Breast lift or mastopexy refers to a procedure aiming at tightening and reshaping sagging breasts. Ptotic breast may be the result of pregnancies and breast feeding, but may also be the expression of the naturally occurring aging process due to loss of skin elasticity.
Who is an appropriate candidate?
Ideal patients have small breasts. Of course, ptotic breasts of any size may be lifted but more durable results are achieved in patients with small breasts. A combination of breast reduction and mastopexy may be the appropriate treatment plan in females with large breasts (Breast reduction). Breast implants are sometimes used in conjunction with mastopexy or even as an alternative to mastopexy, e.g. in patients suffering from postpartum breast gland atrophy (Breast augmentation).
During the initial consultation your wishes and goals as well as possible reservations will be addressed in detail. Subsequently, a careful physical examination is conducted and an individually tailored treatment plan formulated. Preoperative photographs are used for explaining the procedure in a step-by-step manner. Available procedures are then discussed including possible limitations and risks. Our goal is to provide you with a realistic image of what you can expect from such a procedure. The extent and complexity of the procedure depends on individual factors such as age, breast size and shape as well as necessity of using implants.
This procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia. It may be performed on an outpatient basis. Multiple techniques may be used depending on the individual anatomy and the degree of ptosis. In general, an incision is placed around the areola with subsequent skin removal. Usually, this procedure results in a scar around the areola extending inferiorly to the inframammary fold. The “new” breast will be positioned higher resulting in a more youthful appearance. Meticulous skin suture techniques are of utmost importance in achieving inconspicuous scars. However, scars cannot be totally avoided and require time until they fade. In patients with very small breasts a periarealar approach may be used further minimizing scar formation. The placement of drains depends on the extent of surgery.
Postoperatively, we advice wearing a support bra for 4 weeks. While extensive bruising usually is not faced, some swelling may persist for several weeks. Stitches are removed within 2 weeks. Physical activities should be avoided for 4 weeks.
A breast lift can achieve outstanding aesthetic results in patients with ptotic breasts. Skin wrinkles encountered following this procedure fade within several months. It is important to point out that results obtained do not last a lifetime. The natural aging process as well as gravitational forces, pregnancies, and changes in body weight all influence breast shape and may require additional operative procedures.