“Doctor I want my breasts lifted” says a patient as she physically demonstrates putting her hands under her breasts and lifting her breasts up high onto her chest. A breast lift cannot lift one’s breast which sit low on the chest wall to a position high on the chest wall. So what does a breast lift do?
What Does Augmentation Mastopexy (Breast Lift Surgery with Implant) Do?
- Mastopexy restores a youthful breast shape
- Mastopexy corrects drooping (ptotic) breasts
- Breast Lift removes excess skin from the breast
- Breast lift may remove modest amount of breast tissue
- Mastopexy can reduce the size of the nipple areola complex
- Breast lift repositions the nipple areola complex
- Mastopexy improves breast symmetry and symmetry of the nipple areolar complexes
- A breast lift with an implant can give significant upper pole fullness—the area where many women have lost volume
Does an Augmentation Mastopexy Change Breast Size?
- Yes, augmentation mastopexy does increase breast size.
When is the Best Time To Have Augmentation Mastopexy?
- Be sure you are not planning additional pregnancies
- Your breasts sag and have lost shape; your nipples are below the breast crease
- You are neither breast feeding nor lactating
- Your weight is stable
- You are emotionally stable and in good physical health
- You do NOT smoke
Where Are The Incisions For an Augmentation Mastopexy?
Incision placement depends on the type of mastopexy performed:
Concentric or Circumareolar lift:
- Incision is around the areola
- Can reduce the size and improve the shape of the areola
- Breast reshaping is minimal compared to other types of lifts
- Can lift the position of the nipple areola complex a short distance compared to other types of breast lifts (Mastopexy)
- Incision is around the areola and there is a vertical incision from the six o’clock position of the areola to the fold beneath the breast (inframammary fold)
- Can elevate the nipple areola complex to optimal position and reshape your breast
“Wise pattern”– The incision is around the nipple areolar complex with vertical incision from the six o’clock position of the areola to the fold (inframammary fold) and a horizontal incision in the fold. (Used when there is large amount of excess skin.)
Which Type of Augmentation Mastopexy is Best for Me?
The type of breast lift performed depends on a variety of factors:
- The degree of sagging (ptosis)
- The distance your nipple areolar complex will be lifted
- The amount of excess skin that will be removed
- Whether or not a breast implant will be inserted
- Consultation with a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery who is experienced in aesthetic breast surgery
IMPORTANT: Many patients who seek consultation for a breast augmentation learn that in addition to an implant a breast lift is necessary which they did not anticipate. They are concerned about the additional incisions and scars. The outcome of an attractive, firm shapely, youthful breast with a well-positioned nipple areolar complex far outweighs the additional incisions which generally heal well.
Where is the Augmentation Mastopexy Surgery Performed?
The certified facility can be:
What Type of Anesthesia is Used During an Augmentation Mastopexy?
The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia.
What Can I Expect Mastopexy Recovery to be like?
- Local anesthesia administered during surgery will minimize your pain in the immediate postoperative period
- You will be given prescription medication for pain relief
- You may also be given a muscle relaxer
- Most patients who have a breast lift can return to work within a week if they do not perform strenuous work or heavy lifting
- For patients whose jobs require lifting or strenuous work they will need more time to recover. This should be discussed with your plastic surgeon
- You may have drains. This will depend your surgeon and may be based on intraoperative findings
Will an Augmentation Mastopexy Affect Nipple Sensation?
You may have diminished nipple/areola sensation immediately after surgery, which is usually temporary. Return to normal sensation can vary from a few weeks to a year. Some patients will be hypersensitive—uncomfortably sensitive immediately after surgery. While nipple hypersensitivity is usually self limiting, patient can be instructed to perform desensitizing exercises.
What About Exercise?
You can resume mild exercise within several weeks after surgery depending on your physician’s instructions. Heavy lifting and upper body exercise can usually be resumed between six week and two months. This may vary with the type of breast lift you had and your physician’s instructions
When Can I Return To Sexual Activity?
Avoid sexual activity for at least 2 weeks. Your surgeon may suggest a longer period of abstinence. Any sexual activity should initially be passive. Activity that increases blood pressure can cause bleeding. During surgery blood vessels are “sealed” with an instrument that cauterizes bleeding vessels. Increased activity early on after surgery can increase blood pressure and “unseal” blood vessels causing bleeding that while not life threatening may require returning to the operating room to evaluate any blood that has accumulated and ascertain that there is no ongoing bleeding.
Choosing a Surgeon – Do Your Homework
- She/he is Certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery.
- Beware of imposters – check credentials
- The surgeon has hospital priviledges to perform this surgery even if the surgery in perfored in a office facility
- If referred by a friend who had surgery with a particular plastic surgeon, verify credentials
What to expect during your consultation for Augmentation Mastopexy
- You’ll discuss your medical and surgical history
- Review whether you have maternal relatives with a history of breast cancer
- Bring the report from your last mammogram
- Discuss your goals – what you want to achieve
- The surgeon may perform a breast exam
- He/she may do measurements of your breast as a part of the decision making process
- Discuss a recommended treatment plan and alternatives
IMPORTANT: You should have ample time during your consultation to ask questions. Your questions should be answered in terms that you understand. Ask to see examples of results from the type of surgery that has been recommended for you. By the end of your consultation it is important that you feel comfortable and have gained a sense of trust and confidence in the surgeon as well as feeling comfortable with the office staff.