Frank Agullo, MDBoard Certified Plastic Surgeon

Breast Lift Surgery

Breast Lift Surgery

No matter how hard we try to fight it, sometimes gravity defies our bodies as we age. Do you notice your breasts drooping, sagging or just not being as “perky” as they once were? Sometimes pregnancy or the loss of skin elasticity can cause this, despite efforts of working out and exercising. The good news is that you do have a solution!

Breast Lift Surgery in El Paso, Albuquerque and Las Cruces can give your breasts that extra “oomph” you’ve been looking for. Especially women who are well-endowed may experience the effects of breasts losing their shape and firmness as the aging process occurs, and that is because of the lifelong strain they have suffered from the weight pulling them down lower than they used to be.

Also known as Mastopexy, a Breast Lift can dramatically change the staying power of your breasts by lifting them back up to where they belong and helping your clothes fit better, as well as offering a boost to your confidence.

Am I a good candidate for Mastopexy?

Breast Mastopexy (Breast Lift) surgery is a personal decision. Although a breast lift can be done no matter what your age or size, it is recommended to wait at least until your breasts are fully developed. If you plan on getting pregnant or breast feeding, you should know that getting a lift can affect your ability to nurse your baby, so that is something to consider. However, some women get a breast lift before having children and are able to breastfeed just fine, since the nipples and milk ducts are still intact. Discuss this with Dr. Agullo if you have any concerns.

Women who make good candidates for El Paso mastopexy may currently have:

  • Pendulous or swaying breasts
  • Lack of breast firmness
  • Nipples that face down
  • Sagging, drooping or decreased elasticity in breasts

During your consultation, Dr. Agullo will examine your breasts and take measurements of their size and shape, elasticity of your skin, nipple and areola placement and other evaluations to determine if a breast lift is the best solution for you.

Can I combine a breast lift with other surgery?

A breast lift is commonly associated with “Mommy Makeovers”, which can also include breast augmentation and a tummy tuck, either with or without liposuction. Having these surgeries completed together means that patients can undergo a single recovery instead of going through each procedure separately.

What to expect during a breast lift

Variations of breast lift surgery differ between every plastic surgeon and patient, but the most common technique of lifting the breasts requires three incisions. One is made around the areola, with a second running vertically from the areola to the crease just under the breast, and a third horizontal incision following underneath the natural curve of the breast line.

Some patients with milder degrees of breast ptosis or sagging may be candidates for reduced scars. Many patients undergoing breast augmentation at the same time and needing no more than two centimeters of breast lift may be candidates for a periareolar lift, also known as donut lift or Benelli lift.

Other patients with more pronounced sagging might be candidates for a vertical breast lift or lollipop lift. This lift is comprised of a circumareolar incision with a vertical incision. It does not have the horizontal incision. Although heavily marketed by some, it is not a procedure for every patient. If performed in a less than ideal candidate the result will be bottoming out over time.

After any excess breast skin has been removed, the areola and nipple are placed into a higher position on the breast. Dr. Agullo will determine if the areola area needs to be reduced due to stretching from skin sags. Because of the great technology he has access to, most often the plastic surgeon is able to keep the nipples and areolas attached to underlying breast tissue to preserve sensation and breast-feeding ability, although every case is different and this is not the case for every patient.

Getting a breast lift in El Paso or Albuquerque is an outpatient procedure that Dr. Agullo can complete within approximately one to three hours.

Preparing for breast lift surgery

Getting a breast lift can truly make a woman feel good about her breasts again. It can make clothes look much better to wear and even bathing suits or revealing clothing that were once difficult to wear before a breast lift transpired. Since this is something to look forward to as a positive figure-forming transformation, getting prepared for breast lift surgery should be easy.

Tips to prepare for mastopexy:

  • Quit smoking two weeks prior to your mastopexy and for two weeks thereafter. Smoking can lead to slower healing or greater chance of blood clots.
  • Your doctor may ask you to get a baseline mammogram prior to surgery if you have any breast cancer in your family history. This helps to see any changes in the breast tissue for future visits. Getting a breast lift does not put you at any greater risk of getting breast cancer than someone who has never done a breast-altering procedure.
  • Get a relative or friend to drive you to and from the procedure, as you will not be allowed to drive after anesthesia. Arrange ahead of time if you need help with children, errands or work duties. You will be laid up for a few days so just plan to rest.
  • A button up shirt instead of a pull-on shirt may be better to wear on the day.
  • You don’t need an overnight bag, but bring something to put your paperwork and photo ID in.
  • Very important! Don’t eat or drink after 12:00 a.m. on the day prior to your scheduled mastopexy procedure.
  • Don’t apply lotions, creams or makeup to your skin anywhere in the area of the intended breast lift.

The day of surgery: before and after

During breast lift surgery, you will be under general anesthesia or IV conscious sedation. The IV conscious sedation (also known as twilight anesthesia) presents a good option for patients who choose not to do general anesthesia. You may experience faster recovery times, less nausea or headaches and lower costs associated with “twilight” IV conscious sedation than with general anesthesia.

The staff at Dr. Agullo’s professional office will make sure you are comfortable. The medications will be given at appropriate times to ensure as little pain as possible. Most patients do not remember their procedure with either IV conscious sedation or general anesthesia. You will be sleeping through most of the surgery, which can take between 1 and three hours.

