Mastopexy (Breast Lift Surgery)
Breasts lose their firmness and shape with age, due to weight loss and following pregnancy and breast feeding. Loss of volume along with loss of skin elasticity will cause the breasts to droop. The nipple and areola changes position and in many people looks downwards. Mastopexy / breast lift is the procedure to reshape as well as reposition the breasts in its youthful position. Implants may be required to replace the loss of volume. Pregnancy after mastopexy will cause the breast to enlarge further and a well supporting bra will help.
BREAST LIFT PROCEDURE
Mastopexy / breast lift surgery is commonly performed as a hospital based procedure. The type of procedure depends on the breast volume, the amount of breast sag and the quantum of loose skin.
Minimal sag of the breast with loss of volume (psuedoptosis) can be addressed by an implant and removal of excess skin around the areola. This will leave minimal scars which are hidden.
Moderate and severe ptosis of breasts will require a slightly more invasive procedure with relocation of the breast tissue, nipple areola complex and removal of the excess skin. This leaves a scar shaped like a lolly pop which should fade with time.
Severe ptosis of breast tissue with excess skin in the breast extensions can only be addressed by removing the excess skin leaving an “anchor like” scar. The nipple and areola are reduced if they are large and relocated and centered over the breast tissue.
Tube drains are placed to remove any blood and fluid in the surgical site during the immediate post operative period and a large well padded dressing is used to support the operated breast.
The stitches will be covered by gauze with antibiotic cream and a well padded dressing. Although patients rarely complain of pain in the breast, pain killers are advised. Antibiotics are prescribed and a sports bra is recommended after a few days of surgery. The stitches are mostly under the skin and will not have to be removed. The corner stitches are removed in 2 weeks. Lifting hands above the head and strenuous exercise is not allowed for about 3 weeks. Fondling of the breast is allowed only after 6 weeks.
Common surgical risks as with any other surgery are bleeding and infection which can delay healing of the incision and may cause wide scars. Healing is a concern with people who smoke (cessation for a few weeks prior to surgery is a must) and in diabetics.
Because the breast tissue is braced and lifted there is bound to be scars which might feel lumpy but will soften with time. The scar will be visible for a few months and will either be pink or dark. This will fade with time but will not be totally invisible.
Rarely people may have an increase or decrease in sensation of the nipple for a few months. This improves with time as swelling of the breast reduces.