Houston Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
A Breast Lift (Mastopexy) is a plastic surgery procedure that provides women with breasts that appear more youthful and shapelier in appearance. During the Breast Lift procedure, a plastic surgeon can address a variety of breast issues such as sagging, drooping and asymmetry. At Lift Plastic Surgery in Houston, Dr. Shitel Patel performs Breast Lift surgeries regularly in order to help patients achieve the look that they desire.
inn some cases, a breast lift can also be combined with a breast augmentation.
What Can a Houston Breast Lift Accomplish?
Once Houston Breast Lift specialist Dr. Patel completes a Mastopexy, the patient can expect her result to be symmetrical breasts that are beautifully shaped with nipple-areolar complexes that are of the appropriate size, facing forward and in a natural-looking location.
Dr. Patel will make several changes to the patient’s breast during a Mastopexy.
To provide the patient with a breast silhouette that appears more youthful, the surgeon moves the patient’s breast mounds to a natural-looking location higher on her chest.
The plastic surgeon takes great care to make sure that the patient’s nipple-areolar complexes are placed on the part of the corresponding breast mound that offers the most projection. In addition, the surgeon ensures that the patient’s complexes are in line with one another and that both are facing forward.
What Causes the Breast Changes Women Experience with Age?
Unfortunately, as time passes, gravity negatively affects every part of the body, including the breasts. Nonetheless, there are other issues that contribute to the changes in the breasts that the surgeons at Lift Plastic Surgery address with a Houston breast lift.
Issues That Can Play a Role in Breast Changes
Over the years weight variations can lead to a loss of elasticity in the breasts as well as overstretched breast skin.
Although becoming a mother is probably one of the greatest joys in life, pregnancy and breastfeeding can both take a toll on the breasts.
The natural pull of gravity stretches the ligaments, which can cause the breasts to sag.
Who Should Consider Having a Mastopexy in Houston?
Women with the breast characteristics listed below who have completed their families and do not intend on becoming pregnant at any point in the future may want to consider learning more about the mastopexy procedure.
Breast characteristics a mastopexy can address:
- Pendulous breasts with nipple-areolar complexes that fall below the breast crease.
- Breasts that have lost their shape.
- Stretched-out, oversized nipple-areolar complexes that point downward.
- Breasts that appear flat due to loss of volume.
- Asymmetrical breasts, with one falling lower than the other.
Why Should Women Avoid Becoming Pregnant After a Mastopexy?
Some pregnant women’s mammary glands begin to produce milk (i.e., colostrum) as early as their second trimester (i.e., 14 to 16 weeks). Unless expressed, this milk collects in what is referred to as the sinus. Some women leak their milk during this time, which can help reduce the added weight on the breast, but others do not. Nonetheless, the added weight of this milk, whether a mother chooses to breastfeed or not, frequently stretch the ligaments supporting the breasts. This stretching may contribute to the pendulous breasts that some women experience following pregnancy.
Is Breastfeeding Possible After a Breast Lift in Houston?
As long as the plastic surgeon takes great care to ensure the patient’s nipple-areolar complexes remain attached to the tissue lying beneath, patients may still be able to breastfeed. Nonetheless, some women who have undergone a mastopexy have difficulty producing enough milk to satisfy their babies.
Important Information About a Mastopexy in Houston
While women with breasts of any size can benefit from a mastopexy, those with smaller breasts typically have longer lasting results than women who have larger, heavier breasts, which are prone to sagging.
An Initial Consultation for a Mastopexy in Houston
During an initial consultation with Dr. Shitel Patel, patients should be prepared to provide information about their previous medical history as well as any current medical issues.
The surgeon wants to know if the patient is taking any type of prescription medication. If so, please make a list of current medications, include the dosage amount, frequency taken and the reason for the medication.
Patients taking non-prescription medications, vitamins or herbal supplements on a regular basis need to add this information to their lists as well. Please include the same details as those provided for prescription medications (e.g., dosage, frequency, etc.).
Since breast cancer can be linked to mutated BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, the surgeon wants to know if the patient has a family history of breast cancer.
