A breast lift (mastopexy) can be a transformative procedure. Breast confidence is something women feel but rarely talk about. As a woman and mother of two young children, Dr. Lawton personally understands this more than her male counterparts. As women age, breasts change. It is important to know that the breast size fluctuates all the time. In addition to the changes that occur throughout a woman’s lifetime from weight gain/loss, pregnancy and more, breasts also transform by growing and shrinking during hormone changes within a single month. The constant changing causes not only elasticity issues with the skin but also adjustments in breast tissue that can cause them to become sagging, unbalanced and uneven.
What is a Breast Lift?
Dr. Tenley Lawton in Newport Beach has seen an increase in breast lift (or mastopexy) procedures in her practice. A mastopexy is a surgical procedure that balances the breast size by removing over-stretched skin providing a rejuvenated more youthful position back to the breasts. Orange County Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Lawton specializes in providing a natural look to the breasts. Often during the procedure, Dr. Lawton will reduce the size of the areola (the darker skin surrounding the nipple), to make them more proportional to the contoured breast size. In some cases, so much breast volume has been lost over the years, the patient will require a small implant to recover the volume. Most importantly, breast procedures are nothing to be ashamed about. Every woman has the same issues with gravity and age. Dr. Lawton will consult with you to determine the best course of action to restore your breasts in a natural way. Please view the gallery to see our before and after photos.
Is a Mastopexy Right for Me?
The best candidates for mastopexy are healthy women with realistic expectations about what the surgery can accomplish physically and emotionally. Breasts of any size can be lifted, but the results may not last as long in heavy breasts as they do in smaller breasts. Most candidates for a breast lift have the following symptoms:
- Sagging or elongation of breast tissue
- Loss of volume or shape of the breasts
- Breasts that have become “pendulous”
- Nipples that sag below the “breast crease” when not wearing support
- Discomfort caused by sagging breasts
During a consultation, Dr. Lawton will confirm the patient understands realistic expectations and results of the surgery. In addition, she will want to understand with a patients primary care physician the medical background to ensure candidacy and health for surgery. Dr. Lawton’s NewportBeach Breast lift candidates are advised to avoid tobacco products and other medications in the time leading up to their procedure. Many patients suffer from sagging breasts in part because of excess tissue. Patients who have a significant amount of excess volume are often counseled to consider a breast reduction in addition to a breast lift. A reduction can help ease chronic back and neck pain caused by the weight of excessive breast tissue and, combined with a breast lift, can make the breasts appear younger, more proportionate, and more symmetrical.
What Happens During the Procedure?
As is quite common, breast lift surgery in Orange County is most often performed on an outpatient basis in a hospital setting. Dr. Lawton recommends the use of general anesthesia and works with a board-certified anesthesiologist who is present and monitoring the entire surgery. Surgeons rely on three common techniques to perform the vast majority of breast lifts:
- Around the Areola: The simplest breast lift technique requires the surgeon to make two circular incisions around the outside of the areola. Excess tissue is removed, the nipple is reoriented, and the interior structures are strengthened. The incision line is well hidden due to the natural color distinction between the areola and the skin of the breast.
- Around the Areola and Down to the Breast Crease: The second incision technique involves creating a circular incision around the outside of the areola before making a vertical incision down the crease of the breast. This incision type gives surgeons a significant amount of access to the interior structure of the breast. With that added access, surgeons are able to strengthen and reorient the breast tissue.
- Around the Breast and Out Horizontally and Vertically: When getting the right results for patients requires more adjustments to the interior tissue of the breast, surgeons may make an incision around the areola then out both vertically and horizontally. This incision type may be the most effective technique for patients who require significantly more reorientation work.
With mastopexy, the length and location of the incisions will vary depending on the amount of lift required. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Tenley Lawton will make every effort to limit the length of the scar and place it in the most inconspicuous location (incisions and any scarring are easily covered by your bra, bathing suit or clothing). During a consultation, Dr. Lawton will discuss all the various techniques and recommend the proper surgery based on the breast size, orientation, and desired result.
Typical Mastopexy Recovery and Results
Once patients are out of surgery, they will usually spend a couple of hours in a recovery room before returning to the comforts of home for the rest of their recuperation. Every patient’s recovery period will be different, so Dr. Lawton provides each breast lift patient with individualized care instructions. Dr. Lawton emphasizes the importance of following these recovery instructions, as they are designed to maximize both comfort and healing. All recovery instructions are intended and designed to protect your results.
What Can I Expect During My Recovery?
Patients recovering from breast lift surgery can typically expect progression along the following timeline:
- 1-2 Days: You may experience swelling, bruising, and discomfort. Drains may be left in place after surgery in order to help reduce swelling. Additionally, you may be required to wear a compression garment. Depending on your discomfort, Dr. Lawton may prescribe medication to help manage pain.
- 1-2 Weeks: Swelling and bruising may continue. However, they should subside enough for Dr. Lawton to remove drains that were left in place. Most patients return to work after the first week, but strenuous activity should be avoided. You should also avoid sleeping on your stomach during these first two weeks, and you may be required to continue wearing a compression garment or a surgical bra.
- 1 Month: Swelling and bruising should dissipate. You should continue to avoid any strenuous activity, including lifting heavy objects.
- 2 Months: Most patients feel “back to normal” and may (with Dr. Lawton’s approval) begin more strenuous activities.
- 6 Months: Discoloration around the incision area should begin to return to normal skin tones. This fading will continue to happen gradually over time, leading to the diminishing of any scarring.
What Are the Benefits of Breast Lift Results?
The orientation of the breasts after your lift will become much more youthful, returning a certain buoyancy that life and, often, motherhood left behind. A breast lift can return feelings of vigor and energy, self-esteem and confidence. It can transform the way you look at yourself and feel in your own skin.
Would you like to learn more about a Breast Lift procedure? Fill out the “Request a Consultation” form on this page or call Tenley K. Lawton M.D. at 949-640-0999 to schedule your consultation with Board-Certified plastic surgeon Dr. Tenley Lawton serving Newport Beach and the greater Orange County, CA area.