Breast lift surgery helps correct excessive breast sagging to give the breasts a more youthful appearance. Once the breasts have begun to sag, often after pregnancy or fluctuations in body weight, only surgery can restore them to a perky position. This procedure elevates the nipple and areola while reshaping and tightening the breast. A breast implant does not lift a sagging breast, it just makes it a bigger version of the shape it already has.
If your nipple and areola have descended toward or below the lowest point of the crease below your breast or are pointing downward, a breast lift may be right for you. If fullness in your breasts has decreased as well, then Dr. Swetnam may also recommend breast implants.
A procedure that combines a breast lift and augmentation can be an option for some women. In some cases, a full lift and an augmentation are more safely performed as separate procedures.
There are several methods in breast lift surgery; the one chosen depends on how much lift is needed. Surgical incisions are always required around the nipple and may additionally be made vertically from the nipple to the crease and possibly in the crease itself. Excess skin is then lifted or tightened to elevate the breasts. Internal sutures may be used in selected cases for more support.
Most patients return to work after about one week and resume exercise in three weeks. Mild bruising and some swelling should be expected, and medications will be prescribed to control discomfort. Patients are advised to wear a surgical bra night and day for two weeks. Scars will initially be pink and slightly raised, but they will fade and flatten out in the months that follow surgery, continuing to improve for up to one year and longer.
To learn more about breast lift surgery, read the Breast Lift Guide by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.