Mastopexy is the plastic surgery procedure for lifting the breasts. Many patients come to Dr. David L. Durst—our experienced plastic surgeon in Huntsville—with the desire to have their breasts lifted to a more youthful position. When he sees you, he will discuss this procedure and explain the process in complete detail. Mastopexy is customized for each patient who has the procedure done.
Many times Dr. Durst will see patients who are considering breast surgery but do not really know exactly what they need. He will talk with you and explain which technique will work best for your concerns. This often involves a careful examination and some measurements. Also, he and his staff will discuss your goals to make sure that he can outline a plan that will best fit what you would like.
Is a Breast Lift Right for Me?
Some patients have mild droopiness that may be treated just with breast implants alone; however, many patients have droopiness that requires a more comprehensive approach. The components of breast ptosis (droopiness) include a low position of the nipple and generally some sagging of the breast tissue. There are multiple causes for these symptoms. Sometimes a patient will have droopiness for genetic reasons. Often it can be related to weight gain followed by weight loss. The most common reason is related to pregnancy changes, where the breasts get larger during pregnancy and then shrink down afterward. Often the skin will not shrink to the previous size, and many patients complain about their breasts having lost volume and “deflated” after having children.
If this is your situation, the breast lift will probably be the best option for you. Sometimes a patient will tell Dr. Durst that their breasts are droopy and too small. In that situation they will generally get implants as well as a lift. In some situations, a patient may think their breasts are just the right size. In that situation, Dr. Durst will often recommend a lift without implants. He also see patients whose breasts are droopy and somewhat too large. In that situation, a small breast reduction combined with a lift is performed to help obtain the ideal shape.
Breast Lift Procedure
A breast lift typically will be performed using general anesthesia and will be done as an outpatient surgery. Dr. Durst will outline the mastopexy plan with drawings on your chest prior to the surgery. Then the incisions will be made, and the tissue will be rearranged to achieve the nipple elevation and the tightening of the tissue that will create the best possible results. The same incisions can be utilized to insert an implant if needed. There are a variety of techniques that can be used to complete a breast lift procedure, and the method utilized will depend on your individual needs. Some of the techniques include:
Full mastopexies are typically performed on individuals with moderate to severe sagginess in their breasts. This is generally indicated when the nipple and areola – the dark-pigmented area surrounding the nipple – are located below the breast crease or when the breasts point downward. In a full mastopexy, an inverted T-incision is made around the areola, down to the breast crease, and along the breast fold. Excess tissue and skin is then removed, while the remaining tissue and skin is tightened and smoothed out. The breasts are ultimately lifted to a higher, more youthful position. Women with mild breast sag can sometimes be treated effectively with a less involved lift technique, but a full mastopexy is one of the most common approaches to a breast lift.
Also referred to as a donut mastopexy, this technique can be most effective for individuals whose breasts appear asymmetrical or have an irregular nipple position. With this approach, incisions made encircling the areola are used to remove excess tissue and skin while breasts are elevated and tightened. This method can reduce the diameter of the areolas and lift the nipple position approximately 2 to 4 centimeters. This technique is typically not an ideal method for women who are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed.
Also known as a vertical breast lift, “lollipop” mastopexies can be an effective breast lift technique for women with medium-sized breasts and moderate to severe breast droopiness, or large-sized breasts with mild breast droopiness. A lollipop-shaped incision is made around the areola and down the middle of the breast to the breast crease. Extra skin and tissue are then removed and the breasts are tightened, smoothed, and elevated. With this unique incision type, more horizontal excess skin can be removed. This approach is typically utilized when a full mastopexy is unnecessary, but there is too much skin laxity or breast sag for a crescent mastopexy.
Breast Lift Recovery
After surgery, at first you might think your breasts are too high and too tight. It takes several weeks for them to settle and appear more natural-looking. Dr. Durst will recommend what type of bra to wear long term. Soreness associated with the surgery is mild to moderate and can be easily controlled by medications, which Dr Durst will prescribe. Most patients take about a week off of work.
The results with breast lift typically are very, very dramatic in most patients. It is important to realize that the procedure specifically addresses the breast shape. There are some things that simply cannot be accomplished with just an implant, and so Dr. Durst will recommend the specific breast lift that will offer the best results possible. Pictures are taken at two months and again a year after surgery. Dr. Durst will recommend that you follow up with him over the years.