Time isn’t kind to a woman’s breasts. Pregnancy and breastfeeding, the gain and subsequent loss of a good deal of weight, even the simple process of aging all can leave the breasts flattened, sagging, and with less volume. A breast lift with Dr. Krummen can return your breasts to a higher position on the chest. If you also would like to add volume to your breasts, Dr. Krummen can include augmentation with your lift.
What is a breast lift?
A breast lift, clinically known as mastopexy, has the goal of returning the breasts to a higher position on the chest. The breasts sag for different reasons. As we age, weakening support tissues put more stress on the ligaments that attach the breasts to the pectoral muscles, and these ligaments stretch. Changing breast size due to pregnancy or the gain and subsequent loss of a good deal of weight causes the skin to stretch. To reverse these changes, Dr. Krummen removes excess skin and repositions tissue to raise and firm the breasts. In most of these procedures, the nipples and areolae are repositioned to match the higher position.
Would I be a good candidate for a breast lift?
If you want to reverse the sagging and possible volume loss with your breasts, a breast lift can be a great procedure. But first, you need to consider if you are going to have additional children in the future. If you think you may, you should wait to have this procedure because pregnancy and breastfeeding will nullify most, if not all, the changes made with this surgery.
OK, so you’re not going to have any more children. Then if the following characteristics fit your breasts, a breast lift could be a great option:
- Your breasts have lost their shape or volume
- Your breasts sag
- The skin on your breasts is stretched
- Your breasts are flat, elongated, or pendulous
- Your nipples point downward
- Your breasts are asymmetrical
It’s important to note that a breast lift doesn’t affect the size of the breasts; it simply brings them back up to a higher position. A lift doesn’t change the fullness or roundness in the upper portion of the breasts. If you want to add fullness or size, adding implants to the breast lift procedure will accomplish that.
Breast Lift and breast augmentation
If you want to return volume to your breasts (a lift doesn’t do this) or if you’d simply like to have larger breasts, adding implants during your breast lift surgery is a good time to do it. Dr. Krummen can place the implants through the incisions she has already made for the lift procedure. Plus, you only have a single recovery despite actually having two procedures.
What are the different incision options with a breast lift? How is it done?
Every procedure and every patient presents unique circumstances, and this is especially true of breast lifts performed by Dr. Krummen. She will adapt different methods to the unique needs of each patient. With a breast lift, the incision locations and the extent of the incisions vary depending on the degree of sagging and how much excess skin needs to be removed. There are three options for your incisions:
- Areolar incision — A donut-shaped incision is made around the areola. This is also known as a small-incision mastopexy. This method can be used with women with smaller breasts who have minimal sagging and minimal excess skin. It creates minimal visible scarring, as the incision is hidden by the areola.
- Lollipop incision — This starts with the donut-shaped incision, but it then extends downward, ending at the breast crease. In cases of moderate sagging and skin excision, this method should provide adequate access.
- Anchor incision — This follows the lollipop incision, but then extends in both directions along the breast crease. Obviously, this incision provides the most access for removing fatty tissue and trimming excess skin. It also creates the longest scars.
Once the incision has been made, Dr. Krummen lifts and reshapes the breast tissue to counteract how volume has moved lower on the breasts. Is she uses the lollipop or anchor incisions the nipples and areolae will be relocated to a higher position on the breasts to match the new profile. Dr. Krummen can also make the areolae smaller is this skin has stretched. The final step is to trim away excess sagging skin.
If you’ve opted to add augmentation to your breast lift, implants are added at this point. Dr. Krummen creates a pocket for each implant and then places them. Because incisions are already made, augmentation with a breast lift doesn’t require any additional incisions.
breast lift results
You will have swelling that will likely last at least a couple of weeks, especially with the longer incision methods. But you will notice the difference in your breasts immediately. As you recover, you’ll be more and more pleased.
How long will my recovery be after a breast lift?
This is an involved procedure, and you will need pain medication for at least the first couple of days. Your breasts will be bandaged and you’ll be in a surgical support bra when you return home later in the day after your surgery. You’ll have some continuing pain along your incisions, but you will improve pretty quickly. You should plan on swelling for a couple of weeks. You’ll transition from a surgical bra to a softer support bra, but you’ll need to be very diligent about wearing this 24 hours-a-day for at least one month. This is very important so not to place any pressure or stress on your incisions. This helps to minimize the scarring.
Most patients can return to work in about a week, but if your job involves any heavy lifting this needs to be avoided for six weeks. The same is true for strenuous exercise…six weeks. Any activity that causes your breasts to move, such as aerobics, can’t happen for a period of time. By being prudent with this advice, your scar tissue can reach its maximum strength. This will also allow the scarring to fade more dramatically with time.
What will my scarring be like?
Breast lifts done with the lollipop or anchor incision methods create noticeable scarring on the bottom of the breasts. This will fade with time, but is an inevitable part of this surgery.
How soon can I return to exercising after a breast lift?
You can return to light activity without any impact almost immediately. Walking is good as it gets the circulation moving and helps your healing process get started. The key to exercise dos and don’t is impact. You simply do not want your breasts to move very much for about six weeks. That’s how long you need to delay returning to strenuous exercise. Dr. Krummen will discuss what kinds of activities and exercises you can begin again when she sees you during follow-up appointments.
Is it possible to breastfeed after a breast lift?
As mentioned above, it’s best not to have this procedure if you plan on having additional children. However, if you do and you want to breastfeed, there is a good chance your milk glands may be disturbed by the procedure.
breast lift risks
This is major surgery, so it entails all the risks that come with any surgery: excessive bleeding, poor wound healing, infection, reaction to general anesthesia, and the like. There really aren’t any singular specific extra risks with this procedure other than possible loss of nipple sensation and loss of breast sensation. These usually resolve themselves as the nerves adjust.
What will my long-term results be like after my breast lift?
The changes Dr. Krummen makes with this procedure are permanent. But that doesn’t mean your body won’t continue to age. Tissues will still weaken and sag. However, this will occur from a far younger position than your breasts were in prior to this surgery.
The only way to really negate any of your results would be to gain and lose a large amount of weight, or to become pregnant again.
If you’ve opted for augmentation with your breast lift, implants have a lifespan of usually around 10 years, so you’ll probably need to have your implants replaced at least twice during your life (depending on your age).
Are there alternatives to a breast lift?
You may have heard about a Botox breast lift, where Botox is used off label (meaning the FDA has not approved this use) to relax the pectoralis minor chest muscle. Dr. Krummen does not perform these injections and doesn’t think they are a good idea.
There really aren’t any other ways to tighten underlying tissues and remove excess skin than surgery.
schedule a consultation
If you are interested in having this type of procedure done, contact Dr. Krummen for a consultation to enhance your knowledge and determine if you are the right candidate for surgery.