After your surgery, you will be moved into a recovery room where you will be monitored for a few hours following the mastopexy. In some cases we may position small draining tubes in the breasts to avoid fluid accumulation, but we will place a special bra to support and protect your breasts.

When the doctor tells you it is time to go home, you should have someone bring you. For a day or two following the surgery, it would be wise to get out of bed occasionally to avoid the potential for blood clots. It is essential to keep moving and blood circulating normally. Whatever you do, stay away from any bending, lifting or straining. This could really damage your wounds and make them swell or bleed unexpectedly.

We will schedule a follow-up visit with you to remove drains or change your dressings. You will be informed if it is ok to shower. This is a time of healing, so avoid going overboard. In fact, make sure you take off at least a week from work (maybe more, depending on what type of work you do). Dr. Agullo will use a special suturing technique with absorbable sutures. You may have some sutures around the areola that will require removal between 5 to 7 days after surgery.

Recovering from a mastopexy

You will be instructed to wear a surgical bra for a couple of months after your breast lift procedure, even at night. The bra is comfortable, but more importantly it will help your breasts to stay in place so they can heal quickly. Never replace it with underwire bras or bras with push-ups, etc. because they can hinder your recovery or hurt your incisions.

If you notice less sensation in the areola and nipple areas, rest assured this is usually temporary. However, you may notice that it takes months or more before the sensation in those areas begins to normalize. Your breasts may take time to position into the natural shape you want to achieve, so you may not notice the full effect of your mastopexy until weeks or months thereafter.

As you would expect, your breasts will be tender for days or weeks after breast lift surgery. Be mindful of your body for the first few days and watch out for rapid heart rate, chest pain, and dizziness, shortness of breath or things that just don’t feel right. For best results, take ONLY the medications prescribed by your doctor, do not try any home remedies or aspirin.

Don’t be alarmed if your incisions appear pink or reddish in color, as they also need time to heal. They may stay that way for months after the mastopexy, but Dr. Agullo will recommend and give you some scar therapy lotion to use. Some women swear by it and keep using it even after their scars have dissipated. Dr. Agullo will continue to monitor you for months after your surgery to ensure the best possible results.

Are there any risks with breast lift surgery?

Every type of surgery comes with risks, however most of the patients are so pleased by the results that it makes the risks pale in comparison. Nevertheless, it’s important to weigh all of the factors when making such a big decision to undergo breast lift surgery.

Mastopexy is a routine plastic surgery procedure with only slight complications. Some risks to consider include infection, bleeding, varying nipple height or symmetry after the breast lift surgery (which usually settles after a few weeks or months), and in very rare cases some women report never gaining back the sensation in their nipple regions. In very small percentages of mastopexy, some women may need revisions or adjustments to their initial surgery in cases where incisions were disrupted. This is why taking good care of the wounds after surgery is so vital to maximize recovery efforts and to minimize chances of redoing or modifying the breast lift.

What does it cost for a breast lift?

Although breast lift surgery varies depending on what part of the country you live, the cost of El Paso and Albuquerque area breast lifts range between $5,600 – $8,000 depending on breast size, incision site and method of anesthesia chosen by the patient.

Make sure you choose a board certified plastic surgeon who is a member of The American Society of Plastic Surgery and who will perform the surgery in an accredited surgical facility. Anything otherwise could yield subpar results or even endanger your health. Dr. Agullo has the skill, knowledge and countless referrals to back up the quality of his work.

SERI Internal Silk Bra for Breast Lifts

While still relatively new to the plastic surgery industry, the SERI silk internal bra is a transitory scaffold that has been proving to be very beneficial in the regrowth of a patient’s own tissue, offering higher quality results and satisfaction in those patients who have experienced the SERI Internal silk bra as part of a breast lift or breast reduction.

SERI silk has a number of uses. When a woman undergoes a mastopexy or reduction mammoplasty, especially after a certain age, it can become more difficult to recover to full capacity due to loss of elasticity and tissue. A breast lift, particularly one done with implants, can result in complications if the patient lacks the tissue to support the breast. After several weeks or months of healing, if the patient stills sees sagging breasts or a lack of perkiness, it can lead to dissatisfaction and this is mostly because of not having strong enough tissue to support the weight of the breasts.

Dr. Frank Agullo at Southwest Plastic Surgery of El Paso, TX is able to overcome this challenge with the use of an innovative surgical scaffold. The SERI Surgical Scaffold is a silk material that can be shaped into a bra and worn internally, which lifts and supports the breasts and increases healing and support following a breast lift procedures. 

What happens to the silk internal bra after a patient fully recovers? 

The silk mesh bra is integrated by the body and slowly converted into strong connective tissue as your body absorbs it. No further surgery or corrective procedures are needed, as long as the patient is satisfied with the results. The woven silk bra scaffold offers exceptional results.

This is possible because the SERI Internal Surgical Scaffold is crafted of a non-animal, biologic mesh material. In their native form, silk fibers are designed with a biocompatible protein known as sericin. This makes it very strong, flexible and able to withstand the motion of a human body, while not interfereing with the body’s natural ability to restructure the healthy tissue needed for healing. The silky mesh does not rouse an inflammatory response. Instead, it goes through a slow and orderly breakdown of its mesh components.

SERI Surgical Scaffolds – both the bra and the corset – are FDA approved. Ask about wearing a SERI Internal Silk Bra as part of your breast lift. It is safe and yields highly favorable results!

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