Mastopexy – Breast Lift

Why a Mastopexy?

The shape of the breasts and their fullness change over time, and empty, sagging breasts are a common consequence of natural ageing, pregnancies and breast feeding. Changes in body weight, especially a significant weight loss, can also contribute to the stretching of the ligaments that support the breasts, resulting in pendulous breasts that can often undermine the confidence of a woman.

The condition defined by sagging breasts and nipples lower than the submammary crease is called, in medical terms, breast ptosis. There are different level (grades) of ptosis that go from Grade 1 (no sagging) to Grade 3 (very low nipples, pointing toward the floor).
[Read more about breast ptosis]

breast ptosis grades

Classification of breast ptosis.

A mastopexy, also called breast lift or breast uplift, is the procedure designed to remove the excess skin and improve the shape of the breasts, repositioning the nipples to their cosmetically correct level (above the submammary crease). The results of the mastopexy, while often impressive, are subject to the same ageing factors that created the original problem, including pregnancies and weight changes. For this reason most women would prefer to have a breast uplift only after their family has been completed and no more children are planned. Breast feeding after a mastopexy can be possible, but the resulting scars may compromise it unpredictably. Women that want to be surely able to breast feed should delay the uplift till after their pregnancies.

 

How it is done

The surgery is normally performed under general anaesthesia, and the operating time is about two hours. An overnight stay at the hospital is usually recommended. There are several different mastopexy techniques, involving different type of skin incisions, that will result in different scars. The most common options are: periareolar mastopexy (Fig. 1), vertical mastopexy (Fig.2) and full, or ‘inverted-T’ mastopexy (Fig.3).

Naturally, most women tend to prefer those techniques that involve the smallest amount of scars, in particular the periareolar uplift. In reality, it may be a mistake to make a choice purely based on the skin incisions, and not all the techniques work equally better for every grade of breast ptosis. The principles that should be observed to make a correct choice are very well explained in the video that Dr Michael A. Bogdan from Dallas has posted on Youtube and that is visible below:

Independently of the technique used, the goals of the mastopexy are to reposition the nipples to their correct position, remove the excess skin and increase the breast fullness. In many cases, it is not possible to achieve significant fullness of the upper part of the breasts with a simple uplift. If fullness of the upper quadrants of the breasts is desired, it is recommended to associate breast implants to the uplift, performing a combined mastopexy and breast augmentation, or mastopexy with implants. It is possible to perform both procedures at the same time, and the use of implants would also reduce the skin excess and the extension of the final scars. On the downside, having implants makes the breasts heavier, and the tendency to sag again after the procedure may be increased. It is not advisable to have large (heavy) breast implants together with a mastopexy.

periareolar mastopexy

Fig.1 – Periareolar mastopexy (incisions and resulting scars)

Vertical mastopexy

Fig. 2 – Vertical mastopexy (incisions and resulting scars)

Fig. 3 – Full or ‘inverted-T’ mastopexy (incisions and resulting scars)

Healing period

No bandage and no drains are used at the end of the procedure. Mild swelling is normally visible for 3-4 weeks. Sutures are dissolvable, and they may need to be trimmed after 10-14 days. Nipples may feel numb for a variable period of time, and the loss of sensitivity may occasionally be long lasting.

Duration of the result

The duration of the result of a mastopexy is variable, normally comprised between 5 and 10 years. Pregnancies, changes in body weight, excessive size of implants (if used) may make your breasts sag again in a short period of time.

Cost of mastopexy

The cost of a mastopexy starts from 8,000 KYD. As all the cosmetic surgery procedures are highly personalized, please consider that these prices are guidelines only and may vary for each individual case, depending on the exact procedure needed, the type of anesthesia and the length of the hospital stay.

DISCLAIMER: The questions above have been sent to RealSelf.com by real patients. The questions may not reflect the typical patient experience and the answers published are not intended to represent or guarantee that anyone may be able to achieve the same or similar results.

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