Age, genetics, pregnancy and significant weight loss can all contribute to the development of drooping or pendulous breasts. For whatever reason, you may notice that your breasts have begun to sag, lose volume and make you feel self-conscious about your appearance. Every year, tens of thousands of women restore the position and youthful shape of their breasts with a surgical breast lift.
If you suffer from breasts that hang too low and make you feel self-conscious, call 918-518-5144 today to schedule a free breast lift consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Brenda Schiesel. South Tulsa Plastic Surgery proudly serves women from Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Jenks and Owasso as well as nearby communities throughout Oklahoma.
On this page we discuss:
- What Is a Breast Lift?
- Am I a Good Breast Lift Candidate?
- The Breast Lift Procedure
- Breast Lift Incision Options
- Breast Augmentation with a Breast Lift
- Preparing For Your Mastopexy
- Breast Lift Recovery
- Schedule Your Free Breast Lift Consultation Today
Also known as mastopexy, a breast lift is a surgical breast procedure that raises the breasts into a more youthful position. Over time, age and gravity can diminish the firmness of your breasts. When this happens, the nipple may shift downward and the upper part of your breasts may lose their youthful volume as breast tissue begins to sag.
Breast lifts correct these issues by lifting and reshaping the breast so that the nipple is elevated to a higher position and the breast achieves a youthful, natural-looking appearance.
Breast lifts are ideal for women who:
- Have drooping breasts due to aging, weight fluctuations or pregnancy
- Suffer from mild to severe ptosis (sagging)
- Have breast asymmetry
- Have nipples that face downward or drop below the breast crease
- Want a perkier, more youthful breast shape
- Seek a better fit in bras and bikinis
Breast lifts are often ideal solution for women whose breasts sag because of age, gravity, motherhood, or significant weight loss. A breast lift can restore the perky, youthful appearance of your breasts and help you feel more comfortable and confident with your body.
Meeting personally with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Schiesel is the best way to find out if a breast lift is right for you. Generally speaking, you may be a good candidate for mastopexy if you:
- Are displeased by the appearance of your breasts
- Are in good overall health
- Do not smoke or are willing to quit prior to your surgery and throughout the duration of your recovery
- Are at or near your ideal weight
- Have realistic expectations
- Willing to follow all of Dr. Schiesel’s pre and postoperative instructions
The list above is intended to give you a general idea about breast lift candidacy, but it is by no means a substitute for meeting personally with Dr. Schiesel. During your free initial consultation, she will work closely with you to understand your goals, evaluate your physical condition and recommend the procedure or combination of procedures that can help you reach your desired outcome. Contact South Tulsa Plastic Surgery for your one-on-one appointment.
Breast lifts are performed in an operating room under general anesthesia. It is an outpatient procedure, so you won’t have stay overnight after your surgery. The procedure usually takes about two hours or less, during which Dr. Schiesel will reshape the breast gland and tighten excess skin. An implant can also be added at this point, if you have decided to combine your breast lift with an augmentation. Dr. Schiesel repositions the nipples to the center of each breast and can reduce the size of the areolas as well.
The type of incision used in your breast lift surgery depends on a number of factors, most importantly, the severity of ptosis you need to address. Depending on your circumstances, Dr. Schiesel may recommend:
- Lollipop incision: Lollipop incisions are named after their distinctive “lollipop” shape. These incisions are made around the areola, then vertically down to the breast crease. This option is appropriate for women who experience only moderate breast sagging and are not combining breast augmentation with their breast lift.
- Anchor incision: This is one of the most common breast lift incision types. It allows for the greatest lift and excessive skin removal, but it does leave more scarring than other incisions. It is essentially a lollipop incision with an additional horizontal incision along the breast crease. Anchor incisions are ideal for women whose breasts have a significant amount of sagging. It is often used for women who are having a breast reduction with their breast lift.
As a stand-alone procedure, breast lifts can improve the perkiness and firmness of your breasts. With a breast lift, Dr. Schiesel can address ptosis and provide a more lifted and youthful appearance, but this procedure alone will not address the size or volume of your breasts. Some breast lift patients actually experience a reduction in breast size by one or more cup sizes after recovering from a breast lift.
If you want larger breasts, improved cleavage or greater breast symmetry, you may benefit from the combination of a breast lift with breast augmentation. The best way to find out if breast augmentation is an appropriate compliment to your breast lift is to meet personally with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Brenda Schiesel. During your initial consultation, Dr. Schiesel will work closely with you to understand your unique goals and recommend a treatment or combination of procedures that can best achieve your desired outcome.
With any surgery, it’s important to prepare in advance to help your procedure go smoothly and safely. By following Dr. Schiesel’s preoperative instructions, you will be able to reduce your risk of complications and heal more quickly.
Patient education is a cornerstone of Dr. Schiesel’s approach to patient care. She will thoroughly discuss everything you need to know about your procedure and provide you with detailed preoperative instructions.
Here are a few tips to help you get ready for your breast lift surgery.
