Sagging breasts are a real concern for many women. Loss of skin elasticity, gravity and other factors such as pregnancy and nursing can cause the breasts to lose their natural shape and firmness. Breast lift or mastopexy is a cosmetic breast surgical procedure to lift and reshape sagging breasts.
The procedure may also involve repositioning the areola and nipple. Some women may have small breasts or may have lost a significant amount of breast volume after pregnancy. In such cases, placement of breast implants in addition to a breast lift may be required to increase the size and firmness of the breasts. The implants are typically placed underneath the breast tissue or under the muscle of the chest wall.
Breast lifts are usually performed under general anaesthesia. The procedure takes about 2-4 hours. Your surgeon will make an anchor-shaped incision that follows the natural contour of the breast. Next, your surgeon will remove the excess skin and move your nipple and areola to a higher position. Then the skin around the areola is brought down and drawn together to reshape the breast. After completion of the procedure, stitches are placed around the areola and nipple area, in a vertical line beneath the nipple and along the lower crease of the breast.
Another technique, especially for those with small breasts and minimal sagging, is the doughnut or concentric mastopexy, where circular incisions are made around the areola, and a doughnut-shaped area of skin or areola is removed.
Following the surgery, your breast will be bruised, swollen, and may ache for a day or two. You may feel some discomfort, for which medications are recommended by your surgeon. After you have a breast lift, an elastic bandage or a surgical bra will be wrapped around your breasts over gauze dressings. These will be removed within a few days and replaced with a support bra. All sutures are usually removed within a week or two after surgery. You can expect loss of sensation around your nipple and areola area. This is usually temporary and resolves on its own in about six weeks.