A breast lift, or mastopexy, is performed to return youthful shape and lift to breasts that have sagged as a result of weight loss, pregnancy, loss of the skin’s natural elasticity or simply the effects of aging and gravity. The procedure can also reduce areolar size (the dark skin surrounding the nipple), and it can be combined with breast augmentation for added volume and firmness. It is usually done under general anesthesia, and lasts from one to three hours.
Dr. Afridi has extensive training in mastopexy, and augmentation mastopexy, and is able to offer her patients short-scar techniques to return their breasts to their original youthful shape.
Short Scar Technique
For many years, women who had breast reduction or breast lift surgery were left with prominent scars and the risk of the breasts drooping or flattening over time. The recently popularized short-scar techniques improve upon traditional breast reduction methods to avoid these problems.
The vertical short-scar technique involves making a lollipop-shaped incision in the breast. Tissue beneath the nipple and areola are left intact, allowing surgeons to consistently provide patients with attractively contoured breasts that stay high. The vertical scars are small and tend to heal well (without significant widening, wrinkling or other complications).
Where is a breast lift (mastopexy) performed? How long does it take?
Mastopexy is performed in Dr. Afridi's office-based facility. It is usually done on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia, and lasts from 1-½ to 3-½ hours.
Pre-operative Consultation & Procedures
A number of pre-operative steps are typically taken before a breast lift with Dr. Afridi. These may include a mammogram.
All patients will discuss their goals for breast lift surgery in-depth with Dr. Afridi before undergoing the procedure. During this discussion, Dr. Afridi talks with patients about the desired size and shape of the breast and placement of the nipple to help ensure that the patient's goals are realistic and that the procedure then achieves what the patient wishes.
The Breast Lift Procedure
During the standard breast lift procedure at Dr. Afridi's New York City office, an incision is made around the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple) and sometimes is continued vertically downward along the breast, depending on the extent of lift required. Excess breast skin and tissue is removed, and the nipple areola is relocated to an appropriate position on the breast mound. The incisions are closed with buried dissolving sutures.
Patients with small breasts and minimal sagging may be recommended for smaller-incision mastopexy. One such modified procedure is concentric ("doughnut”) mastopexy, in which two concentric circular incisions are made around the areola and a doughnut-shaped swathe of skin is removed.
One of Dr. Afridi's patients who rejuvenated her breasts after pregnancy
with a breast lift and augmentation. This patient is a subglandular augmentation mastopexy done in one stage with a 275cc silicone implant and a vertical (lollipop) incision mastopexy.
Recovery from a Breast Lift
After surgery the breasts are wrapped with gauze dressings, over which an elastic bandage or a surgical bra is placed. After a few days this is replaced with a soft support bra which is worn 24 hours a day for about a month.
Breasts will probably be bruised, swollen, and uncomfortable for a few days, but this will pass. Numbness in the breasts and nipples should lessen as swelling subsides, although occasionally it lasts for months or even permanently. Stitches are removed after one to two weeks, and many patients return to work then.
Complications are uncommon but may include bleeding, infection, numbness, uneven positioning of nipples and widening of scars. Scars can be covered even beneath bathing suits and low-cut tops.