Breast lift surgery, or mastopexy, restores a more youthful appearance to a woman’s breasts. Over the years breasts can lose their shape and firmness due to pregnancy, nursing and loss of skin elasticity, causing them to sag. Mastopexy will raise and reshape breasts—slowing the effects of aging and gravity. This procedure can reduce the size of the areola, the darker skin surrounding the nipple. Mastopexy is commonly performed in conjunction with breast augmentation (implants) to increase breast firmness and size. This may appeal to women who have lost breast volume after pregnancy. Pregnancy and nursing often result in stretched skin and therefore decreased volume. If you are planning a future pregnancy, it is advisable to postpone your breast lift as pregnancy will likely cause further stretching. As with all plastic surgery, realistic expectations and emotional stability are important. Though breasts of any size can be lifted, women with smaller breasts enjoy longer lasting results.
Though not a simple operation, mastopexy is normally safe when performed by a qualified plastic surgeon. Mastopexy is occasionally performed in a hospital, but more often is done in an outpatient facility. Breast lifts are usually performed under general anesthesia. Local anesthesia may be used with a sedative if the incision is small; you’ll be awake but relaxed, and will feel minimal discomfort. The surgery may take between 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours. A more common approach involves an incision along the natural contour of the breast where excess skin will be removed. The nipple and areola are then repositioned. The skin surrounding the areola is brought together to reshape the breast, with stitches around the areola and the lower breast area.
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