There is a number of procedures that can be used to tighten the skin and elevate breasts that droop, as after weight loss or pregnancy. Plastic surgeons call these procedures mastopexy. Your anatomy, your surgeons preferences and your desired results will determine the specific method chosen for your breast lift.
The number of incisions and complexity of the surgery are dependent on the degree to which the breasts droop. With a significant degree of droop, the most common method of breast lift involves three incisions. One incision is made around the areola, the flat part of the nipple. Another runs vertically from the bottom edge of the areola to the crease underneath the breast. The third is a horizontal incision beneath the breast that follows the natural curve of the breast crease.
After the surgeon has removed the excess breast skin and shaped the remaining breast tissue, the nipple and areola are shifted to a higher position that is in front of the fold beneath the breast. The areola, which is often stretched out in sagging breasts, can also be reduced in size. Skin that was formerly located above the areola is brought down to reshape the breast. In some cases, liposuction may be used to improve the contour, especially on the sides of the breasts.
The nipples and areolas remain attached to the underlying mounds of tissue during a breast lift and this usually allows for the preservation of sensation and the ability to breast-feed. A breast lift will not increase the size of the breast. It the patient desires larger breasts as well, an implant can be placed at the time of the mastopexy.