Weight loss, pregnancy, breast-feeding, and gravity can cause small and large breasts to descend and lose their initial shape. Some young women’s breasts never develop a round shape and just grow down. Some women are born to have droopy breasts. Patients choose to have a mastopexy or breast lift procedure to restore optimal round or conical breast shape. Sometimes for a small breast, an augmentation is also performed.
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Breast Lift Consultation
During the breast lift consultation, Dr. Cherup will examine your breasts, and measure you, to determine if your breast volume is symmetrical and optimal for your body size and shape. She will then describe either a breast lift/mastopexy, or mastopexy and augmentation, to improve your breast image. The quality of the skin on your breast, the appearance of stretch marks, and the density of the tissue factor in to the analysis. VECTRA 3D imaging system may be used by Dr. Cherup, so that you can visualize the transformation of your breast volume into a lifted, compact package.
Breast Lift Surgery
Your breast lift surgery will be performed under general anesthesia and will last about two hours. Dr. Cherup uses the short scar technique for mastopexies and breast reduction. Your incisions will include a circle around your areola, which might be made smaller, a vertical scar from the six o’clock position of the areola down to the fold, and a short horizontal scar in the inframammary fold. All the sutures are under the skin. Two drains exit your axillae, and dressings and a supportive bra finalize the surgery.
Post Operative Care and Potential Complications
- Dressings — Gauze pads or fluffs will cover the incision lines. Because the incision lines are usually short, some oozing of blood may occur. This is normal. We will change the dressings two days after the breast lift surgery. Thereafter you have to change dressings at home. We will give you specific instructions.
- Wearing your bra — A bra may be placed at the time of surgery, or at latest a day or two after. The bra acts as a dressing, holding the breast in an appropriate position, and also helping the gauze pads to stay in position. If the bra feels too tight or hurts, switch immediately to any bra that feels comfortable. A bra that is too tight can cause sores on the skin, and you must not let this happen. We want you to wear a supportive bra for at least three weeks following the mastopexy surgery. If you are healing extremely well, Dr. Cherup will recommend that you do not need to wear a bra at night in bed. You should not go braless during the day for at least six weeks after the breast surgery.
- Showering and bathing — Water does not hurt your incisions, especially after two days after the surgery. You may shower or bath once the gauze dressings have been removed and inspected by Dr. Cherup. You may leave the Steri-Strips in place during showers, and remove them after they fall off.
- Driving — You may drive when driving does not cause discomfort. This usually occurs four to five days after mastopexy surgery.
- Exercise — You may take gentle walks within a few days after having mastopexy surgery. Do not return to aerobic exercise for three weeks.
Problems During the Healing
Usually sutures are removed in two weeks. Swelling resolves by one month. Your final breast size will be apparent then. The problems that can occur include the following:
- Asymmetry — Dr. Cherup carefully measures and plans the surgery. Sometimes due to the laxity in the skin, or the way the areola responds to suturing, perfect symmetry is not apparent. Dr. Cherup may suggest a minor revision if the asymmetry is a true problem.
- Tissue loss — During the breast lift operation, skin flaps are undermined, and the skin envelope around the breast is tightened. A possibility exists that a small or large area of the skin or breast tissue, or even the nipple, might suffer from decreased circulation, and could be partly or completely injured. Should this unlikely event occur, you may require extra time for healing or further surgery to make the scars optimal. Talk to Dr. Cherup for more information about any revisional surgery necessary at her practice.
- Loss of sensation — Although uncommon, partial or complete loss of sensation to small areas of the skin or the nipple can occur. This usually improves with time.
- Hardness in the breast tissue — Postoperative scarring within the breast tissue can cause areas of hardness. Occasionally when it is discovered later, especially at a mammogram, it causes worries about cancer. Mammography to define the problem, or possibly even a biopsy, might be recommended, if it is really necessary.
- Hematoma — Bleeding can occur in the breast if your blood pressure elevates with activity after the surgery. This is why we are concerned about any elevated blood pressure or medications that can cause bleeding, such as Advil and aspirin. Pockets of blood can cause bruising and pressure on the skin. Dr. Cherup may have to remove a pocket of blood with a needle and a syringe. Rarely, the patient may have to return to the operating room to remove the hematoma. In the end, the breast will heal, and your breasts will look better.
Schedule a Consultation
For more information on scheduling your breast lift, contact surgeon Lori L. Cherup M.D. at her main office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Call Dr. Cherup at (412) 220-8181 or (877) 441-0639 or use our online form below.
From Our Patients…
“Dr Cherup is a true artist with an amazing eye and ability to create a body I could only dream of. ….I truly love this woman and will always have a special spot in my heart for her as she gave me back my sense of being a woman. If I call with questions she calls me back personally. Thank you Dr Cherup. I love you-you are amazing and talented and kind.”
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