What You Need To Know About Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

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What You Need To Know About Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

By Dr. Harry Springer M.D., F.A.C.S.

A woman’s breasts have to deal with many forces over the course of time. Pregnancy, along with breast-feeding, can lead to a substantial loss of breast tissue. Women who have lost a great deal of weight can notice a change in the contours of their breasts. An increase in exercise can do the same. Just the natural pulling of gravity over the years can cause drooping.

Mastopexy (Breast Lift) removes excess skin and re-contours the breast to be more youthful looking. Mastopexy is performed using local or general anesthesia. Typically, a mastopexy takes between 1 1/2 and 4 hours to perform. It can also be performed along with a breast augmentation.

Are you a good candidate for mastopexy?

You must be in good health, with no significant pre-existing medical conditions and importantly, you must have realistic expectations as to what a mastopexy can do for you. Your relationship with your surgeon is crucial for a good result. Your surgeon can tell you from experience what you can hope to achieve.

If you are planning on having children, you should postpone your mastopexy. Pregnancy after a mastopexy will only stretch your skin further and cause the skin to become thinner. This could result in another mastopexy.

Breast-feeding should not be an issue after a mastopexy, as the milk ducts are typically untouched. A mastopexy can be performed at any age if you are in good mental and physical health.

Risks of mastopexy

As with any operation, there are risks to be aware of, such as a possible reaction to the anesthesia. The scars of a mastopexy will be visible. It is also possible that your nipples and breast skin will lose sensitivity.

Smokers experience slower healing as well as increased risks in general. A rare occurrence in smokers is tissue necrosis, where there is poor oxygen and blood flow through the nipple and other tissue that needs to be reattached. The best way to prevent this condition is to stop smoking at least several weeks before surgery. Of course, kicking the smoking habit is the best present you can give yourself for any aspect of life.

Infections are rare, but can occur. Staph lives on your skin, as well as other bacteria. It is important to wash your skin for several days before your surgery with an anti-bacterial soap. This will lessen the possibility of introducing bacteria to the incision.

The different types of mastopexy

There are several standard types of mastopexy. Your surgeon will discuss with you which option best suits your needs.

Full Mastopexy is typically performed with an anchor-shaped incision that starts at the base of the areola and travels to the bottom of the breast, where it meets the ribcage. The surgeon then cuts out a crescent-shaped piece of skin right above where the breast meets the rib cage. The nipple is removed and re-positioned. This operation is for severely sagging breasts and can cause large scars. The scars do fade in time, but not completely.

The Crescent Lift removes a crescent-shaped piece of tissue above the areola and pulls the nipple to a higher position.. This is a minor lift for patients who have slight ptosis.

The Benelli Lift is less invasive and places the scars around the areola. A donut-shaped piece of tissue around the areola border is removed and the remaining tissue is attached to the areola. Sometimes a little more tissue is removed above the areola to create more of a lifting effect.

The Benelli-Lollipop is a Benelli lift along with straight incisions from under the areola to the crease under the breast (mammary fold). This is a good solution for those who need more th