Motherhood changes your life in countless ways. Most of them are good. But many mothers are dissatisfied with the shape and size of their bodies after nursing. The lead plastic surgeon at Cosmetic Surgery of DFW for Mommy Makeovers in Fort Worth TX is Dustin C. Derrick, MD. He believes each of his clients deserves to be happy and self-confident in their skin.
There are many ways to achieve this. Mastopexy, or the process of lifting your breasts, is one of our most popular cosmetic procedures. Today, we answer your 18 most frequently asked questions about breast lifts, including if they require you to get implants.
18 Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Lifts
1. What Is a Breast Lift?
A breast lift, also known as mastopexy, is a cosmetic mammoplasty procedure that lifts sagging breasts, altering their elevation, contour and size. It is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures included in a Mommy Makeover.
2. What Is a Mommy Makeover?
A Mommy Makeover is a combination of complementary body contouring procedures designed to address every concern women have about their bodies. These complementary procedures almost always include mastopexy and abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). Then, based on your aesthetic goals, they may also include such procedures as breast augmentation, breast reduction, fat grafting, Brazilian butt lift, labiaplasty or liposuction via S.A.F.E. Lipo.
3. Does Mastopexy Require Me to Get Implants?
By no means does mastopexy require you to get implants. Some women choose to combine breast augmentation with mastopexy. But even then, implants are not required. Many mothers are only looking to get a subtle increase to breast volume. If they have excess fat deposits elsewhere on their body, fat can be grafted to achieve augmented breasts.
4. What Is Fat Grafting?
Fat grafting starts with liposuction from a region of your body that you are displeased with. The only tricky part of liposuction is there needs to be an adequate amount of fat to be removed. As a general guideline, we look for a region of the body with at least an inch of pinchable fat. If there’s not at least an inch of pinchable fat at your trouble site, neither liposuction nor fat grafting may be the ideal body contouring solution for your needs.
Once we identify the best place to remove the fat from, it gets suctioned out and processed for fat transfer. Once that process is complete, it gets injected to a region of your body that you wish to augment, such as your breasts or buttocks.
Fat grafting is much preferred to buttock implants because it gives a more natural look. Just remember that the augmented region of your body may look “too big” at first. We inject a little extra fat into the augmentation site because not all the fat “takes”. Some of it is absorbed into your bloodstream, filtered through your lymphatic system and eliminated.
5. What Is a Brazilian Butt Lift?
A Brazilian butt lift is a body contouring procedure which uses buttocks implants or fat grafting to augment the size, shape and position of the buttocks. If you are concerned that your buttocks are flat, too small or sagging, you may be an ideal candidate for this procedure.
6. What Can I Expect During a Breast Lift?
Before we begin the procedure, your breasts will be sanitized and we will mark the incision points while you are standing and determine the new lifted position of your nipples. Then, we will administer general anesthesia to relax you, put you to sleep and ensure you feel no pain or discomfort during the procedure.
Next, we will create an incision around your areola. The shape and length of the incision will depend on the method we determine is most effective to achieve your aesthetic goals. Once your breasts are lifted and reshaped, your areolas will be moved to a more aesthetically appealing position.
If you have concerns about the size of your areolas, we can reduce their size during this procedure, as well. Finally, for a firmer appearance, we can remove any extra skin if this is a concern for you.
7. What Can I Expect After Mastopexy?
Recovery after mastopexy is easy. We will give you prescriptions for antibiotics to mitigate the risk of infection and analgesics to ensure your recovery process is comfortable. You will need to wear a wire-free bra, such as a surgical bra, for two to three weeks following your procedure.
You must also sleep on your back propped up with several pillows to keep your chest elevated for two to three weeks. Finally, you should avoid heavy lifting and vigorous exercise for two to four weeks post-op.
8. How Soon Will I See the Results of My Procedure?
The timeline of results, just like recovery, varies on a case-by-case basis. However, you should expect to see initial results after a few weeks post-op. The final shape of your breasts will become apparent around two to 12 months post-op.
9. How Long Will the Results Last?
The results of mastopexy can easily last a decade if the procedure is performed when you are younger. Unfortunately, breast sagging is often caused by lax, or inelastic, skin. Inelastic skin is a result of the natural aging process, which decreases your body’s production of elastin and collagen. Thus, if you had mastopexy when you were 59 or 60, the results may not last 10 years.
