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Breast Lift Questions & Answers

Do I Still Need a Breast Lift if I get Implants?

Breast implants replenish the lost volume of a sagging breast. Although implants fill the breasts, they result in only a very minimal lift if any, depending on the extent of skin laxity. Therefore, the premise that by choosing a bigger breast implant you can avoid the need for a breast lift is false.

Does a breast lift affect the look of the nipple-areola complex?
As the breasts sag the nipple-areola complex also stretches and gets larger. It is customary to reduce the size of the areola during a breast lift or Mastopexy procedure to that of a normal sized areola which has a diameter of approximately 1.5 inches.

Does wearing a bra prevent breast ptosis or sagging?
Although the sagging of breasts depend on a multitude of factors that were discussed earlier, in women with large and heavy breasts bra support will prevent excessive stretching of the Cooper's Ligaments, thus diminishing the extend of sagging.

Does breast feeding cause breast ptosis or sagging?
Breast feeding by itself does not cause ptosis, but the enlargement of the breasts followed by the drying of the milk causes stretching of the breasts which can cause them to sag.

How Will Breast Lift Alter My Breast Size?
As a rule, a Breast Lift will reduce the size of your breasts – generally by one cup size. This is due to the removal of excess breast skin, which itself carries a certain volume. To compensate for the lost breast volume you may then consider having an implant placed along with your Breast Lift. There are many factors to consider, such as your original breast size, what you consider most attractive and your surgeon's assessment of what size breasts are most proportionate for your body.

Does Mastopexy affect a woman’s ability to Breast Feed?
Considering that most types of breast lift or Mastopexy do not disconnect the nipple from its roots, a woman should be able to maintain her breast feeding ability after a lift. Never the less, a Mastopexy can alter a woman’s breast feeding ability if the surgery requires cutting into or manipulating the tissue located directly under the nipple-areola complex.

Mammogram and Breast Self-Examination
Mastopexy does neither alter your ability for breast self-examination, nor is it a hindrance for receiving a mammogram. Most surgeons recommend that you get a mammogram six months after your Mastopexy in order to establish a baseline.

Can the areola size be reduced with a Mastopexy?
Yes. The diameter and size of a stretched-out areola can be reduced via a Peri-areolar or an inverted–T mastopexy.

Can a Breast Lift Be Performed with Other Procedures?
Yes. Often, your cosmetic surgeon will determine that the optimal effect will be achieved when the lift is combined with the placement of a breast implant — Augmentopexy. This combination will give you the lift and the fullness needed for a more proportional figure.

Mastopexy can be combined with other procedures, as well. It is not uncommon for women who had breast implants at an early age, and now need to have their breast lifted, want to change the size or type of their breast implant to better fit their current figure and life style. In this situation a breast implant exchange can be performed simultaneously with a breast lift. Some plastic surgeons recommend performing these two procedures at a separate time, but I find that you can get a better overall results and less exposure to general anesthesia when both procedures are combines.

There are some women who have developed Capsular Contracture or tight scarring around their implants which makes their implants hard and painful. When performing a Capsulectomy in order to remove the hard capsule it is sometime necessary to further shape and lift the breast, thus requiring a Mastopexy at the same setting.

Finally, there are women who have had gained and lost much weight with their pregnancy, resulting in sagging breasts and abdominal folds. These women often opt to undergo a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty at the same time of a mastopexy or Augmentopexy.

What Is a Nipple Lift?
A Nipple lift is nothing other than a crescent mastopexy. In this procedure a crescent shaped section of excess breast Skin is removed above the areola. The nipple-areolar complex is then pulled upward to a new position and sutured into place. One disadvantage of this procedure is that the areola may become somewhat elongated.

Breast Lift Without Implants
As discussed earlier a breast lift or mastopexy can be performed without having to also have breast implants. But you have to be aware that a breast lift reduces the size of the breast by about a cup size. If your breasts are just a little too big, then a breast lift will also reduce their volume to an ideal size. On the other hand, if your breasts are currently just a little too small, a Mastopexy will make them even smaller. You might then consider having an Augmentopexy, instead.

Is the Effect of A Breast Lift Permanent?
As with any other body part, gravity, pregnancy and aging take their effect, even on Breasts that have been lifted. In some cases, women may opt for another procedure some years hence. A Breast Lift combined with an implant is generally longer lasting.

How long does a Mastopexy last?
Any surgery can not be considered permanent as far as gravity goes. Gravity will prevail and you will sag, period. Although we can attempt to slow its process by wearing bras, staying out of the sun and healthy eating. Whatever the case, a woman's breast tissue, in 95% of cases, will sag eventually.  Regardless of having had  Mastopexy, a breast will sag again. It may be years from now, but you may need an additional Mastopexy, depending on your habits of bra wearing, this may be slower. The type of a breast lift also affects the longevity of your lift. Usually, an Inverted–T Mastopexy will have a more lasting result than a Benelli Peri-areolar Mastopexy. The size and weight of your breasts also affect the natural progression of sagging. The heavier your breasts are, or the larger the implants, the faster your breasts can sag, if you don’t wear adequate breast support. Finally, the elasticity of your skin and breast tissue impacts the rate of their sagging. Women who have thin and sun damaged breast skin with many stretch marks have very poor skin and breast elasticity and will need a revision breast lift sooner.

It is supposed that after an Inverted–T Mastopexy a breast may start to sag again after 5-7 years with part time bra wearing, less than half that if a bra is hardly worn.  If you have very thin skin, it takes even less time. Be safe and wear a bra.

How painful is a Mastopexy?
A Mastopexy is usually not as painful as a sub-pectoral breast augmentation, because it does not involves manipulating or stretching the muscles. It is also not as painful as a tummy tuck, or hysterectomy, but is more painful than having undergone a tubal ligation, appendectomy, or cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal).
Most women say that the worst of the discomfort is during the first two to three days. The prescribed pain medication makes this discomfort tolerable during this period.

How soon can I expect to see the final result of a Mastopexy?
The final result of a Mastopexy becomes apparent with your breast skin stretches and the breast mass settles into its final position. While with a crescent lift you can reach the final result by about six weeks, with a peri-areolar or more so an Inverted–T mastopexy this process takes several months. There are even times when an adjunct procedure or revision is planned during this period which will further delay the final outcome. Therefore, you need to be patient.
Also note that if you are having an Augmentopexy when an implant is inserted, the settling of the implant does also affect the shape of your breasts and the duration of your progress.

During your consultation Dr. Younai will answer all you specific questions and review your treatment options for Breast Lift & Mastopexy, including pros and cons of each procedure or technique, potential risks and complications, recovery course, pre and post operative instructions, and esthetic outcomes. There are also many before-and-after pictures and high resolution images of Breast lift available in our photo gallery.

Dr. Younai is a board certified plastic surgeon who receives patients at the California Center for Plastic Surgery from the Northern as well as the Southern California region. Some of these cities include Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Hollywood, Burbank, Sherman Oaks, Encino, Calabasas, Woodland Hills, Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Pasadena, Glendale, Valencia, Palmdale, Fresno, and Oxnard.

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Dr. Sean Younai
is a Board Certified Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon, who practices in Encino, Los Angeles, Southern California.
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