Over time, your breasts may start showing the effects of aging and gravity. This may be evident in breasts that sag or nipples that turn downward. Both of these conditions can diminish your confidence, but thankfully, they can be treated with a procedure known as a breast lift. Dr. Brad Gandolfi, a double board-certified plastic surgeon in NYC, specializes in lifting the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue. A breast lift or mastopexy can give you a more youthful and symmetrical appearance that boosts confidence.
The Benefits of Getting a Breast Lift
A breast lift is a cosmetic procedure. The most common issues addressed during a lift include:
- Correct nipple position: low nipples or nipples pointed in a different direction can retract from the appearance of a breast and make it appear more aged. This is corrected with a breast lift.
- Narrow wide breasts: An overly wide breast widens the body’s frame while making it seem as if the breast is smaller than it really is. A breast lift can narrow the breast and your frame, putting all of the projection in front of you.
- Volumize deflated breasts: Flat breasts can occur due to aging or after childbirth. Repositioning the breast tissue under the skin can address this problem. If more volume is needed, this can be paired with implant placement or fat transfers.
- Shrink areola: The areola is the colored skin around the nipple. In some, this skin grows or is more than desired from birth. The size of this is corrected during a lift.
- Harmonize asymmetric breasts: No two breasts are the same. The old saying is that they are “sisters, not twins.” However, sometimes breasts can look more like third cousins of each other. In that case, an asymmetric lift can be performed to make the breasts similar in shape and size.
- Reduce uncomfortably large breasts: Large breasts can be “downsized” during a lift to a size that is more comfortable for you.
- Remove unwanted implants: When implants are removed, they leave behind space that, if not addressed, will cause the breasts to look deflated. A lift can be performed with implant removal to tighten the skin and fix the overall shape of the breast.
Am I a Good Candidate for a Breast Lift?
The best way to determine your candidacy for a safe and successful breast lift is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gandolfi. By reviewing your medical history, examining your breasts, and asking some questions about your aesthetic goals, Dr. Gandolfi can confirm that a breast lift is right for you.
The best candidates for breast lift surgery are women who wish to change the shape of their breasts. (If you are more concerned with volume, breast augmentation makes more sense.) Specifically, the best candidates have breasts that have started sagging or nipples that droop. Additionally, the best candidates for a breast lift do not smoke or are willing to give up smoking for six weeks or more.
All candidates for breast surgery must be up to date with all cancer screening measures (mammogram, etc.).
Real Patients, Real Results Achieving Natural Beauty
Breast Lift Procedure Process Explained
Before your breast lift, it is only natural to have some questions about what the process entails. While the breast lift experience can look a little different from patient to patient, it generally follows these basic steps:
Your journey will begin with a phone call with a member of our team to discuss your medical history and aesthetic goals, and schedule your consultation. During this appointment, Dr. Gandolfi will perform a physical evaluation, review images, and talk with you about your aesthetic goals. You will also have a chance to ask your questions, and learn more about the anesthesia options provided. Usually, the consultation lasts around half an hour.
What Should I Do in Preparation?
Dr. Gandolfi and his team will furnish you with guidelines for preparing for your breast lift. This will mean abstaining from smoking, ceasing certain medications, and fasting for a few hours before the procedure.
How Long Does the Procedure Take?
The timeline for your breast lift can vary but anticipate somewhere between two and four hours. If you are combining your breast lift with breast augmentation, the procedure will usually take longer.
What is Surgery Like? Is it Painful?
Surgery will begin with your arrival at our surgery center and a warm welcome from our surgical team. They will guide you to your operating suite and administer anesthesia to keep you comfortable.
Once you are fully asleep, Dr. Gandolfi will make incisions along the areola or the crease of the breast. Through these incisions, Dr. Gandolfi will be able to remove any excess breast tissue or skin, also repositioning the nipple for an improved breast aesthetic.
Breast lift surgery is not extremely painful. When the skin is lifted, it often goes numb, which limits discomfort. Drains are rarely used. Most people use a small amount of prescription pain medication but transition quickly to over-the-counter pain medications for pain control.
What Kind of Recovery Process Can I Expect?
Following your breast lift, it will be crucial to take some time to rest and recover. Depending on the job, expect to take 1-4 weeks off. For jobs that involve heavy physical activity, more time may be necessary.
Before you are discharged, you will receive all the guidelines you need concerning diet, bathing, and caring for your incisions. By adhering to these guidelines, you can minimize the visibility of your scarring and promote optimal results.
The First Month
While most breast lift patients do not need to have drains, you will need to wear a sports bra or surgical bra for four to six weeks. This garment helps reduce swelling, and also promotes better aesthetic results. Note that it will take about three months for your breasts to take their final shape and get a clearer sense of your end results.
The scars will fade over time. For the first 3 months, the areas will appear gently raised and slightly red/pink. This is a normal part of healing and a result of new skin (and blood flow) in the area. Scar color is the last thing to improve after surgery. This generally takes a year (or more) to fully mature.
The Second Month
During the second month of recovery, you will be able to remove the compression bra and resume exercising like normal. You should also get a good sense of what your final surgical outcome looks like.
Within months three through six, you will likely feel totally normal again, and the recovery process will be virtually complete.
Within a year of the breast lift, scars should have faded considerably, to the point of being just minimally visible.
Other Things to Consider
Will I Have Scars After the Procedure?
All surgery leaves scars, but those scars vary significantly from person to person. In all instances, Dr. Gandolfi uses a layered approach to closure and hides incisions in creases to limit their visibility. In most instances, the scars will eventually fade to being nearly invisible. This, however, takes time. For the first 3 months, the areas will appear gently raised and slightly red/pink. This is a normal part of healing and a result of new skin (and blood flow) in the area. Scar color is the last thing to improve after surgery. This generally takes a year (or more) to fully mature.
If you tend to scar poorly or have a history of keloids in your family, please let Dr. Gandolfi know. With careful planning and additional surveillance, Dr. Gandolfi has successfully operated on many patients that have a propensity for keloids.
How Long Does a Breast Lift Last?
Forever! The lift your breasts are given will last forever. That being said, a breast lift is not a magical surgery that will stop aging from occurring or reverse the effects of gravity. Instead, your breast will continue to age naturally, from a new starting point. It is rare for a lift (without implants) to need any additional procedure to improve the look of the breast for a decade or even longer.
Are There Any Risks Involved?
While all surgeries come with risks, the risk is minimal when you choose a highly skilled and experienced surgeon.
Is it Really Worth It?
Only you can decide whether getting a breast lift is worth it but be aware that virtually all patients who get a breast lift from Dr. Gandolfi are extremely satisfied with their results.
You’re in Good Hands with Dr. Gandolfi
Dr. Brad Gandolfi is a highly trained, double board-certified plastic surgeon with a reputation for promoting patient safety and wellbeing. He combines his artistic skill along with advanced surgical techniques to ensure beautiful, natural-looking results for each patient. To schedule a breast lift consultation with Dr. Gandolfi, contact us at (212) 287-7211.