The breast lift procedure, known as a mastopexy, is designed to change the shape of your breast to give your breast a more perky and youthful appearance. Whether pregnancy, breast feeding, weight loss or aging has changed your breasts or you simply never liked the shape of your breasts, the surgeons at CASI (Chicago Aesthetic Surgery Institute) can help! With doctors like Dr. Szczerba and Dr. Kapadia, who can not only transform or rejuvenate your breasts, but also completely restore your breasts completely after breast cancer, we are confident we can get you looking good! Reversing some of the breast sag or breast droop from pregnancy, breast feeding, weight loss or aging or simply getting a perkier, more youthful breast shape can have an enormously positive impact on one’s self-esteem!
At your initial consultation, we at CASI (Chicago Aesthetic Surgery Institute) start with detailed and precise measurements of your body so we can customize your new look! We’ll review your medical history and your goals to make sure we make the appropriate plan. Breast lift surgery may need to be combined with additional techniques such as breast implants, fat grafting, internal mesh or internal adjustment of breast tissue to achieve your optimal result. We attribute our success with aesthetic breast surgery to the careful evaluation and planning we do with our patients – which is why we spend as much time as it takes to get it right!
Breast lift candidates are women or men who are healthy physically and emotionally and want to change their breast shape. Typically breast lift candidates relay that they are not happy with the shape of their breasts or the position of their nipple in relation to the breast and chest. The complaint of breast droop, known as breast ptosis is the most common concern however we frequently hear other concerns such as “my breasts are empty” or “saggy-looking.” These issues may have been present since puberty and breast development, however a significant amount of patients relay that their breasts have changed as a result of pregnancy and breastfeeding, aging or weight loss. Anatomical issues such as breast asymmetry (uneven breasts) or tuberous breast deformity can also be managed with breast lift surgery. Breast lift surgery however may need to be combined with additional techniques such as breast augmentation with breast implants, fat grafting, internal absorbable mesh or internal breast adjustment of breast tissue to achieve optimal outcome. Prospective patients should not smoke for 4-6 weeks before and after the procedure and if appropriate, have an updated mammogram. It is important to have realistic expectations. Breast lift surgery will significantly improve the appearance of sagging or droopy breasts, however will not solve psychological issues or other self image problems.
The procedure starts with careful marking of your breasts and a review of your goals. Anesthesia is administered by our in-house anesthesiologists or nurse anesthetists to ensure maximum patient comfort. During breast lift surgery, our plastic surgeons raise the breast position by removing excess skin and surgically sculpting the surrounding tissue to create the planned breast contours.
Depending on the plan, the incisions can be designed in the following patterns:
- Around the areola
- Around the areola and vertically down to the crease under the breast (forming a lollipop pattern)
- Around the areola, down to the crease of the breast and horizontally into the crease (creating an anchor pattern)
The surgeon carefully removes excess skin and breast tissue (when needed) through the incisions and then surgically sculpts the remaining tissue. The nipple and areola are repositioned into a higher position and during closure, any additional excess skin is excised while the remaining breast skin is tightened. Local anesthetic is injected for your comfort and the incisions are then closed with sutures or stitches.
Breast lift patients are encouraged to rest at home for a few days then follow up in our office before returning to work. Showering is usually permitted at 48 hours and light exercise (such as walks) can be resumed after two weeks. Our plastic surgery providers will give you recommendations on support garments to wear as your breasts heal. It is also important to avoid doing any lifting during breast lift recovery, including lifting small children. Mothers recovering from breast lift surgery are advised to arrange for a caretaker or companion to help with the children; their ability to move around will be temporarily hindered.
After letting your body heal for 4-6 weeks, a graduated return to your regular exercise regimen is recommended. Our scheduled, postoperative visits are the best time to confirm any remaining restrictions. Smoking is discouraged during the recovery process and direct sun tanning is definitely to be avoided. There are safe ways to manage sun exposure during the first year and your surgeon and our staff at CASI will review the ointments and specific strips to optimize your healing process.
Benefits and Risks of Breast Lift Surgery
Breast lift surgery raises the breast into a more youthful position while tightening the breast tissue. Breast lift surgery can make a woman feel more attractive and youthful with perky and younger-looking breasts. Since the anatomy of the breast is surgically restored to more aesthetically pleasing position, the surgery (as any surgery does) has some associated risks, including the the risk of recurrence of loose skin or breast tissue, the need for refinement of the outcome, asymmetry, the risk of unfavorable scarring, bleeding or fluid collection within the breast, infection, temporary or the very unlikely risk of permanent loss in sensation in the nipple area. Thankfully these risks are small and covered in more detail during our standard informed consent discussion prior to surgery.
Breast Lift with Augmentation
Breast lift does not alter the size of the breasts, it simply alters the anatomy and the position of the nipple. Breast lift surgery may need to be combined with additional techniques such as breast implants, fat grafting, internal mesh or internal adjustment of breast tissue to achieve your optimal result.
If a woman desires fullness at the top of the breast and bigger breasts, it is recommended she combine breast lift with breast augmentation with implants or fat. Targeted fat graft to the breast may also be combined with breast lift surgery to augment breast size and improve specific breast contours. Our surgeons can simultaneously lift the breasts and augment them with fat graft or the placement of saline or silicone implants. These popular combinations of techniques in patients who notice significant changes in their breasts after pregnancy can be incorporated into your surgical plan. More comprehensive makeovers can be also be arranged with many patients at CASI (Chicago Aesthetic Surgery Institute) opting for a “mommy makeover.” Mommy makeover is combination of procedures that usually includes a breast procedure (such as breast lift) and a body contouring procedure (such as abdominoplasty). These comprehensive makeovers are performed regularly at CASI!
If you feel self-conscious because of your droopy or saggy breasts and are interested in a surgical correction, schedule a breast lift consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons. Contact us today to schedule a personal appointment. During your consultation, our surgeons can also explain various other breast and body enhancement procedures, such as breast augmentation, abdominoplasty, liposuction, breast reconstruction or breast reduction in Chicago. We look forward to seeing you!!