With age, a woman’s breasts tend to droop or sag. The medical term for this is ptosis. In addition to age, weight fluctuations, pregnancy, and breastfeeding can all contribute to worsening ptosis. The surgical approach to treating sagging breasts is termed a mastopexy (or breast lift). A mastopexy lifts a sagging breast to restore the nipple areolar complex to a more youthful position and also improve breast shape. During a mastopexy, breast tissue can be repositioned to increase fullness as well. Sometimes an augmentation is combined with a breast lift to increase breast size and/or projection.
what is a breast lift? What results can I expect?
A breast lift is a surgical procedure that elevates the position of the breasts. This surgery is designed to lift sagging breasts to a more youthful, aesthetic position upon the chest.
Am I a good candidate for a mastopexy?
A qualified plastic surgeon can determine if you are an ideal breast lift candidate. However, a good candidate is someone with drooping breasts, physically and mentally healthy, and have realistic expectations.
A woman is a good candidate for a breast lift if you are interested in:
- raising the position of your nipple/areola
- having rounder breasts
- resolving breast asymmetries
- reducing the size of your areola
- rejuvenating the appearance of your breasts
Will I need breast enlargement along with a breast lift?
Women who have only minor sagging and do not want their breast size increased can benefit from breast lift surgery alone. When the breasts sag significantly and breast volume has been lost (due to factors like weight loss or childbirth), you might recommend breast enlargement in addition to the lift.
How are breast lifts done?
There are different techniques, but basically, skin is removed from around the areola and in some cases also from the bottom of the breast, the remaining skin is tightened, and the nipple and areola are re-positioned higher up.
Following are the commonly done breast lifts
Periareolar Mastopexy – best for small lifts
- involves placing the incision immediately around your areola (where the dark skin meets the breast).
- Gives a well concealed scar
Short Scar or ‘Lollipop’ Mastopexy – best for moderate lifts
- involves a periareolar incision as described above with the addition of a small vertical incision from the areola down to the crease under the breast (inframammory crease)
- scar is in the shape of a lollipop and is thus commonly referred to as a ‘lollipop’ mastopexy
Anchor Mastopexy (Weis skin excision pattern) – traditional mastopexy
- involves the addition of a horizontal scar to the ‘lollipop’ mastopexy so that the final scar is in the shape of an anchor
Only at consultation can the extent of the scar needed be estimated
How long will the improvements last?
Unfortunately, gravity and the aging process are always affecting the shape of your breasts, even after surgery. There are factors you can control that will extend the improvements you gain from breast lift surgery. Pregnancy and nursing significantly affect your breasts, so planning the surgery after your family is complete can avoid these changes. Maintaining your weight is another way to prevent stretching out the breasts. Through these means, most women can enjoy their improved breast shape for many years.
What are the possible complications?
Complications are very unlikely after breast lift, but can occur in a very small percentage of patients, even in the hands of a highly skilled and qualified plastic surgeon. Any operation carries the possibility of anesthetic risks, bleeding, infection, suboptimal scarring, and poor healing. Rarely there can be numbness, skin irregularity, poor circulation, and discoloration of the NAC after breast lift (mastopexy).