What is mastopexy?

Mastopexy, also known as breast lift, is a type of cosmetic surgery that raises the breasts to make them look rounder and firmer. It also reshapes the breasts. Mastopexy can do another thing: if around of your breasts has got extra skin, it removes it to make the breasts smaller.
But, why do breasts have these problems? It can have various reasons. Pregnancy is one of them. It changes body shape. Breastfeeding is the next thing that makes the breast size bigger. Aging and weight loss are other factors. Thus, you may want to have mastopexy to prevent breasts sagging or drooping. You may also want to increase breast size or augment them via mastopexy.

What is mastopexy?

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How is the Mastopexy procedure?

Mastopexy procedure is done differently by surgeons. The technique that every surgeon chooses depends on factors such as breasts shape and size and how much augmentation they need.
The first step is that the surgeon marks the breasts while you are standing to specify the nipple’s new position. Then you will be under general anesthesia during the procedure.
You will get an incision around your areola which usually extends down your breast front. It is extended from the areola bottom to the crease or along the areola sides.
Next, it is the turn your breasts are lifted and reshaped. Then, your areolas are moved to the proper position. The surgeon may reduce breast size in this step if it is necessary.
The extra skin is removed in this phase. It is done to make a firmer look to your breasts.
The last step is to close the incisions. It is done with some stitches and sutures. Other possible things for closing the incisions are skin adhesives or surgical tapes. The breasts should be put in less visible areas.
You may also decide to get breast implant surgery beside mastopexy, but some surgeons do not recommend doing two surgeries at the same time since it will have some serious risks and complications.

How is the Mastopexy procedure?

How is mastopexy different from breast implants?

These two surgeries have conflicting goals. Breast implant aims at enlarging the breasts. It involves breast skin and areola skin stretching. But, mastopexy aims at reducing the skin envelope.
Sometimes we see unpredictable late changes associated with breast implant and mastopexy. In some patients, after mastopexy, the nipple migrates superiorly while the glands tend to migrate bottoms-up or inferiorly. In some other patients, we see the nipple migrates inferiorly as time goes on. Migration can happen to implant too. It can migrate superiorly, since the capsular may contracture, or inferiorly due to bottoming out occurrence.

Both of these surgeries are difficult by themselves. Thus simultaneous surgeries can make a real challenge to the surgeon. The conflicting goals may cause intraoperative difficulty. It also will make a postoperative disappointment. So, although usually surgeons and patients prefer combined mastopexy and breast implant procedure, they should be done in separate surgeries.

Different types of mastopexy

Different types of mastopexy

Mastopexy is not done by a simple method. Three different approaches are periareolar incision, vertical breast reduction incision and inverted-T incisions.
The periareolar incision method means that it is done like the patient’s natural areolar shape. This method is suitable for a person that has large areolas and her breast drooping is minimal.
The vertical breast reduction approach has the same path as the periareolar incision method, but it extends directly from the areola. Thus, a vertical breast reduction incision method does a greater breast lift to moderate drooping.
The last approach does the same mentioned paths of periareolar incision and vertical breast incision methods, but it also includes an incision within the breast fold.
Patients usually prefer an inverted-T approach. This approach is most predictable and can result in maximum breast lift. However, some factors determine which method is right for you. These factors include the amount of breast volume, tissue, and degree of your breast ptosis.

Breast lift or breast implant? Which is better?

These procedures aim at different goals. Breast implant’s main goal is to improve the breast size and shape, while mastopexy corrects breasts drooping and it can’t increase the size.

To decide to choose one of the methods is personal. First, it depends on your expectations from the surgery. Your goal to change the size or to lift the breast will affect your choice. But, it is logical to consult with a board-certified surgeon to get the best view of the possible outcome.

breast implant

Mastopexy cost

Two years ago its average cost was 4.636 dollars. It was declared by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The geography, the surgeon’s experience, and other factors may increase the mastopexy cost. Other expenses include:

  • Pre-surgical medical tests
  •  Anesthesia
  • Prescription post-surgical medications
  • post-surgery accessories, such as special clothing
  • hospital facilities

Mastopexy Recovery

On the first days you feel your breast swollen a sore. It takes a few weeks. So, you may have to take some medication to relieve mastopexy pain. They are described by your doctor. You may also need to hold ice on them to sedate soreness and swelling.
The special clothes that you need to wear after mastopexy are surgical bra or non-wire bra. You have to wear them for three weeks after mastopexy.

