Do you look at your reflection in the mirror and wish your breasts were perkier? Are you wondering if a cosmetic procedure to lift your breasts would enhance your self-confidence and boost your self-esteem? If you can relate to this, the experts at Ocean Drive Plastic Surgery & MedSpa in Vero Beach, FL can help. Today, we answer your most frequently asked questions about a breast lift, including how long the procedure takes, how long your recovery will take and if it is right for you.
15 Commonly Asked Questions About Breast Lifts
1. What Is a Breast Lift?
A breast lift, also known as mastopexy, is a cosmetic procedure designed to lift your breasts into a more youthful, aesthetically appealing position. It also repositions the nipple so it sits higher on the chest wall and re-sizes the areola if it is too large.
2. Am I the Right Age for Mastopexy?
If your breasts have finished developing, you are not too young for mastopexy. For most women, breasts finish developing between the ages of 18 and 25. On average, breasts have developed fully by the age of 21. As long as you are in good general health and your skin is fairly elastic, you cannot be too old for mastopexy, either.
3. Can I Get Pregnant After Mastopexy?
You can absolutely become pregnant and nurse after mastopexy. It is commonly believed that you cannot breastfeed after mastopexy. This misinformation comes from a time when the nipple was separated from the underlying breast tissue during a mastopexy. Nowadays, it is extremely rare for the nipple to be removed and re-attached to the underlying breast tissue.
The other important thing to remember about mastopexy techniques is that separating the nipple from the breast does not guarantee that milk production or delivery is impossible.
4. Do I Need My Breasts Lifted?
Are you on the fence about having your breasts lifted? If you are, you’re not alone. During your initial consultation, we will review your aesthetic goals to help you determine the most effective cosmetic procedure to help you achieve your ideal aesthetic.
In the meantime, you can use the “pencil test” to determine if you need mastopexy. To perform the pencil test, place a pencil beneath your breasts. If it does not fall, mastopexy may enhance your appearance.
5. How Long Does Mastopexy Take?
The duration of mastopexy varies on a case-by-case basis. However, the procedure usually takes around two to three hours and is performed under general anesthesia. This is usually an outpatient procedure, meaning you can go home after a brief observation period to ensure you have come out of anesthesia okay. However, you cannot drive within 24 hours of being put under anesthesia, so you will need someone to drive you home after your procedure.
Your mastopexy may take longer than average if you are having other procedures at the same time. For example, mastopexy is commonly performed as part of a “mommy makeover”, or several procedures designed to help you get back your pre-natal body. If you are having a breast augmentation or reduction, Brazilian butt lift and vaginoplasty or labiaplasty along with your mastopexy, you may be under general anesthesia for eight hours or more.
6. Will I Ever Need Another Mastopexy?
The results of mastopexy will easily last between 10 and 15 years. However, depending on your lifestyle, you may find that you need a maintenance procedure to maintain your desired aesthetic. However, this follow-up procedure will not be nearly as extensive as your initial procedure and the recovery period will be much shorter as well.
7. How Can I Extend the Longevity of My Results?
You can’t stop the effects of gravity on your breasts. However, there are several lifestyle decisions you can make to extend the longevity of your results. These include staying hydrated, not smoking, wearing sunscreen and maintaining a healthy diet and exercise.
Apply Sunscreen Often
UVA and UVB rays are among the most damaging factors affecting the health of your skin. Unfortunately, clothing is not enough to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays. Wear broad-spectrum sunscreen whenever you leave the house for the day. The sun protection factor (SPF) of the sunscreen should be at least 55.
Sunscreen should be reapplied every three to four hours. Reapply more often if you get your sunscreen wet via sweating or swimming. If you can’t stand the smell of sunscreen, try an odorless powdered sunscreen.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Make sure you’re getting your RDA (recommended daily allowance) of all essential nutrients necessary for healthy skin. Some of the most important nutrients for skin health include vitamins A, C, E, D, K, B3, B5, choline and folic acid. To get enough nutrients, eat plenty of produce in all colors of the rainbow.
Each color is indicative of a high concentration of a different nutrient. For example, dark green vegetables, like kale and spinach, are high in vitamin K. Similarly, vitamin C can be found in the highest concentrations in red produce, like tomatoes, strawberries, red apples and red bell peppers.
