With age, our tissues lose collagen and elasticity and can contribute to a condition known as breast ptosis (sagging of the breasts). Fortunately, a breast lift (mastopexy) can restore the pert, youthful appearance to your breasts by raising and reshaping your breast contour. When necessary, a breast lift can also be utilized to reduce or reshape the size and appearance of the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple). Unlike a breast augmentation, which increases the size and volume of the breasts, or a breast reduction, which reduces the size of the breasts, a breast lift is performed to raise and reshape sagging breasts, without impacting their size. Some women elect to undergo breast lift surgery in conjunction with a breast augmentation, in order to simultaneously lift and increase the size of their breasts within the context of one procedure. At Gabbay Plastic Surgery, Dr. Joubin Gabbay M.D. is highly experienced performing breast lift surgery for women who want to rejuvenate the appearance of their breasts and will work closely with you to develop a treatment plan to bring your breast surgery goals to fruition.
There are several variations of breast lift surgeries, which differ primarily in terms of the incision pattern used during the surgery:
After conducting a thorough initial evaluation of your breasts, and discussing your surgical objectives and goals, Dr. Gabbay will select the appropriate procedure to ensure optimal results from your breast lift.
Age, childbirth, breastfeeding, genetics, and sun damage can all contribute to the loss of elasticity in breast tissue over time. At Gabbay Plastic Surgery, Dr. Gabbay has helped thousands of women rejuvenate their figure by lifting and restoring the youthful shape and contour of their breasts with mastopexy surgery. Following your breast lift surgery, your breasts will look and feel firm and lifted, and the position of your areolas and nipples will be more proportionate and balanced. If you have additional questions about breast lift surgery, please contact Gabbay Plastic Surgery today. We look forward to speaking with you and scheduling your initial complimentary consultation with Dr. Gabbay.
Every woman’s breasts are unique in terms of their shape, pigmentation, volume, texture, and size; however, all female breasts do share the same internal structure and undergo similar changes during the aging process.
Because the human breast does not contain muscle, suspensory tissue and ligaments (Cooper’s ligaments) are responsible for supporting it and keeping it in a lifted position. When the ligaments stretch out over time, the supportive tissue and internal structures weaken. The aged dermis is also unable to contract back to its original shape, causing the breast to change shape and begin to sag.
In medical terms, the condition for sagging breasts is called ptosis. Although ptosis can be exacerbated by fluctuations in weight, breastfeeding, genetics, and childbirth, the primary cause is the skin changes that occur along with breast involution. Breast involution takes place when milk-producing glands shrink and shut-down as a woman’s milk-producing system is no longer needed. As the tissues inside the breast shrink and the skin surrounding the breast stays the same, the breast appears to be empty and drooping. Breast involution can occur after pregnancy (if a woman does not breastfeed) or as a woman ages and experiences menopause.
If you are interested in a cosmetic procedure to correct your sagging breasts, the first step is to determine your level of ptosis. Plastic surgeons frequently utilize the classification below when measuring the degree of ptosis:
Human breasts are specialized organs located on the anterior chest wall. The breasts make milk for breastfeeding and are comprised of glandular tissues and supporting (stromal) tissues. The glandular part of the breast includes the lobules and ducts (tiny tubes that carry milk to the nipple). For women who are breastfeeding, the cells of the lobules make milk; the milk then moves through the ducts, and the ducts lead to the nipple.
The amount of adipose tissue (fat) a breast contains varies among females (a mature female breast can fluctuate between 50-500 grams), and it is this fatty tissue and fibrous connective tissue that helps give the breast its size and shape. The nipple is composed of dense connective tissue and is the endpoint for the milk ducts. Both the nipple and the areola (the pigmented area around the nipple) contain pigmented skin and numerous sebaceous (oil) glands.
Blood vessels (arteries and veins) carry plasma, white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets to and from the breasts, while lymphatic vessels carry lymph away from the breast. Lymph is a clear fluid containing tissue, fluid and immune system cells and plays a crucial role in fighting infection. The breast also contains lymph nodes (bean-shaped cells found along lymphatic vessels), with most lymphatic vessels in the breast connect to lymph nodes under the arm.
In summary, the breasts are composed of:
Breast sagging begins when the connective tissues of the breasts stretch out and become weak and when the breast loses its volume.
