Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
The procedure of breast lift, commonly referred to as mastopexy, is a surgical intervention that is designed to lift and reshape breasts that have begun to sag. Various factors such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, aging, or weight fluctuations can cause this undesirable condition. The primary objective of the procedure is to improve breast appearance and contour by the removal of excess skin, the repositioning of the nipples, and the tightening of breast tissue.
This results in the attainment of firmer, perkier breasts that exhibit a more youthful appearance. It is noteworthy that breast lift does not significantly alter the size of the breasts, although it can be combined with breast augmentation or reduction for enhanced outcomes. (1)
|Age Limit||+ 18 years old|
|Pain after surgery||2-3 days|
|Working after surgery||1 Week|
|Hospital Stay||Same-day Discharge|
|Recovery Time||1-2 Month|
What is Breast Lift Surgery?
Breast lift, known in medical terms as mastopexy, is a surgical technique that aims to correct sagging breasts by restoring their youthful appearance and reshaping them to a desirable contour. This procedure is commonly recommended for women who have undergone pregnancy, breastfeeding, or natural aging, resulting in droopy breasts. (2)
The fundamental objective of this surgical procedure is to remove excess skin, relocate the nipple and areola to a more natural position, and tighten the breast tissue to produce a firm and uplifted breast. The surgery does not involve the significant alteration of breast size, although it may be combined with breast augmentation or reduction procedures to enhance the results. (3)
The breast lift procedure typically entails a general anaesthesia, and the surgeon makes incisions around the areola and sometimes extends it to the crease of the breast. Through these incisions, the surgeon removes excess skin and carefully reshapes the breast tissue to achieve the desired contour. Afterward, the nipple and areola are repositioned to create a more youthful appearance. The incisions are closed using sutures, and the patient is then monitored closely to ensure a smooth recovery. (4)
While the breast lift procedure is generally safe, as with any surgical intervention, there are potential risks associated with the surgery, such as infection, bleeding, scarring, or changes in nipple sensation. It is essential to have a thorough discussion with your surgeon regarding the risks and benefits of the procedure to make an informed decision. (5)
Types of Breast Lifts
There are several types of breast lift procedures available, each tailored to suit the individual's unique needs and preferences. The most common types of breast lift procedures are:
- The Crescent Lift: This is a minimal invasive breast lift technique that involves an incision made above the upper edge of the areola to lift the breast's nipple by a small amount. It is suitable for patients with mild ptosis or drooping of the breasts. (6)
- The Periareolar or "Donut" Lift: This technique involves making an incision around the areola to remove excess skin and raise the nipple. It is recommended for patients with moderate sagging and produces minimal scarring. (7)
- The Vertical or "Lollipop" Lift: This method involves an incision around the areola and another vertical incision from the areola down to the breast crease. This technique is best suited for patients with moderate to severe ptosis and produces a more significant lift than the periareolar lift. (8)
- The Anchor or "Inverted T" Lift: This technique involves an incision made around the areola, a vertical incision from the areola down to the breast crease, and another horizontal incision along the crease. It is recommended for patients with significant sagging or ptosis and produces the most significant lift of all the breast lift procedures. (9)
Your surgeon will assess your needs and recommend the appropriate breast lift procedure to achieve your desired results.
Breast Lift Risks and Side Effects
According to Mayo Clinic, a breast lift, while transformative, carries inherent risks and potential complications that individuals should conscientiously evaluate before opting for surgery.
- Permanent scarring that gradually lightens over one to two years.
- Altered sensations in the nipples or breasts, with potential for partial permanent sensation loss.
- Possibility of uneven breast size and shape post-surgery.
- Rare risks include partial or total loss of nipples or areolae due to impaired blood supply during surgery.
- Difficulty in breastfeeding or insufficient milk production may also be encountered.
- Conventional surgical risks like bleeding, infection, and adverse reactions to anesthesia are present.
- Additionally, allergic reactions to surgical materials, such as tapes, are plausible.
These considerations are crucial for a well-informed decision, ensuring that the individual’s health and well-being are prioritized.
Are You A Good Candidate For A Breast Lift?
Breast lift candidates are typically women who experience sagging or drooping of the breasts due to various factors such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight fluctuations, or natural aging. The individuals deemed most suitable for the aforementioned procedure are those who: (10)
- Have breasts that have lost their shape and volume, with nipples that point downward.
- Have stretched skin and areolas that have become enlarged.
- Have realistic expectations and a positive outlook regarding the results of the procedure.
- Are in good overall health, both physically and mentally, with no underlying medical conditions that could increase the risks associated with the procedure.
- Have maintained a stable weight for at least six months before the procedure.
It is essential to note that breast lift surgery is not recommended for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant in the near future. Additionally, it is crucial to inform your surgeon about any medications, herbal supplements, or medical conditions that could affect the surgery's outcome. Your surgeon will evaluate your medical history, perform a physical examination, and discuss your goals and expectations to determine if breast lift surgery is appropriate for you. (11)
What are The Disadvantages of a Breast Lift?
As with any surgical procedure, breast lift surgery carries some potential risks and side effects, albeit rare. These include:
- Scarring: Incisions made during breast lift surgery can result in visible scars that fade over time but may not completely disappear.
- Infection: All surgical procedures carry a risk of infection, which can be treated with antibiotics.
