Occasionally, a woman may find that she has lost the natural fullness of her breast, or that the skin has become loose or superfluous. This gives the breasts a “sagging” or “drooping” appearance. Often this happens when the woman has lost weight, or after a pregnancy, when hormones result in drastic changes in breast volume. The purpose of mastopexy is to restore the natural shape and contour of the breast. This makes the breast firmer, with tighter skin, and better nipple position.
The Virginia breast lift operation is usually performed with the patient under general anesthesia but, occasionally, we can use local anesthesia and heavy sedation. The incisions are made around the areola (the pink skin surrounding the nipple) and under the breast. The nipple and areola are repositioned to a higher, more appropriate level, and the redundant skin is removed from the lower part of the breast. After the skin is closed, the natural form of the breast itself generally hides the incisions. Short scar breast lift or mastopexy refers to operations that limit the incision to varying degrees. Some breast lifts are done with incisions only around the nipple. Other short scar techniques may have a incision below the nipple but not in the fold. Occasionally, it may be necessary to augment the breast with an implant to provide more volume in the breasts, or it may be necessary to reduce the volume of the breast in order to achieve the desired result. Dr. Marefat will discuss these possibilities with you prior to surgery.
After breast lift surgery in Virginia, you will wear a surgical bra for a few days to help reduce swelling. A supportive bra is recommended for several weeks thereafter to help minimize your discomfort. Minor swelling and discoloration may be present for a short period. You may also experience temporary changes in the sensation of the breast or nipple. These sensory changes revert to normal in a short time period. Dr. Marefat will make every effort to minimize the scarring; however, these scars will be noticeable and are permanent.
A breast lift is an operation to that lifts the nipples and improves the shape of the breast by excising the excess skin.
Breast lift surgery indicated for any woman with significant sagging of the breasts. Women who seek a breast lift have loss of breast fullness and have low-lying nipples. Sometimes this is a congenital condition which has been present from the time breast development started. Surgical candidates must be in good overall health and have realistic expectations. However, the best results are seen in individuals who have moderate to major ptosis (“sagging”) of the breasts. Generally, the younger you are, the better a candidate you are for surgery. A person’s physiological age is more important than their chronological age. That is to say, you may be 60 years old, but your skin and general health may be better than that of most 50 year olds.
There are no real contraindications to Virginia breast lift surgery unless your health precludes an elective operation. People who have unrealistic goals are not good candidates. Having keloid (bad scar) producing skin can be a relative deterrent to surgery. Dr. Marefat can tell you if he thinks that favorable results are possible in your case.
The purpose of mastopexy (breast lift) is to restore the natural shape and contour of the breast, giving it firmer and tighter skin, with better nipple position.
If you have heavy breasts, lifting the breast may help your posture and, therefore, your back and shoulder pain. However, the main purpose of this operation is not to remove tissue from the breast , therefore the size and weight changes are not significant.
In the first consultation, you will have a chance to discuss your concerns with our patient care coordinators and Dr. Marefat. We will explain what you need to know about the Virginia breast lift procedure and help to determine what is best for you. You will receive information booklets and pricing on the procedures.
The incisions are made around the areola (the darker skin surrounding the nipple) and under the breast. The nipple and areola are repositioned to a higher, more appropriate position, and the redundant skin is removed from the lower breast. After the skin is closed, the natural form of the breast generally hides the incisions. Occasionally, it may be necessary to augment the breast with an implant to provide more volume, or it may be necessary to reduce the breast’s volume in order to achieve the desired result. Dr. Marefat will discuss these possibilities with you prior to surgery.
Our objective is to tighten the skin of the breast and lift the nipple to its ideal position on the breast mound. By repositioning the nipple on your breast, you will see a significant improvement in shape. You will be less likely to have skin related problems, such as rashes or sores, under your breast. In addition, Virginia breast lift surgery will enable you to exercise easier and live a healthier life.
