Breast Lift Surgery (Mastopexy)
Women’s breasts often change in size and shape due to the aging process or to the loss of skin elasticity and firmness. Breast lift surgery, also known as Mastopexy surgery, helps women to renew breast firmness and remove the excess skin.
This surgery helps uplift, reshape, and tighten the breasts. It can also address areolae that have become too large by reducing their shape. However, while the surgery can lift the breasts, it can’t make the upper breast fuller.
Mastopexy is often done in tandem with breast augmentation to create fuller, tighter, and more youthful-looking breasts.
Technique for Breast Lift
The incision pattern for breast lift surgery is determined by a patient’s existing breast size, shape, and position of their areolae. Sometimes skin elasticity and the level of ptosis also contributes to where the incision will be made.
There are 3 potential incision patterns:
- Incision around the areola (O-Scar) – This incision goes around the areola.
- Breast Lift by Keyhole Scar – In this procedure, the incision is made around the areola and it extends vertically downward from the areolar to the breast crease – similar to a keyhole shape.
- Breast Lift by Inverted T-Scar – The incision is made around the areola and it continues down to the breast crease horizontally, like an inverted T.
Preparing for Breast Lift Surgery
Good candidates for the Mastopexy surgery are:
- Patients who feel their breasts are sagging or have lost volume and shape.
- Patients whose breasts are flat and elongated.
- Patients whose nipples fall underneath the breast crease.
- Patients whose nipples and areolae are pointing downward.
- Patients whose breasts are uneven.
- Patients must be in good physical health.
- Patients must have realistic expectations of the surgery.
- Patients must be mentally stable.
- Patients must not be pregnant or currently nursing.
Preparing for Breast Lift Surgery
Important steps to take before the Breast Implant surgery:
- Patients should consult with their surgeon to discuss their goals.
- Lab tests and a medical evaluation is required
- Patients must stop smoking 2 weeks before the procedure.
- All blood-thinning medications like Aspirin, Ibuprofen, hormones, and some supplements must be stopped 2 weeks before the surgery.
Post-Procedure care for Breast Lift Surgery
Post-operative care tips for Breast Lift Surgery are similar to the previous Breast Augmentation post-op care tips. Things to remember are:
- Keep the wound clean and dry.
- Sleep with the torso elevated slightly to help with bruising and swelling.
- Take pain medications as needed.
- Stitches will be removed 7 to 10 days after the surgery.
- Keep every follow-up appointment with the surgeon.
- Patients should wear a compression bra to support the breasts and control the swelling.
- Patients should not lift anything over 2-3 kilograms within the first six weeks after the surgery
- Patients must avoid all strenuous activities for at least 2 weeks after the surgery.
Potential risks and complications for Breast Lift Surgery
Rare complications include:
- Keloid scars from incisions
- Poor healing
- Shortness of breath
- A decrease in sensation or loss of sensation
- Potential infection (if patients feel any warmth or see any redness in the breast with fever, it may be a sign of infection and they should contact the surgeon right away)
- Skin waves or sagging
- Capsular contracture if the Breast Lifting surgery is also done with a Breast Augmentation procedure (this may require another surgery)
- Risks associated with anesthesia
Breast Lift Surgery Recovery
The recovery time for breast lift surgery is similar to that of Breast Implant revision. There is usually minimal discomfort that can be managed with painkillers.
In most Mastopexy cases, patients will experience some discomfort but they can return to work within a few days. However, the actual length of the recovery depends on the type of surgery performed.
- Patients who had the Breast Lift surgery with the O-scar technique, may feel mild discomfort after the surgery but they may return to work within a few days from the procedure.
- Patients who had a Breast Lift procedure with a keyhole scar or inverted T technique, may need more time to fully recover, approximately 1 week. Additional discomfort may include pain, swelling, stiffness or bruising. It may take several weeks or months for breasts to settle and reveal the final result.
- - Patients who had a Breast Lift surgery with Breast Implants may experience more discomfort and a one week off from work is required for better healing. These patients need to continuously wear the compression bra to support and improve the positioning of the implants and to control the swelling.
During the recovery after a Breast Lifting surgical procedure, patients must avoid heavy lifting and all strenuous activities for a minimum of six weeks.