This procedure is to lift sagging breasts and does not excise or add tissue. Typically, recipients are women who have had their nipple fall beneath the breast and had collapse of the breast tissue due to weight loss, aging, or pregnancy. Elevation of both the nipple and breast tissue results in a permanent, noticeable scar. In the months following surgery, the tissue may slightly sag again due to the skin’s tendency to settle, but sagging will be far from its original state.
Complications are very rare but may include nipple loss, infection, scarring, loss of nipple erectile ability, and nipple numbness. Numbness could potentially be permanent and could restrict ability to breastfeed in the future.
Surgery is performed on an out-patient basis under either local or general anesthesia and takes about two and a half hours. Discomfort following surgery is minimal, as sutures dissolve internally and dressings are removed in seven to ten days. Showering and bathing, along with driving, can be resumed after five to seven days. Physical activity should be limited for two to three weeks. Dr. Byun will schedule three or four post-operative appointments to monitor your recovery.
Breast Lift FAQs
Will breast lift increase the size of my breasts?
Increasing size is not a primary goal of breast lift, although women can choose to have breast implants placed in conjunction with a lift procedure. Because breast lift elevates the breasts on the chest and reverses sagging, it can create the appearance of larger volume. In addition, by improving symmetry and restoring a perky look by returning low or downward-pointing nipples to a natural appearance, breast lift creates a youthful profile that is more dramatic in its projection, shape and proportion.
Are the results permanent?
You’ve turned back the clock with your breast lift, but you haven’t stopped the aging process entirely. You can be confident, however, that your breasts will look perky and youthful for a long time, in the absence of a new pregnancy or dramatic changes in weight. The smaller your breasts, the more likely that you will retain your new profile. If in the future you find that your breasts have begun to sag, there is no risk to repeating the procedure.
Will I have scarring?
Breast lift involves an incision and the removal of skin, so some scarring is inevitable. Dr. Byun always uses the least invasive techniques, resulting in the shortest scars. For most breast lift procedures, there will be a scar around each areola and a vertical scar that reaches under the breast. Dr. Byun will discuss with you steps you can take during the recovery process to ensure that that your incisions heal quickly and cleanly, minimizing the appearance of scars.
Did breastfeeding change the integrity and profile of my breasts?
Breastfeeding does not contribute to sagging of breasts, but it can seem that way when drooping appears once breastfeeding is stopped. In reality, it is the entire process of pregnancy that puts strain on the breasts.
During this time, breasts naturally swell to a larger size. When this happens, the skin stretches. Once your infant is no longer breastfeeding, the milk-producing gland shrinks and the breasts return to their usual size. But because the skin may not be flexible enough to shrink back to a correspondingly smaller size, sagging can result.
Because pregnancy and nursing are two of the factors that cause the breasts to sag, it is a good idea to wait until you are reasonably sure you won’t have more children before having breast lift.
What is ptosis?
Ptosis is the classification surgeons use to describe the degree of sagging in the breast. To determine this, surgeons look at the position of the nipple relative to the fold or crease at the base of the breast. With Grade 1 ptosis, the nipple and crease are at the same level. In Grade 2 cases, the nipple has dropped below the crease, but it is still higher than the breast gland area that projects over the fold. In Grade 3 ptosis, the nipple is the lowest part of the breast.
How much downtime can I expect after breast lift surgery?
The support bra you will wear when you first return home, and the small tubes that will drain blood and fluids from incisions, will be in place for several days, so this will initially limit your freedom. For an office job, you should be able to return to work within the week.
What should I expect with swelling?
After surgery your breasts will appear bruised and will be swollen for up to four months. In addition, you can expect the usual discomforts of surgical recovery, including pain and sometimes localized numbness. Dr. Byun will prescribe medication to relieve pain, and provide guidance on ways to limit your physical activity. Although you will need to avoid most physical stress, walking is recommended as a practical way to reduce your risk of developing a blood clot. Walking and drinking plenty of fluids can also help reduce swelling of the breasts.
Can breast lift be performed in conjunction with other procedures?
Yes, it can. Breast lift is often a key part of mommy makeover, a group of procedures that may also include:
- Liposuction, to shrink specific areas of stubborn fat
- Tummy tuck, to repair the abdominal wall and remove excess folds of skin
- Breast augmentation with implants, to restore or enhance volume
This suite of surgeries targets the changes the body often undergoes as a result of one or more pregnancies. The goal is to restore a youthful, firmer profile — while fortifying self-confidence.