Breasts are present in both men and women as a result of puberty. For women, the majority of hormones, like estrogen and progesterone, make their breasts larger than men’s, and far more functional (performing milk production for children with the hormone prolactin).
Breasts are also part of a woman’s identity, and as they change over time (sagging, nipples and areola pointing downward, one falls lower than the other), many women look to cosmetic surgery for options. A mastopexy, or breast lift, is a procedure where your breasts are raised and reshaped to look firmer and rounder.
Dr. Matthew Lynch and his experienced medical staff in East Windsor, New Jersey, can help. If you have never had this type of surgery, and have questions, we can answer them. At our practice, we explore the reasons for sagging breasts, how mastopexy helps, and address common questions about the process.
As we age, our bodies produce less and less collagen and elastin — the hormones that help keep our skin and tissue elastic and firm. When breasts start to sag (called ptosis), it is often from the reduction of these hormones as you age, and further reduction can be seen after menopause when hormones produce at much lower levels. Women with larger breasts are prone to sagging over time due to the effect of gravity.
Aside from age and hormone reduction, other common causes of ptosis include weight changes, genetics, pregnancy, smoking, nutritional deficiency, and lack of support.
The breast lifting procedure uses different methods depending on the severity of the sagging. There are four grades of ptosis, ranging from mild sagging to severe lack of lower portion of breast mass, and the level of sagging will determine where we make incisions. But regardless of where the incisions are made (around the areola, downward to the breast creases, or horizontally along the creases), excess skin is removed to reshape breast tissue and raise the breasts. Breast augmentation or breast reduction can also be done with a mastopexy.
Here are common questions asked about the surgery:
Whether you need any cosmetic treatment is a personal choice. To determine this, you can check the location of your areola/nipple complex and how it compares to the fold under your breasts or to the mid-portion of your humerus (the higher bone in your arm). If the areola/nipple area is below the fold under your breast in the upright position, it may be time to consider a lift.
Once the procedure is complete and your breasts have settled (which can take up to 6 months), everything should stabilize. However, how permanent your results are will depend on a few different factors, such as if you’re getting pregnant again in the future, your age, or how much weight you gain or lose post-surgery.
If changes happen after the surgery due to some of the reasons mentioned above, secondary tuck-ups and tightenings can be performed to keep breasts firm.
Depending on the amount of work done, you can return to work days after a breast lift, provided you’re not performing strenuous tasks on a regular basis. Implants put in during the lift surgery may cause you to take up to 10 days off before returning to work. The complete healing of your skin and tissue can take up to six months.
It’s your body, and if you’re unhappy with your breasts and want to consider getting a mastopexy, make an appointment with Dr. Lynch and his staff today to find out what options work best for you.