Known as mastopexy, breast lift surgery is a procedure that raises and reshapes drooping breasts. A breast lift can be done with or without the insertion of breast implants, depending on the needs of the patient. The procedure can also reduce the size of the dark skin surrounding the nipple, called the areola. In a breast lift, incisions outline the area of skin to be removed and the new nipple position. The skin above the nipple is pulled down to help reshape the breast. Finally, sutures close the incisions and give the breast its new shape and contour. Patients can expect higher and firmer breasts after surgery, with sutures located around the areola and in the crease under the breast. The amount of lift needed will determine the length and number of incisions during surgery. The procedure can be performed under local or general anesthesia, in a hospital or in an office surgical setting. The surgery lasts two to three-and-a-half hours.
After surgery the breasts will be sore, bruised and swollen. Patients are required to wear bandages or a surgical bra for several days. Stitches are gradually removed within 7-14 days after the breast lift. Doctors advise against heavy lifting or straining after such a surgery as this can cause swelling and increased pressure. Most people may return to work within a week, and resume full activities within a month.