There are several techniques that strive to limit the extent of the incisions in breast lifts. You may have heard of the “Donut Mastopexy,” for example. This technique is used in minimal breast lifts, and the incision is hidden in the nipple-areola region. The natural change of color between the areola skin (the darker skin around the nipple) and the breast skin serves as camouflage for the scar. In addition to the scar around the nipple, a short vertical scar may be used for lifting most breasts. This is commonly referred to as the “Lollypop incision breast lift”. This newer method is being used more commonly and has the advantage of not placing scars in the mammary fold. The traditional anchor incision is still used today for cases in which short scar techniques cannot provide adequate lift.
General anesthesia. In certain small breast lifts, it may be possible to do this surgery using straight local anesthesia or local sedation.
After breast lift surgery you will have a minimal to moderate amount of drainage from the incisions. You will need to rest for the first 2 or 3 days, but most people are up and about shortly after the surgery. We generally recommend our patients take off 7 days from work. Heavy lifting and exercising should be avoided in the first 2 weeks. Your body will tell you when you are ready to get back into your regular exercise routine. You will have a supportive bra or bandage for the first few days. This helps the skin attach to the underlying tissues after surgery, and reduces the chance of fluid collection under the skin. Once the dressing is removed, you can shower normally. We usually remove the dressings in the first 2 or 3 days after surgery. There will be some numbness associated with the Virginia breast lift surgery. This numbness usually persists for about 4-6 weeks. A moderate degree of swelling is normal after this operation. This swelling is related to accumulations of fluid in skin and subcutaneous tissues. Most of the swelling subsides within the first 2 or 3 weeks after the surgery. Minor asymmetry between the two sides can be seen after a breast lift. No one has completely symmetrical breasts, and you have to accept these minor differences in size and shape.
Unnaturalness and imperfections resulting from breast lift surgery are not common aesthetic complications. The breasts heal quite well. Minor differences and irregularities usually resolve themselves after several weeks. Most surgeons endeavor to achieve the best possible result in the initial operation. However, even when everything is done right, there is still a chance that you may develop some irregularity in the shape of the breast or scar. If this does occur, you may need to fix this problem in a touch-up procedure. This touch-up procedure is done approximately 3-6 months after the initial procedure.
Before the doctor discusses with you the complications of breast lift surgery, it is important for you to consider how to digest these pieces of information. Reading about complications can be quite scary. Many people cannot comfortably sit through a consultation session without having real doubts about surgery. This is a natural response. It is different when you have these complications explained to you by a doctor. Dr. Marefat can put them in perspective for you and identify the likelihood of such complications occurring. Most complications are very rare. Some are less rare and need to be explained to you in more detail so that you understand how we would tackle these problems if they occurred. The purpose of explaining risks and complications is so that you know what steps we would take to treat you, putting you back on the road to recovery. Remember that every surgeon has his or her own way of treating problems. You must go over these potential risks with Dr. Marefat to gain better insight and understanding.
Sometimes the Virginia breast lift procedure, like breast augmentation, may involve use of an implant. With implant breast surgery, the most common complication is the capsular contracture. This term refers to firmness of the breast caused by the shrinking of the scar tissue surrounding the implant. Unfortunately, there is no way to predict in whom this problem will occur. It may occur in one breast but not the other.
If this problem occurs, we may have to perform a corrective procedure. If the condition is mild and acceptable to the patient, the treatment options for resolving this type of problem include nontreatment. Otherwise, surgical correction may be necessary. Closed capsulectomy (release of the contracture by external pressure) is no longer done. Open capsulectomy would entail returning to the operating room for releasing the capsule—either by making incisions in the scar tissues, or by removing the scar tissue completely. This allows the breast implant to sit comfortably in its pocket and stay soft. The risk of developing capsular contracture is approximately 10%, although higher numbers have been reported in some studies.