Patients should bring the results of their mammograms, breast ultrasounds and breast biopsies with them to their initial consultation for a breast lift in Houston.
Patients must inform the surgeon about any previous treatments or surgical procedures they have had. Also, please let the surgeon know if any complications arose during or after said treatment, or procedure.
Furthermore, patients who have experienced an adverse reaction to anesthesia need to provide the surgeon with detailed information related to that specific surgical event (e.g., What happened? Why did it happen?, etc.).
Patients who have an allergy to latex or any type of medication need to let the plastic surgeon know during this consultation.
Patients should be prepared to discuss what they would like to accomplish with a Houston breast lift.
A Breast Examination
To determine if the patient is a good candidate for a mastopexy, the surgeon examines her breasts.
During this physical examination the plastic surgeon will:
- Note the position of the patient’s nipple-areolar complexes.
- Determine the quality of the patient’s breast skin, including how tone it is.
If the plastic surgeon determines that the patient is a good candidate for a mastopexy in Houston, procedure specifics, including the benefits, the risks and potential complications are discussed.
Once the patient decides that she would like to move forward with treatment, the surgeon may take pictures and specific measurements of the patient’s breasts. The photos taken during this consultation are considered part of the patient’s confidential medical file, therefore, unless written consent is given, these pictures will never be shared with other patients or potential patients.
The pictures and all the information pertaining to the patient’s breasts that the surgeon gathers during this initial consultation are used to create the patient a unique custom-designed surgical treatment plan.
Patients Need a Driver for the Day of Surgery
Safety always comes first which is why patients who receive anesthesia during their procedures are not permitted to drive themselves home or use for-hire transportation of any kind (e.g., a taxi, bus service, Uber drivers, etc.).
Since breast lift patients receive general anesthesia during their procedure, they are required to bring a physically capable, licensed driver with them on the day of their mastopexy.
The surgeons at Lift Plastic Surgery recommend a physically capable driver because the patient might require assistance walking to and from the car following her procedure.
What Happens if a Breast Lift Patient Does Not Bring a Driver?
A patient who does not bring a driver on the day of her surgery will have to cancel and then reschedule her breast lift once she finds an appropriate individual to drive her to and from her surgery.
Patients Need a Physically Capable Adult Caregiver
After a mastopexy, patients must have a physically capable individual stay with them for at least 48 to 72 hours to serve as a caregiver.
The individual a patient chooses to drive her to and from surgery, and the person remaining with her as a caregiver should be individuals the patient trusts implicitly.
Ask Someone She Trusts to Care for Her Small Children and Pets
Patients who have small children or who have pets that roam freely throughout the home may want to consider asking a close friend or family member to care for their child and pets (at the friend or family member’s home) during the first few days of her recovery. Doing so prevents issues related to the pet or the child jumping up on the patient’s chest area as she stands, or while she sits.
Have a Mammogram
Sometimes, Dr. Patel requests that their breast lift patients have a baseline mammogram before their surgery and then another one several months after their procedure.
To ensure the mammogram results arrive prior to surgery, patients who are having a pre-surgical mammogram must have this procedure at least a week before their scheduled mastopexy.
Having these mammograms to compare to one another helps the medical team view any breast tissue changes that have taken place since the patient’s mastopexy. In addition, these mammograms help radiologists interpret the patient’s future mammograms.
Get Any Lab Work the Surgeon Orders Done
If the surgeon orders any kind of lab work (e.g., blood work, etc.), patients must have these tests completed at least a week before their surgery. This ensures that the results will be received before the patient’s scheduled breast lift.
In the event that the results of the tests do not arrive on time, the patient may need to reschedule her procedure.
Stop Taking Certain Medications, Vitamins and Herbal Supplements
Certain medications (e.g., aspirin, NSAIDs and blood thinners, etc.), vitamins (e.g., daily multivitamins, vitamins C, E, K and B) and herbal supplements (e.g., Kava-Kava, Ginkgo Biloba and Licorice, etc.) are known to increase bleeding. These products must be avoided for at least a week before surgery.
