A breast lift, or mastopexy, is an operation performed to elevate and reshape the female breast. Largely due to gravity, pregnancy, and weight fluctuations, a woman’s breasts can seemingly deflate, lose firmness, and increasingly sag over time, a condition known as breast ptosis. To reverse these changes, the surgeon can tighten the breast skin and reposition the breast tissue, providing a more youthful shape with improved nipple position. The areola diameter can also be reduced as desired. Depending on tissue characteristics and patient desires, mastopexy is often combined with breast augmentation to dramatically enhance size, contour, and firmness. In fact, although mastopexy alone can provide many years of renewal, the addition of breast implants to the procedure usually ensures a very long-lasting result.
During your consultation, Dr. Braithwaite or Dr. Cobbins will review with you the various options available for breast lift surgery. In general, the more dramatic the proposed changes to the breasts become, the more invasive the mastopexy procedure becomes. The least invasive breast lift involves making circular incisions around the areola, removing excess skin, elevating the nipple position, and closing the wound around the pigmented areola. This is often called the “concentric ring” or “doughnut” mastopexy. A more invasive technique includes this concentric ring design, but also adds a vertical incision downward from the areola to allow more breast tissue repositioning. This design is often called the “circumvertical” or “lollipop” mastopexy. The most invasive technique for breast lifting resembles breast reduction incisions except that little or no breast tissue is removed; instead, only skin is removed and the breast tissue itself is dramatically repositioned. In this case, scars encircle the areola, extend vertically downward, and continue horizontally in the crease under the breast. This technique is often called the “anchor” mastopexy, due to the incision pattern. Our Doctors will make every effort to minimize scar length during mastopexy surgery. All of these mastopexy techniques allow for the addition of breast augmentation, either simultaneously or at a later date.
To determine if you are a good candidate for breast lift surgery, Dr. Braithwaite or Dr. Cobbins will review your health history and perform an examination during your consultation. We will also take preoperative photos during your visit. You may be required to have a mammogram before your surgery, depending on your age and last study. During the consultation, we will take time to understand your goals and desires as well as review available options and techniques. Breast lift surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. We instruct all breast lift patients to wear surgical or sports bras and to avoid strenuous upper body activity for several weeks. Patients may drive and return to work once they discontinue narcotic pain medicine.
For more information about breast lift surgery or to schedule a consultation at our Chicago plastic surgery practice, please contact us via email or call (312) 361-8108 today.