BREAST LIFT INTRODUCTION:
Mastopexy or breast lift is a surgical procedure that reshapes and lifts sagging breasts. Moreover, we can obtain the reduction of the areola’s size as well. As a result of the aging process, most women present a loss of firmness and sagging breasts. These transformations may be inherited, may appear after pregnancy, weight loss and as a follow up of the aging process. Progressive modifications may appear between the ages of 20 to 40. The mammary gland’s volume might remain normal but firmness and position is lost. Mastopexy can reestablish breasts’ firmness and can correct their position without enlarging or reducing their dimensions. If breasts lost their volume and the patient desires bigger ones, mammary implants can be introduced.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM MASTOPEXY?
Breast lift is performed on women with ptosic breasts who feel embarrassed and unsatisfied with a negative impact on the psychic. No physical exercise and no medical treatment can resolve mammary ptosis. It is true that breasts can be lifted no matter their size but very heavy breasts can become ptotic again. There is no surgical procedure that can remove permanently effect of gravitation. At the initial consultation, it is important to discuss your expectations with your surgeon, because every individual has a different view on size, breast shape and scars’ aspect. You should discuss where the areola and nipple should be positioned and be sure what scar would result.
RISK OF MASTOPEXY SURGICAL PROCEDURE:
There are risks involved in undergoing any surgery. Being a major surgical intervention,breast lift risks should be discussed thoroughly with your surgeon and anesthesiologist before surgery. Besides all risks implied by general anesthesia, infections or hematoma might appear and determine anesthetic scars. Even without these complications, the surgical intervention leaves noticeable and permanent scars. For smokers, healing is difficult and with wide scars. Mastopexy is not a simple intervention but normally is safe if performed by a qualified plastic surgeon.
MASTOPEXY PREOPERATIVE INDICATIONS:
- Do not eat or drink after midnight before the surgical intervention;
- Taking aspirin and drugs containing aspirin with two weeks before the surgical intervention is forbidden;
- Usually, for women, the surgical intervention must be performed besides menses;
- The surgeon and the anesthesiologist must be notified if any medical problems exist (blood pressure, vascular problems, heart attack, diabetes, lung problems, bleeding problems, epilepsy, neurological problems, allergies for different drugs);
- The doctor must be notified if you have a set of plates or eye lenses;
- If you smoke, plan to quit 1-2 weeks before the operation and do not start to smoke again for at least 2 weeks after the surgery;
- Avoid sunbathing in excess before surgery;
- Do not follow a strict diet before surgery because it might delay the healing process;
- If you catch a cold or have any infection the surgery must be rescheduled.
MASTOPEXY SURGICAL PROCEDURE:
Mastopexy (breast lift is performed under general anesthesia. It takes between 2 and 3 hours according to the complexity of the case. There are many techniques of mastopexy including round bloc scar, vertical scar, L-scar and inverted “T” scar following the exact shape of the breast. The type of mastopexy is selected according to the quality of breast skin and parenchyma, distribution of the parenchyma in the breast, degree of ptosis.
Skin excess is removed; the nipple and the areola are transposed in a new position. The mammary gland is elevated from the breast wall and reshaped. To prevent or at least to diminish the recurrence of ptosis we associate mastopexy with the transposition of the full thickness vertical glandular flap. It works like an autoprothesis increasing projection and upper pole fullness of the breast.
A circular scar around the areola, a vertical scar up to the inframammary fold and sometimes a scar in the inframammary fold will result after surgery depending of the technique.
If you have decided to use an implant, this will be introduced in a pocket under the mammary gland or under the pectoral muscle (see the chapter on simultaneous breast augmentation and mastopexy). Drainage is left for about 24 hours.
MASTOPEXY POSTOPERATIVE HOSPITALIZATION:
Hospitalization takes for about 1-2 days while antibiotics are administrated. The patient will wear an elastic bandage over the bandage. During the first days, breasts will present edema and will be painful.
MASTOPEXY POSTOPERATIVE RECOVERY:
After being released from the hospital, stitches are removed 12 days after surgery, even by the family doctor. It is mandatory to wear a surgical bra for about 2-3 months. Areola and nipple sensitivity might appear and they disappear in the first 6 weeks being rarely permanent.
You may return to work in maximum one week after the surgery. During the first 6 months scars will blemish and swell and after 9 month –1 year they will lighten up. Please avoid sunbathing for about 1 year after surgery in order not to produce scar depigmentation. We make all efforts to obtain scars as small as possible and less visible. Anyway, it is highly important that you keep in mind that mastopexy scars are permanent. Fortunately, the bra or the swimming suit hides them. You should consider that breast lift would not maintain never-ending breast firmness- gravitation effect; pregnancy, weight fluctuations and aging will determine reappearance of the ptosis.
We have a vast experience in performing breast lift surgical procedure. If your expectations are realistic and you are ready to stand all consequences of a permanent scar, then mastopexy is the right solution for you. If breasts lost their volume and you want bigger ones, mammary implants should be used.
This blog post is an educational resource only and does not replace a medical consultation with a doctor .
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