- Changes in nipple sensation: The breast lift surgery may lead to changes in nipple sensation, either temporary or permanent.
- Hematoma: This refers to the accumulation of blood beneath the skin, which may require drainage.
- Poor wound healing: This can result in scarring or require additional surgery to correct.
- Anaesthesia risks: General anaesthesia carries a slight risk of complications, including heart attack, stroke, or allergic reaction.
It is of utmost importance to meticulously adhere to the post-operative directives of your surgeon in order to mitigate any potential hazards and guarantee a seamless convalescence. These may include avoiding strenuous activities, wearing a supportive bra, and attending follow-up appointments. If you experience any unusual symptoms after breast lift surgery, such as fever, severe pain, or excessive bleeding, contact your surgeon immediately. (12)
What are The Stages of Recovery After Breast Lift?
Subsequent to undergoing a breast lift intervention, the patient shall necessitate a phase of aftercare to warrant a polished and triumphant recuperation. Throughout this period, it is imperative to meticulously adhere to the directives of the surgeon to attenuate the peril of complications and attain the desired outcomes. Herein below are several suggested directives for post-operative care:
- Follow the prescribed medication regimen meticulously as directed by the surgeon to alleviate pain, stave off infection, and decrease swelling.
- Refrain from engaging in arduous activities, lifting heavy objects, or exercise for a few weeks following the operation.
- Don a supportive brassiere, for example, a sports bra, to aid in reducing swelling and provide sustenance to the breasts during the convalescence process.
- Ensure attendance to follow-up consultations with your surgeon to supervise your progress and guarantee a smooth convalescence.
- Abstain from smoking and imbibing alcohol for a few weeks subsequent to the surgery, as they can impede the healing process.
- Sustain a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle to stimulate the healing process and curtail the risk of complications.
It is imperative to possess pragmatic expectations concerning the outcomes of the procedure and allow your body ample time to completely convalesce before evaluating the ultimate result. With adequate post-operative care and follow-up, the majority of patients can anticipate achieving a triumphant outcome with a tauter and more raised breast contour. (13)
How Long is Recovery From a Breast Lift?
The recovery period after breast lift surgery varies depending on the extent of the procedure and the patient's individual healing process. Generally, patients can expect to return to work and normal activities within two to four weeks after surgery. However, it is crucial to note that full recovery may take several months. (14)
During the first few days after surgery, the patient may experience swelling, bruising, and discomfort, which can be managed with pain medication and cold compresses. The surgeon will advise the patient to avoid strenuous activities, heavy lifting, and exercise for at least four to six weeks after the surgery to allow the breasts to heal properly. (15)
It is essential to wear a supportive bra, as recommended by the surgeon, during the healing process to help reduce swelling and support the breasts. The surgeon will also provide instructions on how to care for the incisions and will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor the patient's progress. (16)
Breast lift surgery can provide long-lasting and significant improvements in breast shape, contour, and appearance. The results of the breast lift can restore confidence and enhance the patient's overall quality of life. The final outcome varies depending on the patient's unique anatomy, the extent of the procedure, and the surgeon's skill. (17)
Breast Lift Types
(1) - https://www.verywellhealth.com/a-mastopexy-can-lift-and-reshape-sagging-breasts-2709986
(2) - https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/breast-lift/about/pac-20393218
(3) - https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/23298-breast-lift
(4) - https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/breast-lift/procedure
(5) - https://www.theaestheticsociety.org/procedures/breast/breast-lift/safety-considerations
(6) - https://www.americanboardcosmeticsurgery.org/procedure-learning-center/breast/breast-lift-guide/
(7) - https://rejuvenusaesthetics.com/types-breast-lift-procedure/
(8) - https://cosmeticium.com/the-different-types-of-breast-lifts-which-one-is-right-for-you/
(9) - https://www.americanboardcosmeticsurgery.org/procedure-learning-center/breast/breast-lift-guide/
(10) - https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/breast-lift/candidates
(11) - https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/23298-breast-lift
(12) - https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/breast-lift/about/pac-20393218 - https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/breast-lift/safety - https://drcraigrubinstein.com.au/blogs/breast-lift-surgery-risks-mastopexy/ - https://www.realself.com/question/breast-lift-risks-complications - https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/breast-implants/risks-and-complications-breast-implants
(13) - https://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/Surgery/PlasticSurgery/BreastReconstruction/Mastopexy-postop.pdf - https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/breast-lift/recovery - https://westcountyplasticsurgeons.wustl.edu/resources/faqs/breast-augmentation/breast-augmentation-postop-care.html
(14) - https://harleyclinic.com/blog/7-breast-lift-surgery-recovery-tips/ - https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/breast-lift/recovery - https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/breast-lift/about/pac-20393218 - https://www.healthline.com/health/breast-augmentation-recovery - https://www.theaestheticsociety.org/procedures/breast/breast-lift/aftercare-recovery
(15) - https://healthcare.utah.edu/plasticsurgery/breast/recovery -
(16) - https://drturner.com.au/blogs/support-garments-after-breast-surgery/ - https://www.healthline.com/health/best-postsurgery-bras - https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/breast-lift/recovery - https://harleyclinic.com/blog/7-breast-lift-surgery-recovery-tips/
(17) - https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/breast-lift/about/pac-20393218 - https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/23298-breast-lift - https://www.realself.com/surgical/breast-lift