Derived from the Greek words for breast (mastos) and affix (pēxiā), mastopexy involves reattaching your breasts to your chest so that they no longer sag. In turn, the lift modifies the size and contour of your breasts for a younger, perkier version.
Gravity keeps us from floating off this earth – it also wreaks havoc with our breast tissue. All ages are affected:
- Younger women may experience ptosis (the polite, medically-correct term for drooping) due to excessively-sized breasts,
- During women’s middle ages, pregnancy and breastfeeding cause the breasts to increase in size, only to have the breast glands atrophy afterward,
- Post-menopausal women suffer additional breast atrophy along with a loss of skin elasticity.
The specific procedure selected by mastopexy surgeons depends on the degree of ptosis:
Periareolar mastopexy involves incisions only around the edge of your nipple-areola complex, leaving a donut-shaped scar. It gives direct access to the functional breast tissue. It is ideal when minimal skin removal is necessary.
Women who long for perkier breasts that are firmer and better-defined, but who do not necessarily need them to be positioned higher on the chest, often undergo lollipop mastopexy. This procedure is also known as a vertical lift and involves an incision circling your areola and then it extends downwards.
Breast Mastopexy Augmentation
Medically speaking, there are two types of breast sagging:
- Ptosis means that the nipple has dropped below its ideal position.
- Involution may have the nipple in its natural position, but the breasts have an “empty-bag” appearance.
Very often, both types occur at the same time. The limitation of a mastopexy alone is that while it lifts the breast, it does not recreate fullness in the upper part of the breasts. The solution is to combine your mastopexy with augmentation. There are various implants from which to choose:
- Silicone gel or saline,
- Round or shaped,
- And synthetic, biologic, and fat grafting techniques.
This plastic surgery procedure takes about an hour and a half to two and a half hours and therefore requires a general anesthetic. With breast ptosis especially, no two women are alike and there are different types of mastopexy for different types and degrees of sag. It is therefore important that you discuss your options, concerns, and desired results with your mastopexy surgeon.
The scars you end up with depend on which technique is being used. Scars at your incision lines get reddish, raised, and firm a few weeks after surgery. Breast lifting scars usually take 18-24 months to fully fade.
For both the donut and the lollipop, scarring can be reduced with proper postoperative care. To minimize scarring, the number one piece of advice is to select a reputable surgeon who is known for his meticulous work.
Mastopexy Recovery Time
You will no doubt be eager to flaunt your perky new bosom. However, please be patient and allow your body to heal. Avoid activities which require you to raise your arms above the level of your head, heavy lifting, and stimulation of the pectoralis muscles.
- 7 days after surgery: Light walking and driving may resume.
- 10 days after surgery: Most patients return to normal activity within 10 days after surgery, unless their job requires particularly strenuous movements or lifting.
- 6 weeks after surgery: Within this period, you will experience discomfort, swelling, and discoloration of the breasts. The nipples and some areas of the skin may be numb or sensitive, but this will diminish with time. Lower body exercises can commence.
- 3 months after surgery: Light jogging and physical activity can restart.
Patients must quit cigarettes for at least 2 months before and after the operation as smoking increases the chances of bleeding, infection, and long-term scarring.
Mastopexy Before and After Pictures
View patient before and after photographs that represent typical results here: