Breast form remains, perhaps, the most visual symbol of femininity and female sexuality in society today. The form and shape of the breast will change over time, as affected by several factors, including gravity and hormonal influences. The pubescent firmness and position of the breast gland may be compromised by the natural aging process, the effects of gravity, breast feeding, pregnancy and hormonal fluctuations.
To return the breast to a more youthful shape and position a breast lift operation may be contemplated. In this procedure, the breast tissue is literally physically lifted higher onto the chest wall, where it is secured. Excess skin is then removed, retaining the new shape and position of the breast. Several techniques are available for your plastic surgeon to choose from and are dependent on the amount of breast sagging (ptosis) to be corrected. More recent trends in breast lift surgery call for smaller and shorter scars.
The classic incisions (scars) for breast lift and breast reduction surgery involve an inverted T or anchor incision, which goes around the areola, vertically down to and then along the natural fold beneath the breast. This results in a long scar and is generally reserved for extreme cases of breast sagging (ptosis).
The vertical scar mastopexy includes a periareolar incision, which then extends vertically down to the breast fold only. This may also be termed the “lollipop” scar or incision. This incision technique may render the breast more susceptible to nipple sensation changes and breast feeding limitations.
The third choice in breast lift incision is the periareolar incision. This incision is limited to encircling the areolar only. It is usually reserved for cases of minimal breast ptosis and may also carry the potential to affect nipple sensation and breast feeding.
The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, in either a hospital, ambulatory surgical facility, or doctor’s office operating suite. Anesthesia is typically an intravenous sedation along with local anesthetic injection or alternatively, a general anesthesia (completely asleep). The operation may take anywhere from two to four hours on average depending on the technique used. Drains may or may not be placed depending on your plastic surgeon’s practices. Many plastic surgeons require the use of a support bra for up to 2 months after surgery to help maintain the new breast form and position during the healing process.
Whichever technique/incision is chosen, the breasts will be lifted and tightened on the chest wall creating a more youthful and aesthetically pleasing appearance.