You may be a good candidate for breast lift surgery (mastopexy) if you have one or more of the following conditions:
The best candidates for mastopexy are healthy women who are satisfied with the size of their breasts, but not with their shape or firmness. Good breast lift candidates are physically healthy, psychologically stable, and have realistic expectations for surgery. Breasts that are large and heavy can be lifted; however, the results may not be as long-lasting as when the procedure is performed on smaller breasts.
Many women choose to undergo breast lift surgery before having children, and go on to successfully breastfeed in the future. It is important to note that having a breast lift will not prevent the breasts from drooping again if presented with similar conditions responsible for the initial sagging (such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, and/or drastic weight loss). Dr. Gabbay will discuss your options in detail during your consultation to determine when and if a breast lift is right for you. Dr. Gabbay will place incisions in inconspicuous locations so that they can be covered with a bra or bathing suit.
During your initial breast lift consultation, Dr. Gabbay will conduct a thorough medical assessment and will discuss your medical history in detail, including information about medical conditions, allergies, treatments you have received, previous surgeries, and medications that you currently taking. It is crucial that you are completely open and honest with Dr. Gabbay during your consultation, in order to avoid unnecessary complications and to ensure a successful and rewarding outcome.
In order to determine if a breast lift procedure is appropriate for you, Dr. Gabbay will:
If it is determined that you are a good candidate for breast lift surgery, Dr. Gabbay will explain the surgical options, including the type of anesthesia that will be used, where the incisions will be placed, and any possible risks. He will show you before and after photographs of some of his many satisfied patients, and if you decide to proceed with a breast lift, your pre-operation consultation, and actual surgery date will be scheduled.
Dr. Gabbay and the professional staff at Gabbay Plastic Surgery are committed to making your breast surgery as safe and comfortable as possible. A breast lift is an outpatient procedure, meaning you will go home the same day, and generally takes 1-4 hours to complete, depending upon how complex your surgery is, and whether you are having other procedures performed at the same time. Dr. Gabbay will determine whether to perform your breast lift using general or local anesthesia (with or without intravenous (IV) sedation) based on the extent of your surgery and personal preferences.
Once you are anesthetized, Dr. Gabbay will make the necessary incision(s) utilizing the incision pattern chosen beforehand.
During surgery, any stretched and loose skin will be removed, while the nipple and remaining underlying tissues are relocated to a higher position. If the areola of a sagging breast has been stretched out as well, it can be reduced in size during the breast lift procedure. The nipples and areola will remain attached to underlying mounds of tissue (to allow the preservation of sensation) and the skin formerly located above the areola will be brought down as the breast is reshaped. For women who desire larger breasts, implants can be inserted during the breast lift surgery (this is referred to as a ‘breast augmentation with a lift’). Dr. Gabbay will complete your surgery by closing your breast incisions with sutures.
Your breast lift recovery time will depend on the specifics of your surgery and your individual healing capacity. Following your breast lift procedure, your breasts will be swollen and bruised and you will wear a compression garment (surgical bra) over the gauze dressings to minimize swelling. You may be uncomfortable for a couple of days, but the pain should not be severe and can be easily controlled with pain medications if necessary. Walking and getting out of bed for brief periods is advisable; however, you should avoid straining, bending, or lifting, as these activities will increase your risk of developing complications. Bruising is generally mild and typically disappears after 2-3 weeks, while any swelling should subside over a period 4-6 weeks.
Within the first few days after your breast lift surgery, you will return to Gabbay Plastic Surgery for your first postoperative visit, at which time you will be examined to ensure that everything is healing properly. Your surgical dressings will be changed and you will be allowed to start wearing a soft support bra, which must be worn 24 hours a day for at least one month. If necessary, sutures will be removed after one week, and you may notice that your breasts feel unusually firm (particularly along the edges of the incisions). These symptoms will typically subside over the next few weeks; although, in rare cases, it may take longer or may even be permanent.
You will be instructed on how to massage your breasts in order to expedite your recovery, and most patients find that they are able to return to work after one week. If your job involves excessive stretching and lifting, it is advised that you refrain from that type of activity while your breasts heal. Although you will notice an immediate improvement in the appearance of your breasts following surgery, it may take up to six months for your scars to fade and the complete results of your breast lift to become evident.
As with any surgery, breast lift complications are possible, and may include:
If you could be happier with the position of your breasts, our team at Gabbay Plastic Surgery boasts a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon with decades of experience. Call today at (310) 928-2558 to schedule your initial consultation!