Breast Lift (Mastopexy) With or Without Breast Implants

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Breast Lift (Mastopexy) With or Without Breast Implants

When a patient’s nipple falls at or below the level that the fold of the breast makes with the chest wall (a condition referred to as breast ptosis), a breast lift may be required in order to obtain a better appearance. The medical term for this procedure is Mastopexy. . A mastopexy is performed to elevate, and often center the position of the nipple and areola in relation to the breast mound. Mastopexy may be performed with or without implant placement, and the use of an implant depends on a patient’s desires for fuller or larger breasts. Often, the shape of the breast is improved; and this is accomplished by removing lower breast tissue which falls beneath the fold the breast makes with the upper abdomen.  The incisions may be around the areola only (Periareolar Mastopexy) for smaller breast lifts with minimal ptosis where the breast does not require significant reshaping.  In larger breasts with greater degrees of ptosis, the incisions are made around the areola and from the 6 o’clock position of the areola to the inframammary fold (Vertical Mastopexy) in order to elevate the nipple areola and reshape the breast. There are few indications for the traditional "anchor" incision in most patients seeking mastopexy procedures.  However, patients with extreme ptosis may require a horizontal incision in the breast fold to eliminate excess skin.

A choice of saline or silicone gel breast implants is available to most patients who desire to increase their breast size in conjunction with a breast lift.  Both implants are FDA approved and have unique advantages and disadvantages.  Silicone gel breast implants tend to fall in the breast pocket faster post operatively than saline breast implants with breast lift-augmentation procedures, and this may be considered an advantage for some patients.

Breast Lifts with or without implants are performed as an outpatient procedure.  A friend or family member must accompany you to and from the surgery center or hospital on the day of surgery.  Some discomfort after surgery is inevitable, but this can be significantly reduced with prescription pain medication, which is taken by mouth at regular intervals for the first several days after surgery. Be prepared to take at least a few days off work after the surgery until you no longer require prescription pain medication during the daytime hours.

Many patients can return to work within a week of the surgery.  However, physical activity restrictions that apply for home and work will be necessary in the immediate postoperative period.  Activities at home or work related which require lifting or carrying objects greater than 5lbs, are prohibited for the first three weeks after surgery.  Patients can begin limited exercise three weeks after breast lift surgery and most people can return to full activity, with a few exceptions, 6 weeks after surgery.

The final postoperative appearance of your breast shape may take 4 months or longer to occur. Taping and applying adhesive silicone gel strips to the incision scars helps improve the early postoperative and final scar appearance.  Although many breast lift scars have an acceptable and often excellent appearance in the first months following the procedure, it may take up to a year for the scars around the areola, and on the lower breast (with the vertical Mammoplasty technique) to reach their final appearance.  If a breast lift is performed with breast implant surgery, the implants will take time to settle into the implant pocket with the assistance of directional message and gravity.  For this reason it is important that you attend your post op visits to optimize your final result.

Breast Reduction surgery is performed to help treat symptomatic breast hypertrophy (large breast size). It is also has cosmetic value in that the appearance of the breast is generally improved by lifting of the nipple areola, change in breast shape, and reduction in breast size. Symptoms due to heavy and ptotic (sagging) breasts include upper back pai