Breast Lift (Vertical Mammoplasty)

Many factors such as age, pregnancy, nursing, and gravity affect a woman’s breasts. These Factors cause the skin to lose its elasticity. The breasts will then lose their shape and firmness and begin to sag. A breast lift (technically termed vertical mastopexy) is a surgical procedure designed to raise and reshape sagging breasts. Mastopexy can also reduce the size of the areola, the darker skin surrounding the nipple.

Are you a candidate?

Healthy, emotionally stable women who are realistic about what surgery can accomplish are the best candidates for this procedure. Breasts of any size can be lifted, but women with small, sagging breasts usually achieve the best results. Results may not last as long in heavy breasts.

It is usually a good idea to delay this procedure until you are no longer planning to get pregnant, as pregnancy can cause the skin to stretch and sagging of the breasts to recur.

What is the procedure?

A breast lift usually takes one and a half to four hours. Techniques vary, but the most common procedure used by Dr. Abuzeni involves a keyhole-shaped incision following the natural contour of the breast. When excess skin has been removed, the nipple and areola are moved to the higher position. The skin surrounding the areola is then brought down and together to reshape the breast. Stitches are usually located around the areola and in a vertical line extending downward from the nipple area. Unlike the so-called anchor technique, this procedure does not involve a horizontal incision along the lower crease of the breast.

Another procedure is known as the “doughnut” mastopexy or Benelli Lift. This operation gives a full, higher breast to patients with relatively small breasts and minimal sagging.

Whenever a breast implant is used it will be placed in a pocket directly under the breast tissue, or deeper, under the muscle of the chest wall.

Can you breastfeed afterwards?

Yes. The nipple and areola should remain attached to underlying mounds of tissue, usually allowing for the preservation of sensation and the ability to breastfeed.

Are the effects permanent?

No. A breast lift will not keep you firm forever. Gravity, pregnancy, aging, and weight fluctuation will eventually take their toll again.

What are the risks with a breast lift?

As with any surgery, complications or reactions to the anesthesia can occur. Bleeding and infection are not common, but should be treated immediately to reduce the risk of widening of the scars. In rare cases, permanent loss of feeling in your nipple can occur.

Breast lift surgery is associated with noticeable scars that are well covered by your bra or bathing suit.

What will the recovery period be like?

After surgery your breasts will be bruised, swollen, and uncomfortable for a day or two. Any discomfort you feel can be relieved with prescribed medication. You will wear a surgical bra over a layer of gauze. You will need to wear this bra around the clock for six to eight weeks. The stitches will be removed after a week or two.

If your breast skin becomes dry following surgery, you can apply a moisturizer several times a day. Apply the moisturizer away from the suture areas. Avoid lifting anything over your head for three to four weeks. You will be given detailed instructions for resuming your normal activities. You may be instructed to avoid strenuous activities for about a month. After that, you can resume these activities slowly.