Gravity, age, skin laxity, post-partum anatomy, or a combination of these take their toll on our once perky breasts. Many women opt for breast surgery so that they can restore their youthful profile.
Women often consult for breast augmentation surgery only to realize that augmentation alone will not provide the lift required to reach their goal of having perky breasts once again. In these cases, a mastopexy or breast lift is performed at the same time as augmentation. Especially for women who have had children, the rapid increase and decrease in breast size during and after pregnancy leave the stretched skin with little elasticity. Even women who have never had children experience skin laxity as they age. They too seek breast enhancement surgery.
Women may opt for breast augmentation with a lift or just a breast lift. Either way, breast lift surgery is performed using the same techniques.
At North Shore Aesthetics in Chicago and Northbrook, your breast lift surgery will be performed by Dr. Schlechter, while you are under IV sedation. The length of time for the surgery ranges from one to three hours depending on which approach your surgeon uses for your case. There are different approaches to breast lift surgery, the traditional lift, the periareolar lift, and the crescent lift. Nipple position has a lot to do with which approach would provide you optimal results. Your plastic surgeon will discuss each approach with you during your consultation and upon examination, explain which approach is best for you.
What Is a Traditional Breast Lift?
For women with nipple position on the lower half of the breast and poor skin elasticity, a traditional breast lift is what the surgeon may recommend. With this approach, the incisions are around the areola, down the front of the breast, and under the breast in the area called the inframammary crease. Once the excess sagging skin is removed, the incisions are closed and the nipple placement is at the center of the breast.
What Is a Periareolar Lift?
For women who do not require the full traditional lift may be candidates for a periareolar lift, which is less involved. This approach requires two incisions, one around the areola and once around the first incision. Your plastic surgeon will remove the donut-shaped ring of excised skin and tighten the shin; thus repositioning the nipples to their rightful place on the center of the breast.
What Is a Crescent Lift?
An even less invasive lift, called a crescent lift involves making a small incision at the top of the areola allowing the surgeon to lift up on the area for better nipple position.
Your doctor will recommend which approach (the traditional breast lift, periareolar lift, or crescent lift) will give you optimal results.
As with all breast surgery, you leave our office wearing a light support, hook front bra, which we provide. The recovery nurse will review the post-operative instructions that you went over during your pre-op appointment with your cosmetic coordinator. You may not perform any heavy lifting or do anything to increase your heart rate for the first two weeks after surgery. It is important not to remove the bra or bandages until seen at your first post-op appointment, which is scheduled within three days of your surgery. You may sponge bathe in the interim. After your first post-operative appointment, you may resume showering along with any of your normal daily activities that do not require heavy lifting.
Since there is not a lot of pain associated with breast lift surgery, most patients do well with taking extra-strength Tylenol® for the first few days post-op. Your doctor will prescribe a stronger pain medication, but often patients opt not to take it.
Breast Lift Surgery
Frequently Asked Questions
If I need a traditional lift, is there anything I can do for the scars?
Luckily, at North Shore Aesthetics in Chicago and Northbrook, we offer wonderful scar management with prescription strength scar creams and the latest laser technology to speed the fading of incision lines.
What if I get a lift without getting implants at the same time?
Your breast lift surgery will return your nipples to the center of your breasts, but you will not have the same fullness at the top of the breast as you would if you were to have the augmentation. It depends on what you want in terms of fullness.
When can I go back to work?
If your job does not require you to lift or perform anything strenuous, you may return to work within about 5 days after breast lift surgery depending upon the type of lift you had.
May I go braless after having a breast lift?
We recommend that patients regularly wear light support bras after breast lift surgery. That is not the case for special occasions when your wardrobe calls for no bra.
What is the difference between a crescent breast lift and a vertical lift?
A crescent breast lift includes a small semi-circular incision above the areola, the colored area of the nipple. This lift is often performed in combination with a breast augmentation in order to reposition a nipple that is slightly low.
A vertical breast lift can include an incision all the way around the areola and a vertical incision that descends to the base of the breast. This procedure is more common in patients with more severe skin laxity and drooping of the breast and nipple. It’s helpful for reshaping the breast into a conical shape.
Can a breast lift impact breastfeeding in the future?
We have seen numerous patients who have successfully breastfed following their breast lifts. Breastfeeding is possible after a breast lift as long as the nipple is left attached to the underlying breast tissue. While no one is guaranteed to have the ability to breastfeed after pregnancy, a breast lift should not greatly interfere with that option.
What risks and side effects are associated with breast lift surgery?
Some of the most common risks and side effects resulting from a breast lift surgery include infection, excessive bleeding, negative reactions to the anesthesia, permanent and visible scarring, uneven nipple positioning, asymmetrical breasts, and temporary or permanent loss of feeling in the nipples and/or breasts. If you feel that you may be prone to experiencing risks and/or side effects, be sure to notify us during the consultation process.