10. How Can I Increase the Longevity of Results?
The best way to keep your breasts looking firm and lifted is to stay as healthy as you can. Drink at least half a gallon of water daily, get plenty of vitamin A in your diet from tomatoes, peas and carrots, and maintain your weight. Drastic weight gain can increase your breast volume and cause skin to stretch out. If you subsequently lose weight in your breasts, your old, weak collagen may not be vital enough to keep your breast skin tight. This can result in sagging.
11. What Can I Expect During My Initial Consultation?
During your initial consultation, we will review your medical history and aesthetic goals. Then, we will conduct a physical examination to make sure you are healthy enough for this procedure. Bring a list of all medications and supplements you are taking, including over-the-counter medications. Certain drugs and supplements can thin your blood, which may affect the course or outcome of your mastopexy.
12. What Should I Avoid Taking Before My Mastopexy?
Before your mastopexy, avoid taking NSAIDs and aspirin for 72 hours. You should also avoid MAOIs, dietary supplements and herbal supplements which can cause your blood to thin. These include St. John’s Wort, vitamin E, fish oil supplements and anti-platelet medications. During your initial consultation, we will provide you with a complete list of things to avoid before and after your procedure and advice on how long you should avoid them.
13. What Should I Avoid Taking After My Mastopexy?
After your mastopexy, avoid taking any drugs or supplements that can thin your blood for at least 72 hours. You may take Tylenol and the analgesics prescribed to you if you feel any discomfort.
14. Can I Smoke After My Procedure?
The best candidates for this procedure are non-smokers. There are several reasons for this. First, you must be able to consume no nicotine for two to six weeks before your procedure and two to six weeks after your procedure. This includes smoking cessation tools, such as nicotine patches or nicotine gum. The longer you can go without nicotine, the better the outcome of your procedure will be.
Second, nicotine increases your blood pressure by constricting your blood vessels. This means less oxygen, vitamins and minerals can reach your skin. Among the effects of smoking, your skin looks old and wrinkled and is much more likely to sag at a younger age. Therefore, the results of the procedure may not last as long as they would for a non-smoker.
15. Am I a Good Candidate for Mastopexy?
During your initial consultation, we will help you determine if mastopexy is right for you. The best candidates are non-smokers who do not drink alcohol in excess, have fairly elastic skin, are generally healthy and are dissatisfied by the position of their breasts and nipples or the size of their areolas. It is important that you do not drink alcohol excessively because alcohol is a diuretic that dehydrates your skin and makes it look older.
16. What Do You Mean By Healthy?
You don’t have to be perfectly healthy to be a good candidate for mastopexy. However, you should let us know if you have an active infection or other illness requiring antibiotics within two weeks of your scheduled mastopexy. Fighting off an infection or other illness takes a lot of energy out of your body.
To have the smoothest recovery process, your body needs to be well-rested. You should also take great care of your hydration and nutrition during your recovery from mastopexy.
17. How Can I Make My Recovery Process Smoother?
To make your recovery process smoother, we strongly recommend Montana arnica supplements. They can be purchased at any health food store and may come in gel or capsule form. When the dosage on the package is taken three times daily as instructed, these supplements will minimize swelling, meaning you will see the results of your lift faster.
Moreover, it is absolutely essential that you stay hydrated. Some people find that their prescription analgesics make them “less regular”. Plenty of water helps to keep you regular. Furthermore, a healthy mix of soluble and insoluble fiber will help to keep you regular. Aim to consume at least your recommended daily allowance of fiber, with 75% of that being insoluble fiber and 25% of that being soluble fiber.
18. How Can I Prepare for My Procedure?
Preparation for mastopexy starts with an initial consultation to determine if you are an ideal candidate for the procedure and if mastopexy is the best body contouring procedure to achieve your aesthetic goals. Once that has been determined, we will give you a complete list of things to avoid, such as smoking, for several days or weeks before your procedure.
Schedule a baseline mammogram and any dental procedures you need done before your mastopexy. Such routine check-ups and special procedures cannot be completed within six to 12 months of your mastopexy. Moreover, you need to make sure you have a ride to and from our office.
Mastopexy is an outpatient procedure. This means you will go home after the general anesthesia has worn off, but you may not drive for 24 hours after receiving general anesthesia. Make sure you have someone to stay with you in your home for at least the first 24 hours following your mastopexy.
Learn More About Lifting Your Breasts Today
A breast lift can do wonders for your figure. But sometimes, it’s not enough to restore your self-confidence after childbirth. For any questions concerning Mommy Makeovers, schedule your initial consultation with Dustin C. Derrick, MD at Cosmetic Surgery of DFW. Give us a call at (817) 529-4314. Alternatively, you can request an appointment online at your convenience.