A breast lift, or mastopexy, is performed to return youthful shape and lift to breasts that have sagged as a result of weight loss, pregnancy, loss of the skin’s natural elasticity or simply the effects of gravity.
Mastopexy surgery can also re-proportion the areolar (the dark skin surrounding the nipple). A low-lying nipple-areolar position can be elevated; larger areolas can be reduced and made more symmetrical. Sometimes the existing breast gland can be lifted to a more ideal position, and the entire breast can be firmed and reshaped to return the breasts to more attractive and beautiful balance. Restoration of the volume in the upper pole of the breast (the region above the nipple) can be achieved in many instances with existing breast gland tissue. There is no change in the appearance of the breasts when clothed and supported by a bra unless the surgery is combined with breast augmentation for added volume and firmness.
Women planning to have children are advised to postpone this surgery, since pregnancy and nursing can counteract its effects by stretching the skin. However mastopexy most often should not affect your ability to breast-feed.
Patients experiencing massive weight loss following gastric bypass and other forms of bariatric (weight loss) surgery are also excellent candidates for mastopexy. These patients should be at a stable weight for at least six months prior to seeking surgery.
Things to consider:
- It is not possible to raise the breasts enough to completely eliminate all overhang.
- Mastopexy is a trade-off of improved shape for permanent scars.
- It will not help women with long torsos or breasts that are naturally positioned low but otherwise have good shape and minimal sag. The breasts cannot be moved to a higher position on the chest by any type of surgery.
- Surgically lifted breasts will still experience the chronic effects of gravity and the downward effects of impact exercise.
During your consultation Dr. Sabry will discuss your goals and expectations. He will do a thorough examination, he will measure, photograph and weigh you. Dr. Sabry will explain the various surgical options and which approach he recommends for your unique physique and goals. Dr. Sabry will tailor the mastopexy that is just right for you. He is meticulous in achieving a natural, symmetrical, beautiful outcome. If you are a smoker you will be asked to quit smoking 6-8 weeks prior to your procedure. Once you decide to proceed you will meet with our Practice Manager to go over scheduling, payment options and insurance questions.
As you approach the date of your surgery you will have a comprehensive preoperative visit in our office approximately two weeks before your surgery. A complete list of “dos and don’ts” will be reviewed as well as the pre and postoperative instructions and any questions that remain will be answered. You will be directed to avoid anything that has a blood-thinning effect (aspirin, ibuprofen, vitamin E etc.) for two weeks before surgery. You will be asked to minimize alcohol intake. Basic blood work for preoperative testing will be ordered.
Breast lift is an outpatient procedure and may take between 2 to 3 hrs. There are multiple ways a breast lift can be performed, and it often is dictated by a person’s size, shape and the contour of the breasts:
Concentric (“doughnut”) mastopexy, in which two concentric circular incisions are made around the areola and a doughnut-shaped swathe of skin is removed. The two circles are then sutured together for a fuller breast.
Mastopexy can be limited to a scar just around the areola; however this method is not usually recommended by itself as it provides very little lift. Additionally, the scar around the areola can become thick and wide due to the high skin tension around the areola that is an outcome of this technique. This limited scar pattern can be useful as an adjunct to breast augmentation where it can make a large areola smaller or raise nipple position
A short scar mastopexy is performed with incision around the areola and a vertical incision beneath it extending to the breast fold and a classic inverted-T scar (more appropriate for large breasts) where incision extends from around the nipple to a vertical one underneath it and a third extending horizontally in the breast crease.
You may experience mild pain and discomfort that should diminish in a few days. Most women report discomfort along the incision lines that is well controlled by oral medication. Breast lifts combined with implants have more discomfort for the first forty-eight hours due to implant placement under the pectoral muscles.
A simple surgical bra that opens in the front is worn for one week. Regular bras with wires can be worn after that. Dr. Sabry generally uses stitches that dissolve and do not require removal.
Patients usually return to work after one week. Most activities that do not involve lifting and carrying heavy items can be resumed by that time as well. Driving is not recommended for two weeks. Mild cardiovascular exercise without impact can begin gradually at two weeks. More intense exercise can resume at six weeks but activities such as jogging, weightlifting, ball sports, yoga, pilates, skiing, and horseback riding should be delayed for two months.
Dr. Sabry will see you for post-operative visits during your recovery. He and our staff will answer any questions you may have about your recovery, as well as your overall health and well-being.
Complications are minimal and rare, but can include: bleeding, infection, loss of nipple or skin tissue, decreased nipple sensation, delayed healing and excessive scarring. Combining implants with a breast lift adds the risks associated with implants (capsular contracture, uneven positioning of the implants and periodic replacement of the implant).