Dr. Craig is an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon with additional microsurgery training at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Both doctors approach reconstructive and aesthetic breast procedures with care that incorporates building personal relationships with patients and precision in surgical technique. Dr. Craig has learned from experienced breast surgeons such as Dr. Phillip Blondeel and Dr. Roger Khouri.
What Is a Breast Lift?
A breast lift is a safe, effective surgery used to restore sagging, uneven breasts, making them firmer and lifting them to a perkier position. The surgery, called a mastopexy, also addresses decreased fullness and volume, creating breasts that are plumper and youthful looking. A traditional breast lift surgery involves the removal of excess skin, repositioning of the nipple and areola, and also reshaping the breast tissue to create a shape that’s pretty and symmetrical.
Thousands of women every year elect to have breast lift surgery to resize and reshape their breasts by:
- Raising and repositioning the areola and nipples.
- Removing stretched out, excess skin.
- Contouring breast tissue.
A breast lift surgery is designed to compliment your figure and create a proportional, feminine silhouette.
Should I Get a Breast Lift?
Women who decide to have a breast lift do so for a variety of reasons, all uniquely personal, that are both physical and emotional. A woman’s breasts are an inherent aspect of their self-image and feminity so living with breasts that you’re unhappy with can distract you from what you do like about your body. Sagging, elongated breasts are a common reason that women decide to get a breast lift. One of the main factors that determine the firmness and texture of your skin is your estrogen level. When you enter perimenopause and menopause, generally in your 40’s or 50’s, your estrogen level sharply declines. This loss of estrogen causes perimenopausal and menopausal women to experience accelerated breast sagging when compared to younger women. Common reasons women choose to have a breast lift are:
- Their Breasts are unusually shaped or asymmetrical. If you have breasts that are tuberous, pendulous or are not equal in size, the procedure reshapes breast tissue and eliminates sagging. Patients are delighted with their breast lift outcome – breasts that are rounded, balanced, and normal looking.
- They have nipples that point downward. As the result of pregnancy, breastfeeding, age, and gravity, the weight of your breasts stretches and sags, pulling the nipple downward. A breast lift repositions the nipple higher towards the center of the
- They have breasts that are have lost volume. The procedure lifts your breasts, so they are plump and fuller with better
Women considering a breast lift should wait until after they are done having children, and are at a stable weight to maintain their results.
Different Incision Types
There are typically four different techniques that surgeons use to create the breast lift incisions. Your incision type will be based on how much existing breast tissue you have and how much skin will be removed.
- Periareolar or “donut” lift. This type of incision is best for women who only have minor sagging, and also is beneficial for patients whose areolas are too large. A periareolar incision encircles your areola and is often performed in conjunction with a breast implant surgery. The scar is minimal and well-disguised by the natural color difference between the areola and the rest of the breast skin.
- Inverted T or “anchor” lift. Women who have extensive sagging and require a serious amount of reshaping get optimal results from the anchor lift technique. For this breast lift procedure, your surgeon will make three different incisions. One where your breasts meet the chest below them, an area called the inframammary fold, which is hidden by the breast crease. The second incision runs vertically from the areola to the inframammary fold incision and the third circles the areola. Although the anchor shape results in more scarring, the scars do fade over time.
- Cresent lift. This less frequent technique that is made around the top half of the areola. A crescent-shaped section of skin is taken from above the area, and the skin that surrounds it is then reattached to the areola. Typically a crescent lift is performed in conjunction with a breast augmentation surgery for patients that have minor sagging.
- Vertical or “lollipop.” incision. Best suited for women that have a moderate amount of sagging. The incision is made around the areola and a second incision vertically extends from the areola to the bottom of breast crease.
Your plastic surgeon will make the decision based upon how drastic your sagging and other breast lift needs are.
Your Initial Consultation
During your initial Breast lift consultation, it is critical that you be as honest and descriptive as possible about your needs and expectations. Establishing a line of communication from the start is an essential part of the doctor-patient relationship. Dr. Fusi and Dr. Craig will perform a thorough exam, which usually includes taking measurements and photographs of your breasts. During the consultation our doctors will consider:
- The size and shape of your breasts.
- What changes you’d like to achieve.
- Your skin quality.
- Where your nipples and areolas are located in relation to the rest of the breast.
- The amount of tissue your breasts have as well as the quality of the breast tissue.
Patients with reservations and questions about their breast lift can obtain the advice needed to make an informed decision about their surgery.
Breast Lift with Augmentation or Reduction
In some cases, Dr. Craig may recommend combining a breast augmentation or breast reduction with a breast lift to improve the shape and fullness of your breasts. Women who have lost substantial breast volume can enhance the fullness of their breasts with a breast augmentation. Patients with large, sagging breasts can benefit from a breast reduction, which combines the removal of breast tissue with a breast lift to obtain smaller, well-shaped breasts.
During the Breast Lift Procedure
Your surgery will be scheduled at a local outpatient surgery center, where a certified anesthesiologist will administer general anesthesia on the day of your procedure. After the anesthesia has taken effect, Dr. Fusi and Dr. Craig will:
- Make the incision.
- Breast tissue will be lifted and repositioned.
- The breast will be reshaped to a more youthful appearance.
- Extra skin and/or breast tissue will be excised.
- All incisions are closed with techniques that minimize the appearance of scars.
Each woman’s breasts respond to aging and gravity differently. Our doctors will tailor your breast lift surgery, according to your aesthetic goals.
After the Procedure
After your breast lift, you will be moved to the recovery room where Dr. Craig will check on your progress after surgery. Once you have recovered from anesthesia, you will be able to return home with the assistance of a friend or loved one.
Most patients will need one to two weeks to recover from their surgery. During this period, patients commonly experience symptoms such as swelling and bruising.
Approximately two weeks after surgery Dr. Craig will remove your sutures and provide additional instructions on how to care for your breasts. For the first four to six weeks all strenuous activity should be avoided to ensure that your breasts heal fully with minimal scarring and discomfort, and a bra with adequate comfort and support will be provided.
If you are interested in learning more about how a breast lift can help you, call our Houston office at (713) 346-9909 to schedule an initial consultation with Drs. Fusi and Craig.