You must live on your back. And some pillows should prop it up so that your chest is raised.
If the mentioned symptoms gradually go away one week after mastopexy, but it will take between 2 to 12 months to your breasts to get their final shape.
Remember to avoid lifting and heavy exercises for 2 months after mastopexy.

What are the mastopexy risks and complications?

Unfortunately, most insurance plans do not cover cosmetic surgeries of all types.
Mastopexy risks and implications
Some of the mastopexy’s potential risks and complications are infection and poor scarring. Seroma that is the accumulation of fluid is another mastopexy complication. Breasts wrinkling, rupture, leakage, and contracture are other problems. You may also experience asymmetry. Even after mastopexy lax skin may not be farewell.
Swelling and bruising can last for a long time depending on your body anatomy, the surgery, and other factors. You may experience sensation change for a long time.
Other complications include:

At the end of the scar, the wound can come apart. This problem may need you to get another breast lift surgery to remove the unhealed tissue. These problems are seen in smokers more than others.

Extrusion happens where deep stitches poke out throughout the skin. Extrusion can be removed easily.

If the blood supply is lost during the surgery, some skin area, breast tissue, fat or the nipple may die. This is called necrosis. Necrosis may cause the need for another surgery. The areas affected by necrosis may have lumpiness or uneven surface. Sometimes fat get hard. It makes mammograms difficult in the future.

Some deeper structures such as nerves, muscles and vessels and even the lungs may get damaged. It can be permanent or temporary.

Some patients are not satisfied with mastopexy results. The shape of breasts or their feel may not meet their expectations. That’s why it is insisted that talk in detail about your expectations with your surgeon before getting a breast lift.

Some other factors that are not related to breast lift surgery may change the breast appearance. Weight loss, weight gain are some of them. So, you may need future surgeries.

Some patients reported having allergic reactions to stitches, solution or tape. It may need extra treatment.

Since mastopexy is done under general anesthesia, it can cause some risks, too. Some of these risks include chest infection, blood clots, heart attack, heart stroke, and death.
Most of the mentioned mastopexy side effects or complications can resolve in a few weeks or months. But, it is not definite. Some of them may last for a long time.
Thus, make sure that you have consulted with your surgeon before any decision and asked every important detail about mastopexy.

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Who is a good candidate for mastopexy?

Who is a good candidate for mastopexy?

You are a good candidate for mastopexy if:
You are not happy with your breast placement or shape. But, it does not guarantee your surgery. Some patients do not have reasonable expectations. So, they are not happy with the surgery results. Remember that breast life won’t change your breast size. If you want to change it you need to get a breast implant. So a candidate has a logical expectation.

Your breast does not point up or out of the chest, rather they point downward. Sometimes the nipple is even below the breasts fold. In these cases, mastopexy removes the excess skin and repositions the areola and places nipple higher.
You have already given birth to your children and you are in your ideal health. Factors such as childbearing, breastfeeding and changes in weight can sag breasts again.
You are in general good health and you do not smoke. You have to quit it at least 3 months before mastopexy since it interferes with healing efficiency during recovery time and can result in some risks and complications.

Dr. Salahi performs hundreds of abdominal and thoracic surgeries, abdominal lipatomics, lipomatic abdominal surgery, thighs and arms, breast prosthesis and minimally invasive surgeries and is one of the top-ranked doctors in Tehran in cosmetic surgery. They specialize in cosmetic surgery.

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Who is a qualified surgeon for mastopexy?

