FAQ breast lift FAQ

Breast Lift Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I am a good candidate for breast lift (mastopexy) surgery?
Many women seek breast lift (mastopexy) because pregnancy and nursing have left them with stretched skin and less volume in their breasts. As we age, skin loses its elasticity and the breasts often lose their shape and firmness and begin to sag.

Breast lift (mastopexy) raises and reshapes sagging breasts by removing excess skin and repositioning remaining tissue and nipples. If an increase in breast volume is necessary or desirable in addition to lifting a sagging breast, saline-filled or silicone gel implants are placed under each breast.

The best candidates for breast lift (mastopexy) are women who are looking for improvement, not perfection, in the way they look. The best results are usually achieved in women with small, sagging breasts. If you are physically healthy and realistic in your expectations, you may be a good candidate.


What is the length of a typical breast lift (mastopexy) surgery?
Breast lift (mastopexy) surgery generally requires 3 to 4 hours to perform.


What type of anesthesia is used for breast lift (mastopexy) surgery?
A general anesthetic is used to perform breast lift (mastopexy) surgery.


Is breast lift (mastopexy) surgery performed as an outpatient?
Yes, breast lift (mastopexy) surgery is usually performed as an outpatient.


Where is breast lift (mastopexy) surgery performed?
Breast lift (mastopexy) surgery is performed in the safety of an ambulatory surgery center, a surgical hospital, or the outpatient department of a hospital.


Are breast implants required to perform a breast lift (mastopexy)?
Breast implants are not always required when performing breast lift (mastopexy). If there is satisfactory contour and size to a breast that has been lifted, a breast implant is not necessary. If an increase in breast volume is necessary or desirable in addition to lifting a sagging breast, saline-filled or silicone gel implants are placed under each breast. In cases of severe breast sagging with loss of breast volume, a two-stage treatment approach may be ideal. The breast is lifted and reshaped during an initial surgical procedure and breast implants are inserted under the breasts during a second surgery several months later.


If breast implants are needed during breast lift (mastopexy), what types of implants are used and where are they placed?
Silicone gel breast implants or Inflatable silicone shell saline-filled breast implants are placed in a subpectoral position (under the chest wall muscles). This position improves the natural shape and the softness of the breast after surgery.


What is the cost of breast lift (mastopexy)?
The cost of breast lift (mastopexy) surgery ranges from $5,000 to $7,500, including the implants. The cost varies with the complexity of the surgery and the type of breast implants used. An initial consultation is required to determine the exact cost of the breast lift (mastopexy) surgery.


Is breast lift (mastopexy) covered by insurance?
No, breast lift (mastopexy) and other cosmetic surgeries are not covered by insurance.


How long will it take to recover from breast lift (mastopexy) surgery?
Individuals usually return to work within 10 to 14 days. Jobs that require significant physical activity may require up to 6 weeks off work.


How long do the results of breast lift (mastopexy) last?
The results are long lasting, although the effects of aging and gravity continue to act on the breasts after surgery. Pregnancy and weight fluctuation can also stretch skin and offset the results of breast lift (mastopexy). Future additional breast lifting surgery or implant replacement may be required.


How will I feel and look immediately following breast lift (mastopexy) surgery?
There is temporary soreness, swelling, change in nipple and/or breast skin sensation, and bruising. A sports bra is worn for six weeks following breast lift (mastopexy) surgery.


Is breast lift (mastopexy) a painful procedure?
There is discomfort for several days following breast lift (mastopexy) that is controllable with the use of pain medications and muscle relaxants taken by mouth. Dr. Mayfield also uses the ON-Q pain pump system for postoperative pain relief. ON-Q is a small high-tech balloon that holds local anesthetic (a pain numbing medication) and delivers it through a tiny specially designed tube directly into the surgical incision site. The medication is delivered continuously and slowly for several days after surgery.


What are some of the risks of breast lift (mastopexy)?
Potential risks of breast lift (mastopexy) include thick or wide scars, skin loss, bleeding, infection, and unevenly positioned nipples. Poor healing and wider scars are more common in smokers.

Surgical revision, replacement, or removal of breast implants may be required to treat problems including saline-filled breast implant deflation, silicone gel breast implant rupture, or the formation of scar tissue around the implant (capsular contracture) which may cause the breast to feel tight or hard. There may be an increase or decrease in the sensitivity of nipples or breast skin, which is usually temporary, but can occasionally be permanent. Mammography requires a special technique to examine as much of the natural breast tissue as possible.


What happens when saline-filled breast implants leak?
Should a saline-filled breast implant leaks, the implant will deflate in a short period of time and the salt water will be harmlessly absorbed by the body. The deflation will create breast asymmetry, and the deflated breast implant will need to be replaced to restore the desired breast size and contour.


Are there scars that result from breast lift (mastopexy)?
Breast lift (mastopexy) does leave permanent scars, although they will be covered by a bra or bathing suit. Every effort is taken to make the scars as inconspicuous as possible. The scars from breast lift (mastopexy) surgery are generally thin and flat. Poor healing and wider scars are more common in smokers. Depending upon the type of breast lift (mastopexy) that is performed, scars may be present around the areola (the darker skin around the nipple), beneath the areola, and/or under the breast in the crease. The appearance of the scars will continue to improve for 6 to 12 months after surgery. A variety of non-surgical scar reduction techniques are utilized after surgery to improve the final appearance of the scars.


 
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