For many women, the size, shape and contour of their breasts are of particular importance.
Today, women who are disturbed by sagging or loose breasts as a result of pregnancy, weight loss or natural aging can be helped by a remarkable surgical technique called breast lift or mastopexy. This procedure is designed to elevate and reshape the breast. The size of the areola, the dark, pink skin circling the nipple, can also be reduced through the procedure. Mastopexy is often performed in conjunction with surgery designed to enlarge the breasts.
Prior to surgery, a complete medical history is taken in order to evaluate your general health. The breasts themselves are then examined thoroughly to determine the most effective surgical approach. Dr. Gilmer will describe the type of anesthesia to be used, the procedure, what results might realistically be expected as well as possible risks and complications.
Preoperative instructions often include the elimination of certain drugs containing aspirin for several weeks before surgery in order to minimize the possibility of excess bleeding. Antibiotics may be prescribed prior to surgery to prevent infection.
A breast lift can be performed as an outpatient procedure. Dr. Gilmer may choose from a variety of procedures, depending on what changes are desired. Prior to surgery, the breasts are carefully marked to indicate where incisions are to be made.
One of the techniques most frequently used involves incisions made on both sides of the breast and around the areola. A keyhole shaped incision is then made directly above the nipple. The surgeon works through the incisions to remove excess skin from the lower part of the breast. The nipple, areola and underlying tissue are then repositioned into a new, higher location and the skin down and sutured together to reshape the breast.
A modified procedure can be done on patients who have minimal sagging. This involves the removal of skin from the areola and surrounding areas. When breast augmentation is performed in conjunction with mastopexy, an implant is placed in a pocket created under the breast tissue or the muscle of the chest wall. The surgery can last two hours or more, depending upon the procedure.
Following surgery, you will wear either bandages or a special garment. This is usually replaced with a surgical bra which is worn for several weeks. Pain connected with the procedure is minimal to moderate and is controlled with oral medication. Antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent infection. Instructions for the day of surgery include bed rest with limited activities. Dr. Gilmer will determine when normal activities can be resumed; however, strenuous exercise and overhead lifting must be avoided for several weeks.
Numbness around the treated area may occur, but this condition is usually temporary. Swelling and discoloration disappear in a few days, and scars from the incisions, although permanent, will fade significantly in time.
Complications of infection and blood clots are rare; however, there are certain inherent risks connected with every surgical procedure which should be thoroughly discussed with Dr. Gilmer and his staff. You can minimize complications by carefully following directions. Following mastopexy, there may be slight variations in the size or shape of the breasts; however, these variations are common even before breast surgery.
If you interested in learning more about breast lift, please contact our office and we will be happy to answer your questions.