A breast lift (mastopexy) is a cosmetic procedure designed to lift and improve the shape of flat, sagging breasts. It is commonly performed on women that experience a noticeable decline in breast position and appearance after childbirth, nursing and/or massive weight loss. If you desire fuller, sexier or perkier-looking breasts, the board certified plastic surgeons at Atlanta Plastic & Reconstructive Specialists can help.
Many factors can affect the shape and position of the breasts. The natural aging process causes the breast skin to lose its elastic quality and sag. The areolas may stretch out, and the nipples may point downward. Pregnancy, nursing and major weight loss can compound the problem, stretching out the skin so the breasts do not return to an attractive shape or position. Some women inherit naturally flat, saggy breasts from a female family member.
To find out whether you are a good candidate for breast lift, it is recommended that you schedule a consultation with the Atlanta Plastic & Reconstructive Specialists team. During the appointment, our breast lift surgeons will examine your breasts, noting the degree of sagging and the quality of the breast skin. We will ask you to describe your ideal breast shape, size and position, and advise whether your goals are realistic. Then, we will use this information to draft a plan of treatment.
Generally, suitable breast lift candidates are individuals who:
Are frustrated with saggy, flat, shapeless breasts
Are in good physical and psychological health
Do not smoke
Are not pregnant and are finished having children (future pregnancy and breastfeeding could reverse the benefits of breast lift)
Desire cosmetic improvement and understand perfection is unattainable
Understand the possible risks of breast lift surgery, and believe the rewards outweigh the risks
Breast lift is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Anesthesia is used for a safe and comfortable patient experience.
Breast lift incision patterns vary, but usually the surgeon makes the incision along the lower edge of the areola, extending vertically to the underside of the breast and horizontally along the crease (this creates an anchor shape).
Through the incision, the surgeon removes extra stretched skin from the lower breast. The nipple, areola and breast mound are elevated to a higher, more youthful position on the chest wall. Enlarged areolas are reduced and downward-pointing nipples are adjusted, if need be. The incisions are closed with small sutures, and a supportive sports bra-like garment is placed around the breasts.
The breasts are typically sore, swollen and bruised immediately following surgery; these side effects gradually subside. A compression garment will help control post-operative swelling and speed up recovery.
Breast lift improves breast position and shape, but it will not significantly alter the size of the breasts. Women that desire larger breasts can have breast implants placed during the breast lift operation. Or, breast reduction techniques can be incorporated into the lift procedure to reduce oversized, heavy breasts. These options will be discussed during the pre-operative planning consultation.
Exercise & Breast Sag
A key element to a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise helps to tone and tighten your body’s natural curves and lines. Yoga, Pilates and other workouts can help keep your tummy flat and your buttocks lifted and trim. However, no amount of push-ups or pectoral drills will guarantee a perky bosom. Breasts are not made up of muscle, but rather are a mixture of tissue and fat surrounding the chest muscle. While some exercises can improve the strength of the chest muscle, which in turn marginally contributes to perkiness, no exercises can prevent breast sag altogether.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
One of the most common myths surrounding breastfeeding is that it contributes to long-term mammary shape-shifting and stretching. Recent studies have indicated that there is, in fact, no risk associated with breastfeeding in terms of future drooping. The relatively rapid weight gain and subsequent loss that happens during pregnancy, however, can cause the breast ligaments to stretch and the skin to lose its elasticity. The best way to limit the ups and downs of this rapid expansion and deflation is to work on maintaining a healthy weight throughout your pregnancy.