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FAQ - Breast Lifts

  • What is breast "ptosis"?

    Ptosis is a term that means droopiness of the breast.

  • What is the treatment for breast ptosis?

    In most cases of moderate to severe breast ptosis a breast lift (or mastopexy) is the preferred treatment.

  • What is a breast lift (mastopexy)?

    Breast lift, or mastopexy, is a surgical procedure to raise and reshape sagging breasts. Mastopexy can also reduce the size of the areola, the darker skin surrounding the nipple.

  • Who is a good candidate for a breast lift?

    The best results are usually achieved in women with small, sagging breasts. Breasts of any size can be lifted, but the results may not last as long in heavy breasts. Many women seek a breast lift because pregnancy and nursing have left them with stretched skin and less volume in their breasts. However, if you are planning to have more children, it is best to postpone your breast lift. While there are no special risks that affect future pregnancies (for example, mastopexy usually does not prevent breast-feeding), pregnancy is likely to stretch your breasts and diminish the results of the procedure.

  • Is there an alternative to breast lift to improve ptotic breasts?

    Yes. In mild cases of breast ptosis, augmentation with an implant may be adequate treatment to improve the shape and position of the breasts.

  • How will my breast lift scars heal?

    Dr. Connall will make every effort to make your scars as inconspicuous as possible. Still, it is important to remember that breast lift scars are extensive and permanent. They often remain lumpy and red for months, but they usually become less obvious as they fade to thin light-colored lines. But, in some patients the scars remain permanently thick and apparent.

  • Where are breast lift scars located?

    Essentially all breast lift techniques result in a scar around the areola. In addition, there is usually a vertical scar from the bottom edge of the areola to the base of the breast. In moderate to severe cases of breast ptosis, there is also usually a scar along the base of the breast.

  • Will a breast lift give me the cleavage and breast volume I used to have?

    No, most likely not. A breast lift does remove excess skin, making the breasts tighter and bringing the nipples back into an aesthetic position on the breasts. However, the lift does not increase volume. By repositioning the existing tissue, some fullness in the upper part of the breasts may be restored, but this is not always the case. In those that desire increased volume or extensive upper breast fullness, a breast implant is needed in addition to a mastopexy.

  • Can I have an augmentation and a mastopexy at the same time?

    Yes, if your breasts are small or have lost volume--for example, after pregnancy--breast implants can be inserted in conjunction with a mastopexy.

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  • Do I need to have a mammogram if I am interested in a breast lift?

    Yes, all of our breast surgery patients 30 years of age, or older, need to have mammograms within 9 months prior to surgery.

  • How does smoking affect the healing process?

    Smoking causes the blood vessels to constrict, reducing the blood supply and amount of oxygen that is delivered to tissues. After surgery, the tissues need a good blood supply and oxygen in order to heal. When the blood supply is reduced, the tissues heal more slowly. In addition, smoking puts the tissues at risk for cell death leading to complete tissue death and loss. Such problems with poor healing and tissue loss can be devastating to the breast(s). Because the wounds are usually extensive and the tissues are fragile following a breast lift, to eliminate the risks associated with smoking, we do not perform breast lift procedures on smokers.