Patients taking prescription blood thinners (e.g., Coumadin, etc.) or any other prescription medications that must be discontinued for at least a week before surgery need to speak with the prescribing physician before discontinuing or reducing the dose of any prescription medication.
Stop Using Products that Contain Nicotine
To assist the body as it heals, it is vital that patients discontinue using products that contain nicotine for at least four weeks before and four weeks after their breast lift. These products include traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes, nicotine gum and any other smoking cessation product that contains nicotine.
Here is why:
Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, which means that it causes the blood vessels to contract. These contractions make the vessels smaller, inhibiting blood flow and increasing the amount of time it takes the oxygenated and nutritious blood to reach the surgical wounds so they can heal. By slowing the healing process, patients place themselves at a higher risk for developing an infection, having open wounds and experiencing necrosis.
Avoid Drinking Alcoholic Beverages
Alcohol can cause inflammation, which is why for at least a week before surgery, patients must refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages.
If Desired, Lose Any Additional Weight Before Surgery
Patients who would like to lose weight should work towards losing any recently gained (i.e., within 12 months of surgery) weight before their mastopexy in Houston.
By dropping any extra weight before surgery, patients can maintain their weight after surgery, thus, eliminating any concerns related to weight loss negatively affecting their results.
What to Expect During a Breast Lift
At Lift Plastic Surgery in Houston, Dr. Patel use different incision patterns as they perform mastopexy procedures. The incision pattern used is determined by how much breast skin the surgeon intends to remove.
Incision options include:
The donut incision
The donut incision – encircles the patient’s nipple-areolar complex. This type of incision is used when a patient only needs a small lift.
The lollipop incision
The lollipop incision – begins by encircling the patient’s nipple-areolar complex, the incision continues down the center of the breast to the inframammary crease, which is the crease at the bottom of the breast. This incision technique is used for moderate lifts.
The anchor incision
The anchor incision – begins with an incision that encircles the patient’s nipple-areolar complex, the incision continues down the center of the breast to the breast crease and then along the breast crease. This incision pattern is used when a woman has large breasts that need to be lifted.
The Preoperative Area
While the patient is in the preoperative area, she should expect to see her surgeon. During this time, the surgeon will make various markings on the patient’s breasts. These markings help guide the surgeon during the procedure.
At this time, patients are encouraged to ask any last-minute questions they have about their mastopexy.
The Procedure Room
The patient receives general anesthesia medications before her surgery begins. This ensures that she rests comfortably throughout her breast lift.
The surgeon addresses a large, disproportionate nipple-areolar complex by removing some of the excess skin from around the rim. If necessary, the surgeon can place permanent sutures around the patient’s nipple-areolar complexes to keep them from becoming overstretched and changing shape at some point in the future.
A limited incision is created in the tissue of the breast.
The surgeon reshapes the breast mounds and moves them to a more favorable location on the patient’s chest.
In order to accomplish the patient’s desired breast changes, Dr. Patel will carefully lift the patient several times during her procedure to fully review her breast mounds’ shape and location as well as to review the size and placement of her nipple-areolar complexes.
This review process is vital to providing the patient with a natural-looking, cohesive mastopexy result.
Once the surgeon is satisfied with mound location, breast shape, nipple-areolar complex size and placement, the incisions are closed with dissolvable sutures. Tape covers the sutures and then skin glue is applied.
The patient receives a surgical bra. This bra is chosen carefully because the surgeon wants the patient’s bra to fit her properly.
After a Houston Breast Lift: The Recovery Area
After spending some time in recovery, once she is completely awake her surgeon or recovery nurse will review the patient’s recovery information with her.
This information may include her restrictions, how to properly care for her breasts, medications and follow-up appointments. The patient’s questions will also be answered at this time. Once everything is discussed and the patient receives the answers to her questions, she is ready to head home with her driver.
Patients should expect their breasts to be bruised and swollen. These symptoms typically last for a couple weeks. In addition, patients should expect to experience some soreness and pain around the incision sites.