Bleeding is very uncommon with breast lift surgery because we are generally not cutting deeper breast tissues. However, there have been some reports in the literature of bleeding as a complication. There are those who are at higher risk of bleeding. The use of certain medications, such as aspirin or coumadin (a blood thinner), could put you at higher risk of bleeding. Some people with a history of uncontrolled hypertension could be at higher risk of bleeding after the surgery. Some individuals who are not aware of having problems with coagulation have had bleeding after surgery. If you do not have any of these risk factors, you should not be at high risk for bleeding. However, if you do have bleeding, for whatever reason, we will treat it immediately.
Other complications include the following:
Touch-ups are done after 3 months. These procedures are usually much simpler than the first procedure and are not as painful. Dr. Marefat can do them in the Virginia office with a small amount of local anesthetic, if it is a minor deformity or problem. However, if the problem was more complicated or difficult, the doctor would do it in the outpatient surgery center with the patient under general anesthesia.
The breast lift sutures come out in 2-3 weeks. Sometimes you may have absorbable sutures that do not need to come out.
We like to see our patients frequently after surgery. You are seen by the doctor or nurse within 2-3 days of Virginia breast lift surgery. Then the normal postoperative routine is: once a week until all sutures are out, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months after surgery. Of course, if there is a need, you may be seen more often. After the first year, we encourage our patients to come in for routine follow-up visits every 3-5 years.
You should be able to wear make-up if you have had breast surgery. However, we do not recommend putting make-up on your incisions. This may result in tattooing of the skin by the pigments in the make-up.
You can pay for Virginia breast lift surgery by certified check, credit card, or cash. Payment for cosmetic surgery is expected prior to any procedure. If you are scheduled for surgery several weeks in advance, you may pay by personal check.
Yes. The scars of breast lift surgery are going to be around and under your nipple and, sometimes, in the breast fold. If your breast has only a minor ptosis or sagging, you may only have a simple scar around your nipple (circumareolar mastopexy). However, this is usually not the case, and a vertical scar going from the nipple to the inframammary fold may be necessary. Today, this technique of lifting is becoming more prevalent, and the scars are not as significant as those from older techniques. The traditional scar of the breast lift was the anchor shaped scar located under the fold. This scar was the main deterrent to breast lift surgery for many women. As we improve our short-scar techniques, more women will be able to have Virginia breast lift surgery.
The pain involved in mastopexy is very tolerable. We have heard our patients describe it as “muscle aches” or just “soreness in the chest.” Many patients do not finish the pain medications prescribed to them for pain relief. Having said that, remember that pain is very subjective, and it is not easy to predict what degree of pain you will have.
If you are just having a small area of your breast removed, and the procedure can be performed in the office, then you will be awake. However, if you are having a normal breast lift, the procedure will most likely be performed in an outpatient facility under general anesthesia. A Virginia breast lift can be a complicated and time-consuming procedure. If you want favorable results, it is better to let the surgeon concentrate on the procedure and not on your level of discomfort during the operation.
Dr. Marefat likes to perform Virginia breast lift surgery in an outpatient surgery center. If the procedure is very minor, and the area in question can be anesthetized adequately with local numbing medicine, then it may be possible to do it in our Virginia offices.
Yes. In all cosmetic and reconstructive cases medical photos are taken. Photographs are mandatory. This is the only way for us to compare your status before the operation to your results. Photographs in plastic surgery serve much the same role that x-rays serve for orthopedic surgery.
Dr. Marefat and the staff at Metropolitan Plastic Surgery would be happy to help you set up a private consultation to discuss Virginia breast lift surgery. Schedule an appointment online or call one of our locations, our Arlington, Virginia office at 703-516-7600 or our Woodbridge, Virginia office at 703-560-9583.
Dr. Marefat offers a number of financial assistance programs and payment programs to cover the cost of Virginia breast lift surgery. Please visit the Patient Financing section of our website for more details or ask the staff at Metropolitan Plastic Surgery about these options so you can get started with breast lift in Virginia today.