A mastopexy or breast-lift operation is designed to improve the shape and position of the breasts without reducing their size. It is used for breasts that sag but are not overly large. Sagging of the breasts may occur with normal development for some women, or as a part of aging. Pregnancy, breastfeeding, and weight loss are other conditions which increase breast ptosis (sagging). Some patients will achieve a better breast shape if an implant is used at the time of mastopexy.
Results can include:
The procedure is done at an outpatient surgery facility under sedation or general anesthesia.
There are a variety of techniques for these operations. Most commonly there is an incision around the areola and another between the areola and breast crease. This technique is referred to as the "lollipop" technique and avoids a long scar in the crease under the breast (older anchor technique). On occasion, especially with mastopexy, these incisions may be modified and more limited. If breast sagging is minimal, the procedure may only require the incision around the areola. It is unusual to use the "anchor" or "inverted T." This is an older method that creates as much as twice the scar and can flatten the breast, creating less forward projection and suboptimal shape.
The nipple-areolar complex is repositioned higher, the excess skin is removed, and the breast is reshaped to a pleasing contour that is more normally positioned.
In some cases, the insertion of an implant, may be advisable, or your own fat can be transferred to enlarge and shape the breast. This is the "California Breast Lift" or Natural Breast Enlargement.
Additional procedures which may enhance the result are a small breast reduction or breast enlargement.
ACTIVITIES: You make take gentle walks within a few days. Light activity may be started 7-10 days after surgery. If your work keeps you sedentary, you may return whenever you feel up to it. If your work is strenuous, wait until your work activity does not cause any superficial pain. Do not begin light aerobic exercise for 3 weeks and strenuous exercise for at least 6 weeks. Let your body tell you what it can tolerate.
DRIVING: You may drive when driving does not cause pain and when you are no longer taking prescription pain medication. This may be possible in 4-6 days.
SUTURES: You may go home in a bra or with only light dressings over the incision lines. Sutures are dissolvable therefore removal is not necessary, although exposed knots are sometimes removed in 2-3 weeks.
SHOWERING AND BATHING: Soap and water does not hurt healing incisions. You may shower after 3 days. Leave the adhesive strips or tape in place if they are adherent. If they come loose, snip loose edge. Do not pull these off.
WEARING YOUR BRA: A bra may be placed at the time of surgery or a day or two after. The bra acts as a "dressing," holding the breasts in position. If the bra feels too tight or hurts, switch immediately to sports type bra that feels comfortable. You should wear the bra at all times for at least three weeks. You will probably be more comfortable if you do not wear an underwire bra. You should always use support.
Initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication.
Scar therapy with scar maturation products (e.g. BioCorneum or Embrace) is recommended for the best scar and can be started a few weeks following your surgery.
All surgical procedures carry some degree of risk. Occasionally, minor complications occur and do not affect the surgical outcome. Major complications associated with this procedure are rare. The suitability of the breast lift procedure and specific risks may be determined during a consultation with Dr. Nichter or Dr. Horowitz.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with a Newport Beach plastic surgeon, call (949) 565-2121.