Aesthetic breast surgery and breast lifts are a sub-specialization of Dr. Wanzel's. He completed additional training after his seven year residency in aesthetic and reconstructive breast surgery.
A mastopexy (ie. a breast lift) is a surgical procedure for lifting and possibly reshaping sagging breasts. Aging, pregnancy, weight loss and gravity can all cause breasts to sag. By trimming excess skin and tightening supporting tissue, breasts can be made to sit higher on the chest and be firmer to the touch. In addition, the nipple and areola can be repositioned or resized to further enhance breast appearance.
The Mastopexy Procedure
Mastopexy is performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. If required, it can be combined with the placement of a breast implant to enhance the size, shape and youthfulness of the breast. Depending on the size and shape of the breasts, as well as the degree of sagging and amount of excess skin, it is performed with either a circle scar around the areola, a "lollipop" incision (ie. a circle around the areola and a vertical scar from the areola down to the fold), or an "anchor" incision (ie. the lollipop plus a scar in the fold). The larger the scar, the more powerful the lift.
After the incisions are made, breast tissue is either removed, reorganized or reshaped to achieve the desired breast contour. The nipple and areola are usually moved higher on the breast and are often also resized. Excess skin is trimmed to create a tighter, more defined appearance.
Recovery from a Mastopexy
The surgery is performed as an outpatient and under general anesthesia. You will awake with your bra on and small dressings over the incisions. Most people are sore and a bit swollen for a few days after surgery.
In general, moving around and walking is permitted and encouraged early on. Walks for exercise are possible at about the 2 week mark. Jogging and more vigorous exercise is allowed at about 4 weeks. At 6 weeks, there are essentially no restrictions. However, Dr. Wanzel will guide you through a customized recovery depending on your exact surgery and how the recovery process is progressing.
Risks of Mastopexy
Complications following a breast lift are thankfully quite rare. The most common complication (and happily it is exceedingly rare) in the first day or two is a hematoma (ie. a collection of unwanted excess blood). Other complications include, but are not limited to infections, a decreased sensation of the nipple and/or areola, a decreased potential for lactation and future breast feeding, and asymmetries. If you are considering a breast implant as well as a lift, you will also have the potential for unwanted sequelae such as capsular contracture or implant leaks over time.