physical activity restrictions for 4-6 weeks. It is usually best to plan for a week of downtime prior to returning to work.
Mastopexy is another name for breast lift surgery, which raises and firms the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue.
Mastopexy can treat sagging breasts that have lost shape and volume. It may be right for you if 1) your breasts have a flatter, elongated shape, 2) when unsupported, your nipples fall below the breast crease, 3) your nipples and areolas point downward, 4) you have stretched skin and enlarged areolas, or 5) one breast is lower than the other.
Several techniques can be used in a breast lift. The technique for you will be determined by your breast size and shape, the size and position of your areolas, the degree of breast sagging, and your skin quality.
Anesthesia is administered first, either IV sedation or a general anesthetic. There are three incision patterns that may be used: 1) around the areola, 2) around the areola and vertically down to the breast crease, and 3) around the areola, vertically down from the breast crease and horizontally along the breast crease.
After performing incisions, the underlying breast tissue is lifted and reshaped. The nipple and areola are elevated. If desired, enlarged areolas are reduced by removing skin at the perimeter. Loose breast skin is removed to compensate for a loss of skin elasticity. Next, the remaining skin is tightened and the incisions are closed. Incision lines are concealed in the natural breast but can remain visible on the breast surface. They are permanent, but usually fade over time. Sutures, skin adhesives, and/or surgical tape may be used to close the skin at the end of the surgery.
Dressings or bandages will be applied to the incisions. You will wear an elastic bandage or support bra to minimize swelling and support your breasts during healing. A thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain excess fluid that collects after surgery. You will be given instructions about aftercare, medications, and follow-up appointments.
Breast lift surgery in Denver risks can vary from patient to patient, and all surgery carries with it a risk of complications. Dr. Hunsicker can review the most common risks to breast lift surgery at your consultation, based on your specific clinical factors.
Dr. Lisa M. Hunsicker has been practicing medicine since 1995. Since 2001, Revalla Plastic Surgery has been providing patients in the Denver area with excellent, individualized cosmetic surgery results.
Together, you can determine if you are a good candidate for a breast lift. Our office is conveniently located in Littleton, only 15 minutes from University of Denver, 25 minute away from Denver, CO and 50 minutes away from Denver International Airport.