A frequent complaint I hear from women is “I want my breasts back where they belong.” As time passes, pregnancy, nursing, excessive weight loss and gravity have adverse effects on women’s breasts. This causes the breasts to lose their elasticity, firmness, shape and begin to sag. A breast lift or Mastopexy is a procedure that corrects these conditions using a combination of removing excess breast skin, tightening the skin envelope and repositioning of the breast tissue and a low nipple-areolar complex (NAC). If desired, implants may be used to restore breasts to their natural shape and size.
There are different degrees of sagging from mild to severe. In some mild cases breast implants alone may correct ones concerns. In more involved situations additional incisions are made to raise the NAC, tighten the loose skin and reposition breast tissue. Most women express the following concerns “do I really need a lift, won’t implants alone do the trick?”, “will I have scars?”, “where will the scars be?” and “how noticeable will my scars be?”. Your surgeon has similar concerns. I always try to keep the scars to a minimum and make them as cosmetically pleasing as possible. Unfortunately, how one heals is out of our control and is due to many factors such as genetics, skin quality etc.
The most basic lift limits the scar to the junction between the skin and areola. This approach is rarely performed without implants and offers very subtle lifting effects. I rarely find this approach to be of much benefit. The so called “Lollipop” or circumvertical lift is a highly effective method of breast lifting. Breast implants or Autoaugmentation of the breast frequently accompanies this approach. Autoaugmentation moves breast tissue from the lower aspect to upper aspect to provide upper pole fullness. Finally an inverted T Mastopexy is reserved for the most severe cases of sagging. This approach adds a horizontal scar in the breast crease. Do I need a lift? What is the best approach for me? Do I have enough breast tissue or do I need implants? During your consultation a thorough examination of the breast will be performed including measurements to determine the degree of sagging. All these concerns will be addressed. Computer 3D imaging with the Vectra will guide you in visually seeing what the breast will look like. This is a wonderful tool which will assist you in selecting the appropriate sized implant.
A Mastopexy is an outpatient procedure that will take from 2 to 3 hours to perform under General Anesthesia. The sutures are hidden under the skin and will dissolve. A sports bra is applied to support the breasts during the healing period. The bra is worn continuously for 4-6 weeks. During the healing period no strenuous exercise is permitted.
All surgeries have risks. The basic risks on any surgical procedure include: bleeding, infection, scarring, delayed healing, asymmetry, sensory changes etc. A Mastopexy in addition has a risk of recurrent sagging, a 20-25% revision rate requiring a return to the operating room, implant related problems, distortion of the NAC, contour irregularities and others which will be discussed during your consultation.
Overall patients are extremely happy with their results. They will have improved self esteem, will be excited about purchasing new bras and will love their new figure.