Breast Lift Surgery (Mastopexy)
What is a Breast Lift (Mastopexy)?
Following weight loss, pregnancy, especially after breastfeeding, some women find their breasts have lost substantial volume and sag undesirably. To address this problem we offer a breast lift or mastopexy, a surgical procedure that reshapes and lifts droopy sagging breasts, moving the nipple areolar complexes higher, restoring a more youthful and “perky” appearance.
Who Are Candidates For Breast Lift Surgery?
The best candidates for breast lift surgery are those who have breasts that sag significantly, desire improvement, are in good health and don’t smoke. When the nipples sit below the level of the inferior mammary fold (IMF), that skinfold that occurs where the breast joins the chest wall at the bottom, when they point downwards or sit at the very bottom of the breast mound, a mastopexy can be performed to elevate them to a more normal position.
What Does the Surgery Entail? Are There Scars on the Breasts?
Incisions are made around the areola and down the lower part of the breast. The breast mound is reshaped from the inside and the nipple moved upwards to the desired new position. The incisions made on the breasts that heal into permanent scars vary depending on the degree of breast sagging. They can be around the areola alone, around the areola and vertically down the lower part of the breast (a lollipop shaped scar), or around the areola, down the lower of the breast vertically and along the new IMF (an anchor shaped scar). When done properly, they usually heal nicely and are barely noticeable.
Our mastopexy procedures are done in our accredited in-office surgical suite under conscious sedation and local tumescent anesthesia. As this is an outpatient procedure, patients are discharged directly home after a short recovery period under the supervision of a responsible adult.
What is the Downtime Following Breast Lift Surgery?
Our patients are up, around, and able to attend to their needs within hours after the surgery. Moderate pain and swelling are largely gone by the end of the first week with most patients able to assume their normal light tasks including sedentary work by then. Exercise programs can be resumed in three to four weeks. Sutures used to close the incisions are dissolving and don’t require removal.
How Long Before I Will See the Final Results of Breast Lift Surgery?
Although, the new position of the nipples is immediately noticeable after surgery, the breasts will not assume their final rounded shape and position for many months.
What Are the Complications of Breast Lift Surgery?
As with most surgeries, swelling, pain, and bruising in the short term are common and resolve quickly. Serious complications of breast lift surgery are rare and include infection, bleeding, and undesirable scarring. Very rarely, the nipple complex can be permanently damaged by a compromise to its blood supply during surgery. Asymmetry or a difference in size of the breasts or position of the nipples can occur.
Combining A Breast Lift with Augmentation Using Implants
While a mastopexy can restore a more youthful look to the breasts, it cannot restore volume to them. For those who want both correction of sagging breasts and restoration of breast volume, we can often place implants at the same time as we perform the mastopexy procedure. The implants, either saline filled or silicone gel, are usually placed under the chest wall muscles. A breast lift with augmentation is the essentially same procedure as a breast lift alone with the additional step of implant placement and the resulting scars are identical.
Downtime for a Simultaneous Mastopexy with Augmentation
With more work done on the breasts, the downtime following this outpatient surgery is usually a week or so longer than a mastopexy alone to return to work. As in the mastopexy, patients are able to attend to their needs and resume their daily activities quite quickly.
Complications of a Simultaneous Mastopexy with Augmentation
Unlike a breast lift alone, the breast is stretched during a simultaneous lift and augmentation due to the placement of implants. This stretching from the implants places more tension on the incisions and nipple complex and creating a greater potential for slower wound healing, more noticeable scars and nipple problems. Patients desiring their breasts lifted and augmented at the same time should understand that this procedure carries with it the most potential problems and has the highest revision rate of any cosmetic breast surgery.
Who Should Not Have a Simultaneous Mastopexy with Augmentation
As in many cosmetic procedures, those who smoke cigarettes are known to have a much higher complication rate following a simultaneous mastopexy and augmentation and therefore are excluded by most surgeons from having this procedure. Those with certain chronic medical conditions or take medications that predispose to infection, bleeding or poor wound healing may also be poor candidates for this procedure.
Doing a Mastopexy and Augmentation in Two Stages
Particularly for those women with extremely saggy and empty breasts, a breast lift and augmentation done in two stages (two separate surgeries) is often a better option with more reliable results and less potential for complications. In a two-stage procedure, the mastopexy is performed first to move the nipples into their new position and reshape the breasts followed by the augmentation surgery about three to four months later.
How Long Before I Will See the Final Results of Mastopexy with Augmentation?
As in a breast lift alone, breasts following a simultaneous mastopexy and augmentation will not assume their final rounded shape and position for many months after the procedure.
Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammoplasty)
For those with undesirably large and usually droopy breasts, breast reduction or reduction mammoplasty can be performed to make them smaller and “perkier”. Essentially, a breast reduction is a mastopexy with the targeting of an appropriate amount of breast tissue. The scars are the same as those of a mastopexy with either a lollipop-shaped scar or an anchor-shaped scar.
Downtime Following a Breast Reduction
Recovery time from a breast reduction is similar to that of a mastopexy with augmentation; about two weeks to return to light or sedentary work. Resolution of bruising, swelling and healing of the scars can take a month to six weeks or longer.
How Long Before I Will See the Final Results of Breast Reduction?
As in the breast surgeries above, the breasts following breast reduction will not assume their final rounded shape and position for many months after the procedure and will keep improving for up to a year.
Complications of Breast Reduction Surgery
The complications of breast reduction are the same as listed above for breast lift surgery.
Are Breast Reductions Covered by Health Insurance?
Some insurance companies will cover breast reduction surgery in certain cases. Those desiring insurance coverage should check with their individual health insurance carrier to see if they are covered for this surgery. We do not accept insurance payment for breast reduction surgery.
To Schedule a Complimentary Consultation