A breast lift, or mastopexy, is performed to return youthful shape and to lift breasts that have sagged as a result of weight loss, pregnancy, loss of the skin’s natural elasticity or simply the effects of gravity. The procedure can also reduce areolar size (the dark skin surrounding the nipple), and it can be combined with augmentation mammaplasty (breast augmentation) for added breast volume and firmness at the initial procedure or even several months later.
Dr. Cohen performs different types of breast lifts depending on the extent of breast tissue reshaping and how much excess skin needs to be removed. These procedures include a concentric ("doughnut") mastopexy and a mastopexy that results in an anchor-shaped incision made from the location of the new nipple down to and around the crease beneath the breast.
After breast lift surgery the breasts are wrapped with gauze dressings. 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 following surgery. Numbness in the breasts and nipples should lessen as swelling subsides, although occasionally it lasts for months or even permanently. Complications 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.
A mastopexy is usually performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia and can take approximately two to three hours. Most patients can return to work within a week or two following their procedure.
Large breasts can negatively impact a woman both physically and emotionally, causing symptoms such as chronic back pain, rashes, poor posture, low self-esteem and restricted activity. Many women seek treatment to reduce the painful effects of their large breasts, while also improving their self-confidence and overall quality of life. Also known as reduction mammaplasty, breast reduction surgery reduces the size of large, disproportionate breasts by removing excess fat, tissue and skin for a more desirable appearance and relief of physical and emotional symptoms. The results of a breast reduction are visible right away and will continue to improve as swelling and bruising subside.
A little pain is normal after breast reduction, whether it’s mild discomfort, swelling during menstruation, a measure of numbness or sensitivity, or random, shooting pains that may last for a few months. Swelling, bruising, crusting and slight changes in breast size are also common. Most patients return to work in about two weeks, although you should avoid heavy lifting for three to four and only gentle contact with the breasts should occur for six weeks.