Mastopexy: Lifting Up the Fallen

Sagging, drooping breasts are not wonderful signs of motherhood or weight loss. For women, who find much of their self-confidence in their figure, sagging, drooping breasts are simply that, saggy and droopy; they begin to take their toll on the individual’s poise. The more the breasts droop; the more the lady’s confidence wanes. If you are among the thousands of women who wish they could turn back time and regain the firmness and shape in your chest you once had, a mastopexy, also known as a breast lift, could restore the perkiness and firmness you once enjoyed.

How does a mastopexy work?

As time marches forward, gravity takes its toll on the body and breasts, pulling things downward. Pregnancy, breastfeeding, significant weight changes, and hereditary factors can all be triggers that cause the breasts to droop. A breast lift helps restore your breasts to their original placement by removing excess tissue and skin. Sometimes, the lift will need to be performed in conjunction with a breast augmentation, as a lift will not restore fullness or roundness to your breasts. During a mastopexy, Dr. Tolson lifts the sagging breast tissue, removes any excess skin, repositions the nipple and areola to their proper position, and reshapes the breast if necessary. If over time the areola has gotten unusually large, a mastopexy is the ideal time to have the areola reduced, too.

Who is a candidate for a mastopexy?

You can easily determine if a breast lift will help you by performing a simple test. Remove your bra and place a wooden pencil under your breast in the crease. If your breast holds the pencil in place, you are a candidate for a mastopexy. If, when looking in the mirror, your nipple and areola point downward rather than outward, you have significant drooping and may want to consider a breast lift. Some additional reasons for a breast lift are

  • Flat breasts.
  • Pendulous breasts.
  • Stretched skin.
  • Large areolas.
  • One breast sitting lower than the other.

Before having a mastopexy performed, you would want to be finished baring children, as pregnancies significantly alter the size and shape of the breasts and breast tissue and can reverse the effects of your breast lift. You will want to be maintaining a healthy weight and not lose significant amounts which may also cause your breast lift to sag.

What does the procedure look like?

Before the procedure you will want to arrange for someone to drive you home afterwards and spend the first night with you. If you are over forty it is recommended that you have a baseline mammogram performed beforehand and schedule a follow-up mammogram six months after the surgery. Dr. Tolson will tell you how far in advance you need to stop taking aspirin, anti-inflammatories that prevent clotting (NSAIDs), and any herbs or vitamins that may thin the blood.

A mastopexy is an outpatient procedure and will be performed in Dr. Tolson’s state-of-the-art, AAAASF-certified operating room in Cumming, Georgia. Dr. Tolson will use  general anesthesia for the surgery. The entire procedure takes one to two hours after which you will be moved to recovery. Depending on what all is being done during the lift, Dr. Tolson will use one of four incisions:

  • Crescent lift. The incision is made around the top edge of the areola. Often, this lift is performed in conjunction with augmentation.
  • Peri-areolar lift. The incision is made around the lower edge of the areola and is often done in conjunction with augmentation and areolar reduction.
  • Vertical lift. Two incisions are made, one around the bottom edge of the areola and one from the bottom center of the areola to the crease at the bottom of the breast. This incision is used to remove excess skin and reshape the breast.
  • Inverted T lift. Used to treat pendulous breasts, the inverted T goes around the bottom edge of the areola and down to the crease under the breast. A third incision goes along the crease, allowing the doctor to remove significant excess skin and reshape the breast. The areola and nipple are replaced higher, giving your breast a younger look.

Although the incisions leave permanent scars, they should fade with time, becoming less noticeable. You should notice immediate results from your breast lift, but the final results will take several months to settle in and manifest themselves. As long as you take care of your breasts and don’t have any significant life events that affect the breasts, your breast lift should last for five to ten years or even longer depending on the size of your breast .

What does recovery look like?

After your mastopexy, you will need to wear a support bra or elastic bandage to help minimize the swelling. Be sure to apply any ointment or take any medication the doctor gives you to aid in the healing process. You will want to be sure to sleep on your back for several weeks after the surgery. If you tend to sleep on your side or stomach, invest in some extra pillows to keep you from rolling over. You should be able to return to work within the first week and resume most of your normal activities after one week. Limit your exercise to just walking for the first two to three weeks, allowing time for the lift to fully heal. You may experience some swelling and soreness over the next several months, but they will gradually subside. At the 8-week mark you should be able to return to wearing an underwire bra.

What’s next?

If you think you may be a candidate for a breast lift, schedule an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Tolson. He is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons and is a member of the American Society for Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Ask to see pictures of before and after photos of previous surgeries to get an idea of what yours might turn out like. At your initial consultation, you need to be prepared to discuss the following:

  • Your cosmetic goals and goals for the surgery.
  • Your medical history and any current medical conditions.
  • The medications you are currently taking.
  • Allergies to any medications.
  • Your family’s history of breast cancer.
  • Your current mammogram results.

Dr. Tolson will evaluate your health, your skin quality, the placement of your nipples and areolas, and examine your breasts. He’ll take measurements and pictures, allowing him to develop the right treatment plan for you. He’ll discuss all your options with you, making sure you are fully informed.

Just accepting that you to have to put up with the war wounds of weight change, pregnancy, or DNA doesn’t have to be the only option any more. A mastopexy can lift up your fallen breasts and bring perk and youth back to your figure.

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    Dr. Michael Tolson is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Put Dr. Tolson’s years of cosmetic plastic surgery experience to work for you.

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