The day after surgery, patients can take their soft support bra off to shower, however, unless showering, this support bra must be worn continuously for the first four weeks after surgery. After the initial four weeks, patients whose incisions have healed well can change between a typical bra (without an underwire) and their support bra.
Caring for the Incisions
After surgery, the incisions will remain red or pink for a few months. During this time, it is imperative that patients protect their incisions from UV light, otherwise, the incisions darken. This darkening may be permanent, thus, negatively affecting the appearance of the breasts.
Once the incisions have fully healed, patients must continue protecting them with a sunscreen. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using a water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF value of at least 30.
Numbness in the nipple, areola and certain areas of the breast skin may be present. This sensation usually lasts about six weeks.
Directly following her mastopexy, the patient needs to take the pain medication her plastic surgeon has provided.
Patients must keep pressure off their breasts; therefore, they must avoid sleeping on the stomach. Instead, a mastopexy patient must sleep on her side or on her back.
It is vital that breast lift patients avoid bending, straining and lifting.
Sexual activity must be avoided until the patient’s surgeon gives her permission to resume this type of activity. Most patients can return to sexual activity within two weeks of their procedure.
Dr. Shitel Patel will inform the patient when she can resume her daily activities.
For at least four weeks after surgery patients must avoid participating in vigorous exercises and activities. In addition, patients must limit how often they lift their arms above their head.
Once the patient’s incisions have fully healed, Lift Plastic Surgery’s Mastopexy surgeons will gladly provide the patient with scar management tips.
Results of a Houston Breast Lift
Directly after surgery the patient will notice a change in the way her breasts look, however, the breast shape continues to change because the breasts take a few months to settle.
Initially, the scars look lumpy and red. Although these scars are permanent, as time passes, they will soften, thin and become less noticeable. Furthermore, as experienced Breast Lift surgeons, the surgeons make sure the incisions are created in locations that can be hidden beneath the patient’s clothing.
Over the next several months, as the inflammation subsides, patients will begin to see their true mastopexy results.
A patient may notice that her bra size has decreased, this happens because her breasts are now rounder and firmer.
Since the natural aging process continues, the results achieved with a mastopexy in Houston may not be permanent. Nonetheless, the breasts will still appear more youthful than they did before the breast lift. Some patients enjoy longer-lasting results by maintaining a steady weight.
As with Every Procedure, a Mastopexy Has Potential Risks
One of the best ways a patient can reduce her likelihood of experiencing these complications is to choose Dr. Shitel Patel to perform her procedure.
Dr. Patel uses his experience performing breast lifts when determining the incision pattern that will serve a patient best.
Although the scars from a breast lift are permanent, with time they will fade. In fact, within 12 to 24 months of their mastopexy, most women notice that the scars have already softened and become less noticeable. Nevertheless, on occasion poor healing can lead to wide, thickened scars. For this reason, following the recommendations from Dr. Shitel Patel about what to avoid during recovery is essential.
Asymmetrical breasts, irregularities in their size or shape can occur due to changes as the breasts heal.
Some women experience changes in breast or nipple sensation. This side effect usually subsides within a few weeks. Nonetheless, on rare occasions, some loss of feeling remains.
While rare, if the blood supply to the areola or the nipple is interrupted during the procedure, damage to the breast tissue in that area may cause loss of the areola or nipple due to necrosis (tissue death). This loss can be partial or total.
As with any major surgical procedure, there are general risks to consider:
- An adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Excessive bleeding.
- A reaction to one of the materials used during the procedure or directly thereafter (e.g., the surgical tape).
If you plan to visit Houston or one of it’s surrounding areas, or you currently live here and are interested in learning more about how a breast lift can help you attain the beautiful, youthful-looking breasts you desire, call Lift Plastic Surgery today.
Contact Houston / Webster, Texas Plastic Surgeon Shitel D. Patel, MD at Lift Plastic Surgery.
Serving patients in Houston Texas, Webster, League City, Pearland, Galveston, Kemah, Seabrook and all other surrounding Greater Houston, Texas communities and more.