A qualified surgeon for this surgery is the one whose being specialist is registered by the General Medical Council. He/she is properly trained. That surgeon will talk to you about the mastopexy results and probable risks and complications. There are lots of clinics that offer breast lift service. Your surgeons being a plastic surgery does not mean that he/she can do mastopexy with success. This important surgery requires an experienced and board-certified surgeon who had enough training in cosmetic surgery. You can ask the following questions to consult with the surgeon:

  • Are you board certified?
  • Were you trained specifically in the field of plastic surgery? How many years?
  • Do you have surgery privileges?
  • What surgical method do you recommend for me?
  • How long will the recovery take?
  • What are the risks and complications?
  • How should I handle them?
  • Does it affect breastfeeding? How?
  • What are my options if I am not satisfied with the outcome?
  • Do you have before and after photos to see?
Who is a qualified surgeon for mastopexy?

Mastopexy frequently asked questions

Mastopexy can’t change your psychological problems. Those patients that get it to make a better life are not good candidates. If the patient’s general health is poor, she is under 18 or if she is breastfeeding is not a good candidate. Also those patients with:

  • Breast cancer
  • Cellulitis
  • Hardened or dry breast skin
  • Diabetes

Are not a good candidate for mastopexy. Patients that suffer from depression can’t get mastopexy, too.

Though breast lift lasts for a long time it is not permanent. Aging and gravity during the time cause breast drooping again and they will lose tone and elasticity. Thus, mastopexy will need repetition in the future. Health conditions also affect it. In general, mastopexy will have better results for healthy women. Pregnancy and weight loss are other factors that affect breast life durability.

It varies depending on the nipple-areola movement complexity and whether the volume is added or not. It can be added with an implant or fat transfer. The amount of skin that needs removal determines the amount and area of incisions. The incisions can be made around the areolas with a vertical dart. They can also be around areolas with an inverted T that is toward the inframammary fold.

To have long term results, it is better to get mastopexy surgery after you’ve made all your children. But if pregnancy happens to you after breast lifts your pregnancy may affect the breast lift results.

Women have a different reaction to pregnancy. This makes it difficult to anticipate how one’s breast will change over another person’s. You may don’t see hard and fast changes. But in general, you may consider these:

  • Pregnancy often leads to stretch marks, asymmetry, sagging and deflated breasts
  • Pregnancy can impact the ability to breastfeeding
  • You may need a second surgery to get optimal results.
  • Keeping your healthy weight range during pregnancy can minimize the negative effects on mastopexy.

The ideal age for mastopexy is the age that the breasts have done their full development. Because if they continue development more surgery will be needed. Psychological development is also of great importance since it makes the candidate have logical expectations.

Mastopexy does not have the same amount of pain in all patients since every patients’ pain tolerance level is different. Some patients may feel more pain. But if a board-certified surgeon has done the surgery properly, it may not be so painful. Remember that if you remove your support bras or the special garment before the proper time, you will experience more pain. Thus, it is advisable to wear them for the recommended period.

Do not engage in physical activities and instead remain in bed for most of the day hours to prevent pain and additional complications.

The position of the nipple is one important criterion for the surgeons to know if the breast lift is needed. To know the answer you can do a test at home. Put a sheet of paper standing underneath your breasts while you are not wearing a bra. So, it sits against the breast crease. Look in the mirror. If the nipples sit below the top edge of the paper, they sit below the crease.

Mastopexy is a type of cosmetic surgery that treats breast sagging. It involves excess skin removal and nipple lifting to a raised location. It also repairs breast tissues. Thus, there is a high level of trauma in this surgery. So, you may expect a high degree of pain in the recovery time and it is highly recommended to follow your surgeon’s instructions.

Mastopexy is different from a breast implant, as it does not make the breasts fuller and bigger. Sometimes these two different cosmetic surgeries are done in conjunction with each other, but it is not recommended by most surgeon.

Mastopexy is almost a risky surgery. Thus, it is of great importance to find an experienced, board certified and committed surgeon to consult with before taking any decision. Keep in mind that a breast lift should be gotten for personal goals to achieve logical results.

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