Regular exercise is another very important part of keeping your skin healthy. Aim for at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity cardio and 80 minutes of resistance training each week. Regular exercise improves the health of your circulatory system, meaning essential nutrients are delivered to your skin effectively.
Moreover, regular exercise helps you maintain your weight. A drastic fluctuation in weight is one of the most common reasons women feel the need to get a breast lift in the first place.
8. Will I Need a Breast Reduction With or After Mastopexy?
The purpose of mastopexy is not to reduce breast volume. However, because mastopexy removes excess skin, you may find that you go down about half a cup size. You may go down a full cup size due to bras fitting better once the breast tissue has been reshaped. During your face-to-face consultation, we will review your aesthetic goals to help you determine if a breast reduction would complement this procedure and suit your needs.
9. How Long Is the Preparation Process for Mastopexy?
The preparation process for mastopexy is roughly two to six weeks depending on your current lifestyle. It all starts with an initial consultation to determine if you are a good candidate for this procedure and if it will help you accomplish your aesthetic goals.
Before your procedure, you will need to stop smoking and drinking alcohol for two to six weeks. You must also be mentally prepared to not smoke or drink for the first two to eight weeks post-op. Both nicotine and alcohol elevate your blood pressure and reduce the number of nutrients delivered to your breasts.
10. How Long Is the Recovery Process?
The duration of your recovery process will depend on your health, how committed you are to resting, the extent of your procedure and the technique used. After the first 24 to 48 hours, you should not need prescription narcotics to remain comfortable. After about one to three weeks, you will not need Tylenol to remain comfortable.
During the first 72 hours post-op, you will need to wear a compression garment or nursing bra to support your breasts. It is important to not wear a bra with an underwire. Within two to three weeks, your stitches will be removed if you were not sutured with biodegradable stitches. Most clients don’t take more than five business days off of work.
Women who work jobs that require lots of pulling and lifting often take two weeks off from work. By eight weeks post-op, you should be able to participate in vigorous exercise such as heavy weight lifting.
11. Will I Need a Lift If I Have Implants Removed?
Some clients find they do not need a lift after the removal of breast implants. However, this is a highly personal decision. If you bring in pictures of what you want your breasts to look like, we can help you decide if mastopexy following breast implant removal is right for you.
12. What Can I Expect After the Procedure?
A day or two after your procedure, you will come in for a follow-appointment so we can check the color of your nipples and assess the blood supply to your breasts. We will discuss how your recovery is going so far and give you material delineating crucial steps you must take to make your recovery as quick and comfortable as possible.
13. Can I Have Sex After My Procedure?
We strongly recommend waiting one to two weeks post-op before engaging in sexual activity. During your initial consultation, we will provide you with a comprehensive list of when you can return to your daily routine of washing your hair, showering, bathing and sleeping on your side or stomach.
14. When Will I See the Results of My Procedure?
You will notice an immediate improvement in the lift of your breasts. However, most of your results will be seen after a week or two post-op. You will see more dramatic results sooner if you take arnica supplements as directed.
Arnica can be purchased on Amazon or at your favorite health food store. Its anti-inflammatory properties will mitigate swelling and make your recovery process more comfortable. It takes roughly two to three months for your breasts to settle into their final shape and position.
15. What Can I Expect During the Procedure?
Clients are usually put under general anesthesia so they are asleep and feel no pain or discomfort. The technique used to lift the breasts depends largely on how dramatic a lift you require and your preference for incision locations. Your incisions may be hidden within the dark ridges of the areolae. This technique is known as the lollipop lift.
You may also have incisions made extending downward towards the breast creases from the areolae. If incisions are also made along the creases of the breasts horizontally, the technique is known as an inverted-T lift because the incision pattern looks like an upside-down T.
Contact Us Today
Aging, pregnancy, nursing and rapid fluctuations in weight can all cause your breasts to sag. But you don’t have to settle for drooping breasts. To learn more about what to expect from a breast lift, contact the dedicated medical experts at Ocean Drive Plastic Surgery & MedSpa in Vero Beach, FL today to schedule your initial consultation. Dr. Alan Durkin, MD is a board-certified plastic surgeon with over three decades of experience helping people achieve the aesthetic of their dreams and is ready to help you look your best.