Another name for a breast lift is mastopexy.
The female breast over time ages like any other part of the human body. Aging brings on a change in breast position that can only be corrected with a breast lift with or without breast augmentation. The first noticeable change is often a sagging of the breast tissue and the nipples point downward. The other significant change is a loss of cleavage and fullness of the upper breast.
Dr. Chartchai's patients come to him for a breast lift when they notice that time, gravity, and the effects of childbirth have had significant impact on how their breasts look.
By regaining proper nipple positioning and cleavage, not only does a woman look more youthful but she feels more youthful.
Often, the drooping and loss of cleavage is corrected simply with breast implants. If the drooping is pronounced, however, a breast lift may be necessary, sometimes with an augmentation as well.
What do you want to change?
Breast lifts are performed on patients that are currently facing ptosis (a condition in which a person's breasts sag due to natural occurrences such as pregnancy, weight loss, breastfeeding, and gravity).
If the volume of your breast tissue is good but you want the "perkiness" back, a lift by itself may be all that is necessary. If you would like a lift but add a little more volume, breast implants at the time of the lift may be the answer.
The benefits of having a breast lift are many, ranging from improved appearance to better fitting clothes. Your breasts have more cleavage, and they sit higher on your chest and project further. Your nipples are repositioned to a more youthful location. Your upper body and lower body are in better balance. You may even want to go bra-less.
The peri-areolar breast lift is also known as a donut mastopexy, whereby an appropriate amount of breast tissue around the areola is excised so that the nipple/areola are positioned on top of the sub-mammary folds.
Some women believe they need breast implants along with a lift, but if they have significant amount of natural breast tissue, Dr. Chartchai's skill and technique creates enough lift to seemingly restore the breast to a more youthful fullness.
- "Lollipop" lift
A "Lollipop" breast lift is best when the nipple needs to be raised a moderate amount, and will change the breast from a hanging rectangular appearance to a projected round appearance. This involves a vertical incision from the areola to remove excess tissue and skin and creates a much more attractive, round, full shape within the lower breast.
- "Anchor" lift
An "Anchor" breast lift is usually necessary when nipples have descended significantly. This will result in an additional horizontal scar. Dr. Chartchai's technique minimizes the horizontal scar so it is hidden completely underneath the breast. Patients can wear any type of clothing without concern of the scar being seen.
After a breast lift, a patient will experience temporary swelling and bruising. There will be some decrease in nipple sensation that may last from 6-12 weeks. Or the nipples become hypersensitive and even erect. This too will go away with time.
The most significant downside to a breast lift is the incision scarring. Scars around the areola are well hidden at the interface between the skin and the darker colored areola. These scars are acceptable and few women are concerned about them. Scars may take a year or longer to fade.
The surgery creates a small amount of rippling at the incision around the areola but this usually goes away within a year or less.
You may be able to return to work after 7-10 days, if you can avoid reaching above shoulder level. Heavy lifting must be avoided for 6 weeks, and upper arm exercises should be restricted for the same amount of time.
The most common complication after breast lifting is asymmetry. While naturally all breasts have some asymmetry, Dr. Chartchai intends for his patients to achieve as much symmetry as possible. However it is unreasonable to expect both breasts to be exactly identical or both nipples to be perfectly equally positioned.
Occasionally scars will heal poorly and never fade for some patients. A keloid is a very poor scar and is more common in African-Americans and other darker complexioned people. Dr. Chartchai strives to minimize the size of incisions and thereby minimizing the amount of potential keloid scarring. A good indication as to how your scars will heal is to look at other scars or incisions on your body. If they have healed well it is unlikely that you will scar poorly during the breast lift.
Rarely, some patients have permanent loss of feeling in their nipples or breasts.
Other possible complications that must be considered are those associated with any surgical procedure. These include infection, wound healing problems, fluid or blood collection and contour irregularities.