Two Weeks Before Surgery
By taking care of certain issues well before your procedure, it will help to alleviate last minute arrangements and undue stress. About two weeks before your surgery, it is a good idea to arrange for:
- Someone to drive you home on the day of your procedure
- Someone to stay with you for at least the first 24 hours after surgery
- Someone to care for your children, if needed
- Someone to care for your pets, if needed
In preparation for breast lift surgery, you will need to stop taking blood-thinning medications along with certain herbs and supplements. If you are a tobacco user, you will need to quit at least six weeks before your procedure.
One Week Before Surgery
About a week out from your procedure, you should consider cooking and freezing meals for simple preparation during your recovery. Because breast lift surgery requires a brief recovery period with limitations on activities, it is a good idea to prepare an area where you can easily rest. Consider stocking it with things to occupy your time while you allow your body to heal. Also ensure that you have these supplies on hand:
- Comfortable robe and/or pajamas
- Comfortable shirts that button in the front
- A “grabbing” tool to help you pick things up without bending
- Stool softener or laxative to address problems that may arise from narcotic pain medication
- Antibacterial soap
- Fun items such as movies, magazines and books to help keep you entertained while you rest
- Food items like soup, saltine crackers, gelatin or pudding, fruit and prepared meals. To avoid increasing fluid retention and swelling, choose low-sodium food.
Night Before Surgery
Some of the most important steps needed to prepare for your breast lift happen the night before your surgery, including:
- Thoroughly wash your hair and shower with antibacterial soap.
- During the final eight hours before your surgery, do not drink or eat anything. This includes sipping water.
- Get a good night's rest.
Arranging for adult assistance during the first few days can be useful as well. This can help ensure you are not over-exerting yourself during the crucial first days of recovery.
Day of Surgery
On the day of your surgery, you’ll just need to handle a few last steps:
- Wear comfortable, loose clothing. Choose a shirt that fastens up the front.
- Do not wear contact lenses, makeup or jewelry.
Dr. Schiesel will give you detailed pre-operative instructions prior to your procedure. Following her instructions closely will help to speed your healing, avoid complications and improve your comfort.
How Painful Is a Breast Lift?
Breast lift surgery is performed under general anesthesia, eliminating risks of pain during surgery. Following surgery, some tenderness and bruising are to be expected. These can generally be handled with medications prescribed by your plastic surgeon. A compression garment may also prove useful in relieving discomfort.
Severe discomfort is not expected with breast lift surgery. If you experience pain beyond what you consider normal, it is a good idea to contact your surgeon for instructions.
During your follow-up visits, be honest about your experience so that your plastic surgeon can adjust medications as needed.
Do Breast Lifts Require Implants?
Breast lift surgery does not include breast implants. However, if volume loss has occurred in addition to sagging, implants can be added to the procedure. This is entirely dependent on your anatomy and desires, and should be discussed with your plastic surgeon.
Does Breast Lift Surgery Leave a Scar?
Breast lift surgery requires incisions. Incisions cannot help but leave scars. Depending on the technique used to lift the breasts, incisions can often be hidden in the dark skin of the areola, but some may be present both on and underneath the breast mound.
Following pre and postoperative care instructions will help to encourage proper healing and work to prevent obtrusive scars. Blood thinners and vasoconstrictors, like nicotine, will encourage thicker and more noticeable scars.
Will a Breast Lift Affect My Nipples?
During breast lift surgery, the nipples may be repositioned to better suit the newly formed breast mound. This can affect nipple sensation and may reduce responsiveness. In many cases, nipple sensation will return over time, but some changes may be permanent. For this and other reasons, it is recommended that women who plan on having children in the future wait to undergo breast lift surgery.
Are There Any Risks Associated With a Breast Lift?
General surgical risks come with all surgical procedures. These include poor reaction to anesthesia, excessive bleeding, and infection. These are reduced when you work with a board-certified plastic surgeon who performs procedures in an accredited surgical facility.
Risks specific to breast lift surgery include numbness, loss of nipple sensation, and poor wound healing. These risks can be reduced by choosing an experienced surgeon and following all of the instructions she provides.
Breast lift recovery is typically quite tolerable. A certain level of discomfort and pain is to be expected during the first couple of days after surgery, but this can be effectively managed with pain medications.
Breast lifts are outpatient procedures. You won’t need to stay overnight in the hospital, but you will need to arrange a ride home from your surgery. It’s a good idea to ask a friend or loved one to help you around the house for the first 24 – 48 hours of your recovery, especially if you have children.
While everyone can heal slightly differently, patients can usually resume light tasks around the house after the first few days. You should be able to return to work and engage in gentle exercises (such as walking or using an elliptical) within the first few weeks of your recovery.
Avoid strenuous activity for at least a month. After six to eight weeks, most patients can begin to lift weights or resume aerobic exercise.
You may experience bruising or swelling during the first few weeks of recovery and you may even have residual swelling for several months. Once all of the swelling has dissipated, you should be able to notice your final results.
If are considering a breast lift in the Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Jenks or Owasso areas of Oklahoma, please call 918-518-5144 to schedule a complimentary consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Brenda Schiesel. We look forward to meeting you and exceeding your expectations!