A breast lift or mastopexy is essentially a “lift” of the nipple-areolar complex relative to the crease underneath the breast. This provides an “uplifted” appearance to patients with sagginess or droopiness in the breast that often occurs after pregnancy, or with changes in weight. The incision is essentially the same as the breast reduction, without removing any or very little “internal” tissue. The areolas are usually dilated and enlarged and are made a bit smaller- this incision fades away around the nipple. There is a vertical incision in the lower aspect of the breast, and an inframammary crease incision that hides in the breast fold. Dr. Boynton typically performs a medial or superior pedicle to elevate the nipple. He feels this leads to a better and lasting shape to the breast relative to the older inferior pedicle technique that is still very common. In some patients a lift alone will not be enough, and an implant must be used at the same time. Dr. Boynton has advanced training in augmentation mastopexy, which is the technique of performing a lift and adding a breast implant simultaneously.
There are some patients that do not want an implant and in some cases Dr. Boynton performs an “auto-autologous” breast lift whereby the lower central area of breast tissue is “internalized” like a small implant with the breast draping around and over this, creating an uplifted, round shape.
How much discomfort and how long will I be in pain?
The surgery takes about 3 hours typically. Most patients have mild discomfort and many don’t even require pain medication. Patients are up and about the next day and have a rapid recovery with the exception of strenuous activity or exercise or lifting over 10 lbs which is avoided for 2 weeks following surgery to inimize any risk of bleeding.
When can I shower and resume activities, how long off of work and when can I resume exercise?
You can shower the next day after surgery. Exercise can be resumed 2 weeks after surgery. Most patients are off work for a day or so, maybe several days at the most depending on their job requirements.
Do any sutures have to be removed?
No. The sutures all dissolve.
Does Dr. Boynton completely remove the nipple in larger cases?
The “old fashion” nipple grafting technique is rarely necessary in my practice. I have vast experience with the medial pedicle technique which allows me to cone and shape the breast and give a very nice shape to the breast without removing the nipple- instead it is “moved” up into place on the medial pedicle.
What about scarring?
All patients form “scars”. Scars are simple the lines where skin is “sewed” together. The thickness, width, character, and pigmentation of those lines can vary with respect to patient’s demographics, their heritage and genetics. Representative examples of many results at approximately 6 weeks after surgery are available for viewing in Dr. Boynton’s photo gallery of cases. Even patients that have a genetic risk of keloid scarring have been happy with their results because they routinely feel better, are able to find clothing, resume and participate in exercise and feel good about themselves.
Nipple sensitivity changes?
10-20% of all patients with breast lifts or reductions may get some degree of nipple sensitivity changes. Most of this resolves by 6-9 months after surgery. Some patients may have some permanent changes but it is not usually an issue that they notice.
Will my breasts get large again? What if I get pregnant again?
Younger patients that have a breast reduction prior to having children have some degree of possibly developing large breasts again after having children. This is fairly rare but I have had a number of patients that required a “second” breast reduction or lift after having children. It is impossible to predict what the breast will do after pregnancy.
Will I be able to breast feed after a breast lift or reduction?
Will I have drains?
No. I do not use drains on breast reductions or lifts (as was common many years ago and still can is common with some plastic surgeons).
Schedule a Consultation
If you would like to schedule a breast lift consultation, please contact Dr. James F. Boynton today. Dr. Boynton will be happy to answer your questions and talk with you about all aspects of the procedure.