A breast lift (also known as "mastoplexy") is the process of using plastic surgery to improve a woman's figure by lifting and reshaping the breasts, giving a more shapely and youthful appearance. A common cosmetic problem addressed by a breast lift is the sagging of the breasts.
The medical term for this sagging is breast ptosis. Breast sagging is a normal occurrence. The main unavoidable causes of this sagging are gravity and time (aging). Breast ptosis may be further magnified by pregnancy, breastfeeding, decrease in skin elasticity, and weight loss.
Breast lifts are a common and increasingly popular plastic surgery procedure. According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, there were nearly 90,000 breast lift procedures performed in the United States in the year 2010. That represents a 70% increase from the year 2000.
A breast lift is not the same thing as a breast augmentation or breast reconstruction, although these other procedures are sometimes combined with a breast lift.
Are you a good candidate for a breast lift?
A good candidate should be in good overall health for her age, be stable emotionally, and have realistic expectations.
What are the basic procedures and techniques used in a breast lift?
The doctor may use general anesthesia or local anesthesia with heavy sedation. A breast lift may be performed at a surgical center or a hospital. The surgery typically lasts from one to three hours. This may be a little longer if the patient is also getting breast implants. A breast lift patient normally returns home the same day the procedure is performed.
The standard methods for performing a breast lift vary depending on the amount of ptosis the patient has, the overall breast volume, the quantity of excess skin, nipple position, and areola size and position. Breast augmentation (implants) may be employed to improve ptosis, especially minor ptosis. Removing excess skin may make for additional improvement.
No breast tissue is removed in a breast lift, so you will remain the same size, although your breasts will seem larger because the skin is tightened.