Aging happens to all of us, and for the most part, no one is happy about the effect it has on their appearance. While the most noticeable signs of aging are on the face, many women find themselves self-conscious about the toll the years have taken on their breasts as well. Though aging alone can cause breasts to sag, the effects are also magnified by pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight fluctuations, and heredity. The good news is that the breast lift (or mastopexy) is a popular plastic surgery that has proven effective in restoring breasts to more youthful shape. If you’re considering or preparing for a breast lift, knowing what to expect may help to put your nerves at ease and help your procedure go more smoothly.
What to Expect Before a Breast Lift
As a board-certified plastic surgeon, my first step with each potential patient is a consultation. During this appointment, we’ll discuss your aesthetic goals and I will perform an exam to determine whether a breast lift is the right procedure to meet your needs or whether your goals are better aligned with a breast augmentation or breast reduction. We’ll also discuss whether the timing is right for your surgery. For instance, your results will last longer if you are able to keep your current weight stable and if you are not planning on having children in the future, so if you believe you will have weight fluctuations or future pregnancies after your procedure, it may be best to postpone the surgery.
After your consultation, you can also expect to undergo some medical testing to ensure that you are healthy enough for a breast lift. If you are a good plastic surgery candidate, I will give you detailed instructions to follow in order to prepare, including information about medications, planning, not smoking, and more.
What to Expect After a Breast Lift
Mastopexy is typically an outpatient procedure, so after a brief observation period, you will return home for your recovery. You will be wearing an elastic bandage or specialized bra to support your breasts, and it’s important to follow your post-surgical instructions regarding how long you should wear it. Most breast lift patients can return to work after approximately one week, although this will depend on your body’s individual healing process.
While you’ll be understandably eager to see your results, it can take up to a few months for all of the swelling and discoloration to fade, so your final breast lift results will not be visible until this time. As with any surgery, you can expect to have scarring. Depending on your unique needs, your scar will be around your areola, in a vertical line from your areola to the crease at the bottom of your breast, and/or in a horizontal line that follows your breast crease. These scars will fade with time, but they are also easily concealed by a bra or bathing suit, so they shouldn’t typically be visible on a day-to-day basis.
A breast lift is expected to have long-lasting results, but the procedure cannot stop the aging process. While it can typically take decades of aging for your breasts to return to their pre-surgical appearance, your results can also be minimized by weight fluctuations, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and other factors, so you can maintain your results longer if you plan to keep your breasts at a stable size.
Plastic surgery can be intimidating for anyone, especially if it’s your first. Educating yourself about your procedure and setting your expectations can put your mind at ease and also help to ensure that the process goes more smoothly, which leaves you with the best possible results and a minimized risk of side effects. To learn more about a plastic surgery you’re considering, explore my website or schedule a consultation with me, Dr. Franklyn Elliott.