A breast lift or mastopexy is a procedure that reshapes sagging breasts to give them a more youthful appearance. Many women are dissatisfied with the shape of their breasts, particularly after pregnancy or after significant weight loss. Breasts in some women take on a very droopy shape that is associated with old age. The nipple may drop below its desired position and the areola may be too large. There seems to be too much skin giving the breast a “rock in a sock” look. Mastopexy can return the volume of the breast to a higher position, reposition the nipple and make the areola smaller. Mastopexy makes the breast take on a more conical shape. Often mastopexy is combined with a breast implant in cases where there is not adequate breast volume and a great deal of loose skin. If the patient is comfortable with breast size when she is in a non padded bra then lift alone will be enough. If the patient desires more volume than is presented in non padded bra, then a lift plus an implant may be the way to go. Combining breast lift with augmentation is quite complicated and requires a great deal of experience. Dr. Yadegar successfully combines these two procedures when the patient requires this.
Breast Lift Surgery Consultation
The breast lift patient must be well informed of scars that result from the operation. Whereas breast augmentation leaves an unnoticeable scar, breast lift does have significant scarring. Some patients who only need a small lift can have a scar just around the nipple. More commonly the scar is around the nipple and extends to the bottom of the breast. Occasionally there is a scar also present under the breast. Fortunately these scars improve over time, but are always present.
Breast Lift Operation
Mastopexy is usually done under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. The surgery takes approximately 2 hours and the patient is able to go home shortly after surgery is complete. The patient is placed in a post operative bra which is left on for approximately 3 weeks. There is relatively little pain after breast lift. If breast lift is combined with an implant the pain is similar to an implant alone. Dr. Yadegar does not routinely use drains for a mastopexy, also all sutures are buried and do not require removal.
Breast Lift Procedure Recovery
Most patients are quite comfortable after surgery and return to normal activity within 1-2 days. Bouncing activity like running or horseback riding should be avoided for 6 weeks which is when healing is complete. Other activity like walking, biking etc. that don’t involve a bouncing motion can be started immediately. Scars usually take about a year to fade completely although some may take longer.
Breast Lift Procedure Complications
Like any surgical procedure breast lift can have complications which include bleeding and infection. These complications are rare but do occur. In a small percentage of patients sensation to the nipples can be lost. This is usually temporary but may be permanent. Lifting of the breasts is like lifting of any tissue – gravity continues to have its effect and after over the years, recurrence may be a problem. This is more common in larger breasts and in those patients who combined the lift with an augmentation.