As a woman becomes older it’s no secret that her breasts typically become droopier and begin to sag. The combined effects of pregnancy, significant weight loss, or the natural aging process can all lead to a woman’s breast tissue changing in very significant ways. Any of these physiologic events can lead to stretching of the breast tissue. This can then ultimately lead to an imbalance between the amount of skin and the amount of breast gland.
Invariably, throughout this process the nipple and areola will begin to point further downward on the breast itself. Plastic surgeons refer to these changes as breast ptosis. A mastopexy (breast lift surgery) is a procedure that is performed to rearrange the breast tissue by one of several standard methods, depending on the specific amount of breast ptosis. Plastic surgeons grade breast ptosis by the position of the nipple and areola in relation to the bottom of the breast. This relationship allows surgeons like Dr. Parson to designate a grade of ptosis to each breast (1-3).
Patients who have a mastopexy performed will ultimately have breasts that are more youthful and firm in appearance. A mastopexy (breast lift surgery) can also decrease the size of the areola (the pigmented area around the nipple). When changes from either pregnancy or weight loss cause the breasts to “deflate” in size, a breast augmentation may also be added to the mastopexy procedure.
The breast augmentation will allow Dr. Parson to restore the lost volume of breast tissue while he also “lifts” the breast. This loss of breast volume is a very common occurrence, and is often seen after breast-feeding. Breast lift with breast augmentation can be performed to make the breasts appear larger and firmer.
Patients who have a mastopexy performed will ultimately have breasts that are more youthful and firm in appearance. If you are unhappy with the appearance of your breasts and would like to learn more about a breast lift or breast reduction, we invite you to check out frequently asked questions. Please also contact our office to schedule a consultation.
A breast reduction removes enough breast tissue to decrease the overall breast size. A breast lift removes the excess skin, while placing the nipple in a more lifted position. Both breast lift and breast reduction will remove excess skin as well as resize the areola, if desired.
Most patients report feeling better after a couple of days. You will leave the surgery center, located in Scottsdale, Arizona with a surgical bra that you will need to wear for the next 3 weeks. You can begin to work out in 3 weeks and are fully recovered by 6 weeks.
While pain tolerance is different from patient to patient, most people are able to manage their pain with over-the-counter pain medication (such as ibuprofen and/or acetaminophen) after the first few days.
Any surgery will cause a certain amount of permanent scarring. The two most common types of breast lift surgery are a full and partial mastopexy. A full lift scar is in the shape of an anchor: a line under the breasts, a line in the front, and one around the areola. A partial lift only has a scar around the areola.
1 week after surgery Dr. Parson recommends all of his patients use a combination of micropore tape and pharmaceutical grade scar recovery gel for the best results possible.
This depends on the patient and the type of work they are returning to. Most people who can work from home or have a desk/office job can go back to work in about a week. Patients report feeling tired more quickly when they first head back to work. If the work is more physical in nature, they usually will wait about 3 weeks to return.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding usually cause the breasts to increase in size. When they return to their normal size, there is normally excess skin and increased breast droop than before they had children. Some patients may have trouble breastfeeding after having a breast lift. We recommend waiting to have either a breast lift, or breast reduction until after a woman is done having children in order to maintain her results as long as possible.
48 hours after surgery, the patient can shower. They will need to wear their surgical bra 24/7 for the first 3 weeks. After the first week, the surgical tape on their incisions will be removed and the patient can change their tape and begin to use scar gel at home. At 3 weeks, the patient can begin to work out again. They can do light cardio, but will need to wait to run or do upper-body weight-lifting exercises until 6 weeks after surgery.
Patients need to be completely off any narcotics or muscle relaxers before they can begin to drive again. Usually after a week, patients are able to go back to driving themselves independently again.