Breast Lift FAQs

Breast lift FAQ

Traditional methods for breast lift were first described in 1956. Although modifications to the procedure have been made over the last 60 years, the technique essentially remained unchanged until 1990. The traditional methods for breast reductions or breast lifts, leave the patient with an inverted T shaped scar – anchor scar. The scar goes around the nipple and areola, vertically down the central part of the breast, and  joins a long scar that goes along the inframammary fold, or bra line. Breast lift techniques with scars around the areola have been put aside in my practice due to the widening of the scar and unsightly result.

The ”new“ method for breast lift, developed by a Belgian surgeon, Dr. Lejour allows for lift of the breast with minimal scars; there is no further need for a large horizontal scar under the breast! Scars are found only around the areola and vertically down the center. Dr. Tavallali was personally trained by Dr. Lejour to perform this technique.

Importantly, the new technique also changes the whole concept of breast lift surgery and the anatomical basis for the operation. In the traditional technique, weight of the breast is carried by skin of the chest wall which, is pulled tightly around breast tissue forming a sling upon which the breast can rest. As we all know, skin will stretch with time, leading to droopiness and flatness of breasts.

In the new technique of vertical mammoplasty, surgeons sculpt breast tissue into a youthful shape, and allow skin of the chest wall to drape over breast tissue mound, without any tension on skin or need for it to support weight. The result is a long lasting change in breast shape that is not affected by changes in skin elasticity that occurs with age.

Breast lifts are generally outpatient procedures that are performed under general anesthesia. The use of drains is sometimes required, and patients wear supportive bras for several weeks. Breast lifts can significantly alter patient’s self-image allowing them to resume to a more active life with confidence. Breast lifts are commonly performed on women who are happy with their breast size but want an improved shape of the breast. Typically the patient has breast fed children and developed droopy breasts that would benefit from a breast lift, with or without a breast augmentation.

The new techniques in breast lift surgery allow for an improved breast shape that is longer lasting and which leaves the patient with substantially smaller scars. Dr. Tavallali will be able to give you more information regarding these techniques.

Hopefully, this information has given you a better understanding of breast reduction and breast lifts.

How long is recovery?

Initial recovery is surprisingly rapid. Most patients resume activities of daily living within 3-4 days.   Final recovery for all swelling to abate and the final shape of the breast to be visible is about 4 months.

What are the risks of surgery?

As with all surgeries there are small risks of infection and bleeding. With breast reductions in particular there is an added risk of nipple loss in up to 4 % of cases. This is usually due to poor circulation or aggravating factors such as smoking, which is a absolutely forbidden during the peri-operative period. Scars are usually minimal with the techniques I use but may require revisions in some patients.

What type of anesthesia is used?

The surgeries are performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure.

What technique is used?

I have been using the Lejour vertical mammoplasty for over 15 years. This technique allows for breast reduction and breast lifts to be performed with minimal scarring. The resultant scar is a lollipop shaped scar around the areola and vertically down the center of the breast. There is no need for the long, unsightly and painful scar that some older techniques use under the breast.

Is there much discomfort with the surgery?

As with the recovery, the discomfort is again surprisingly limited with these procedures. The greatest discomfort is with the breast augmentation and lift, which has the discomfort of the chest muscles being stretched by the breast implants. This pain though is well controlled with medication and usually lasts no more than 3 days.