As women age, the breasts lose shape and firmness. The skin gradually loses its elasticity and no longer holds the breasts in a youthful, upright position. Pregnancy, breast feeding, weight gain and loss also add to the tissue burden of loss of skin elasticity. Women who have sagging breasts (ptosis) may benefit from a breast lift (mastopexy). If there are also problems of excess volume or size of the breasts, a reduction may also be done at the same time. Volume loss may be corrected by breast augmentation at the same time. Asymmetries may also be improved.
Excess skin is removed, the nipple areolar (dark skin around the nipple) complex is lifted and the breasts are recontoured to create a more youthful appearance with firmer breasts. Depending on preoperative size, appearance, and asymmetries, the nipple areolar complexes may also be reduced. There are incisions made directly on the breasts which may extend around the nipple areolar complex, into the front of the breast, and into the breast fold, depending on the degree of droop, asymmetry, and volume considerations.
Who is a Candidate for a Breast Lift?
- Women who have sagging breasts
- Women who want to improve their breast shape
- Healthy women without underlying breast disease
- Women who will tolerate breast scars
Intended Results of a Breast Lift
- Higher breasts (lifted)
- Tighter breast envelope (increased skin tightness)
- Improved breast symmetry
- More pleasing breast shape
- More youthful appearance
Procedure Description for Breast Lift
- Mastopexy operations are usually performed in an accredited outpatient surgical facility under general anesthesia or conscious sedation with local anesthesia.
- There are several types of mastopexy procedures depending on the severity of ptosis (breast droop). In most cases incisions are made around the nipple areolar complex and down the middle of the breasts. Sometimes they may extend into the breast fold.
- The nipple areolar complex is lifted to a more youthful position.
Recuperation and Healing for Breast Lift Surgery
- Postoperative discomfort is usually controlled with oral medications and long-acting local anesthesia.
- A soft bra or compression garment is usually worn for at least several days postoperatively.
- This is an outpatient procedure and you will be able to go home approximately two hours after surgery. You must have someone to take you home and stay with you during the first day and night after your procedure for safety.
- The patient will be seen the next day for a 24 hour follow up and.
- Most sutures are internal and do not need to be removed.
- Light activity may be resumed in 7 to 10 days. Sports activities may be resumed in 3-6 weeks (depending on your cosmetic surgeon).
Other Options for Breast Lift Surgery
- Breast reduction or breast augmentation may be required with your mastopexy for the best results.
The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for a given individual can only be determined at the time of consultation with your cosmetic surgeon. A standard mastopexy always requires the placement of surgical incisions on the breasts. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occasionally occur. Major complications are rare.
Reviewed by Victoria Kalinsky-Bellini, MD, FACS of www.newlooknewlife.com.