Pregnancies, weight loss, and aging can all wreak havoc on the shape and contour of our breasts. Skin stretches over time, allowing the breast tissue to sag and droop due to gravity. The effect on our appearance can cause us to shy away from flattering tops or bikinis, and to suffer from low confidence. A breast lift, or mastopexy, reverses the effects of pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight gain, and loss, and aging to restore a more youthful appearance.
Patients of Dr. Hernandez at Eterna Cosmetic Surgery in San Antonio are thrilled with their newfound curves and confidence following breast lift surgery. During a breast lift, Dr. Hernandez artfully and skillfully reshapes the contours of your breasts to restore a youthful, aesthetically-pleasing appearance.
Who is a good fit for a breast lift?
Women who have one (or in particular, multiple) children and breastfed them for some time may have lost breast mass and suffer from sagging breasts after they stopped breastfeeding. Many patients visit Dr. Hernandez for a breast lift to restore the appearance of their breasts after having children.
Patients who have lost a significant amount of weight tend to lose a great deal of breast mass as well. This can lead to excessively drooping and sagging breasts. Dr. Hernandez meets with many patients who have achieved their weight loss goals, and wish to restore the natural curves of their breasts.
Patients who are in generally good health are typically ideal candidates for breast lift surgery. Patients should either not smoke, or can stop smoking for several weeks before and after surgery, as smoking can impede healing. It’s important for patients to have realistic expectations for the procedure.
As with any cosmetic surgery, Dr. Hernandez recommends that you follow a healthy diet and exercise plan, and are at a stable weight before surgery. Patients who have one breast lower than the other, nipples that sag below the breast crease, and are generally unhappy with their breast shape or volume choose breast lift surgery to enhance their appearance and restore confidence.
How do you prepare for a breast lift?
During your initial consultation, Dr. Hernandez will perform a physical examination and discuss your situation and goals. She will then make specific recommendations to help you reach your goals.
Dr. Hernandez recommends that patients who smoke stop smoking several weeks before (and for several weeks after) their breast lift surgery so that the effects of smoking do not impede healing. She also recommends patients avoid alcohol for at least one week prior to surgery (and continues to refrain from alcohol consumption for one week following surgery), as alcohol can cause excessive swelling and discomfort, which can prolong healing.
Dr. Hernandez will also review your medical history, plus any medications, supplements or vitamins you may be taking. She may recommend that you stop taking some medications, vitamins, or supplements in advance of surgery to avoid complications. To rule out any potential complications, Dr. Hernandez may also order some simple blood tests before your breast lift.
What happens during breast lift surgery?
Breast lift surgery is performed in a hospital, most often on an outpatient basis. Dr. Hernandez will meet with you the day of your surgery to answer any questions and help you feel at ease before your breast lift. Your breast lift surgery will require sedation for the procedure. Patients can choose between intravenous sedation and general anesthesia, depending on your specific preferences. Dr. Hernandez will also recommend the method of anesthesia will be your best option.
During breast lift surgery, Dr. Hernandez will carefully design incisions -- most commonly, these are designed around your areolas in a donut fashion, or lifting the breast tissue with vertical or inverted-T incisions. The specific technique used for your breast lift will be determined based on the size and shape of your breasts, the position of your areolas, the severity of your breast sagging, and the amount and level of sagging of your breast tissue. Dr. Hernandez will discuss her recommendations with you prior to your surgery during your consultation and pre-operative appointment.
After Dr. Hernandez makes the incisions in your breast, she will lift and reshape the underlying tissue to improve the contour and firmness of your breasts. Your nipples and areolas will be repositioned for a more youthful, natural height, and Dr. Hernandez will remove any excess skin. If your areolas are enlarged, Dr. Hernandez may excise skin around the areolas as well.
If you have chosen breast implants or breast reduction to further augment the appearance of your breasts, Dr. Hernandez will appropriately insert silicone or saline implants, or remove excessive breast tissue.
Once Dr. Hernandez has artfully removed excess skin and reshaped your breasts for a more youthful, firm appearance, she will further tighten the skin of your breasts by closing your incisions.
Dr. Hernandez uses a combination of strategically-located sutures and the DermaBond Pineo skin closure system, with Prineo tape on the majority of incisions, and sutures around the edges of the areolas. This careful combination helps your skin heal effectively while minimizing scarring.
What happens after breast lift surgery?
Immediately After Surgery
Following your breast lift surgery, you will be immediately taken into recovery, where you will be monitored and tended to by nurses. Dr. Hernandez will visit with you shortly after your sedation has worn off to discuss the results of your surgery and see how you are feeling.
You will notice immediate results after your breast lift; however, you will need to give yourself time to heal before you see permanent results. Bruising and swelling is normal following a breast lift, as your body heals from surgery. Dr. Hernandez will provide you with a prescription for pain medication to alleviate any discomfort after you return home.
After You Return Home
While many patients are able to go home the same day as their breast lift, Dr. Hernandez may recommend that you spend the night at the hospital for further care or monitoring. You will need a friend or family member to bring you home.
You will need to change bandages on your breasts daily to keep the incisions clean and promote healing. In very few instances for patients who require massive reduction or lift-type procedures (about 1%), a drainage tube may be inserted during surgery, which will be removed during the post-operative appointment.
Most patients take at least one week off of work to recover from breast lift surgery. During this time, you will need to rest, but also move around to prevent blood clots and help facilitate healing. You will wear a recovery bra for several weeks following your breast lift to reduce swelling and provide support to your breasts as they heal.
Dr. Hernandez recommends avoiding alcohol for at least one week after surgery and smoking for six weeks following your breast lift. Eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, and be sure to drink enough water to stay hydrated. You will need to refrain from strenuous activity for six weeks following your breast lift.
Patients should expect to see final results from their breast lift about three months after their surgery so that the breasts can heal and any swelling can subside. With Dr. Hernandez’s artful, personalized approach, she is able to provide patients across San Antonio with natural, pleasing curves that restore a more youthful appearance.
What else can Dr. Hernandez do to improve the appearance of my breasts with a breast lift?
In many cases, patients who suffer from sagging breasts also have a loss of breast tissue volume. Together with a breast lift, Dr. Hernandez simultaneously provides breast implants for patients across San Antonio.
Conversely, patients who suffer from sagging breasts and wish for a breast reduction may combine the two procedures to remove breast tissue while lifting the breasts and enhancing the overall appearance.
How much does it cost for a breast lift?
The costs associated with a breast lift vary for each patient, but will include the following:
- Anesthesia fees
- Hospital fees
- Medical tests
- Consultation and follow-up appointments
- Post-surgery garments
- Surgeon’s fee
The cost for a breast lift typically totals between $9,000 and $10,000.