A breast lift or mastopexy surgery is designed for women who are dissatisfied with the shape of their breast and the position of their nipples. This procedure is popular among women who have developed ptosis (drooping) in their breasts over time. Breast lift candidates generally fall into one or more of the following categories:
All women experience some breast ptosis due to changes in skin texture and the loss of tone in the connective tissues supporting the breast as they age. This process can start as early as a woman’s thirties and becomes more pronounced over the years. The hormonal changes that accompany menopause may increase the rate of sagging in some women. Contrary to popular opinion, there is no known way to stop this process. There is no clinical evidence that wearing a particular type of bra or doing specific exercises will keep breasts firm and high. A breast lift is the only known way to recreate a more youthful breast contour.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
It is common for women to experience an increase of one or two cup sizes during pregnancy. Much of this volume may subside after giving birth. However, the breasts may not return to their former shape. Instead, the stretched breast skin may sag. The areolas may also be a different size and shape than prior to pregnancy. Breastfeeding may add to the degree of post-partum drooping. Some women report experiencing more drooping in one breast than the other depending on the baby’s tendency to favor one breast during feeding. Women who have many children may experience additional ptosis after each pregnancy. Mastopexy surgery is often a component of a Mommy Makeover for women who are done having kids and would like to restore their pre-pregnancy appearance.
Women with large breasts may experience ptosis even in their teen years due to the weight of breast tissue. These patients may seek a breast lift in conjunction with a breast reduction. Women who lose a lot of weight may also have breast drooping if the skin has lost elasticity. These patients may choose a breast augmentation along with a lift to restore volume and shape. Lifting the breast may also help provide relief from chronic yeast infections that affect the underside of the breast where it sags and rubs against the skin on the torso.
What are the Criteria for Breast Lift Patients?
Women who are in good physical health with no serious or chronic health problems are the best breast lift candidates. Many medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease increase the risks of surgery and may complicate healing. Smokers should stop using cigarettes well in advance of their surgery.
Weight fluctuations can continue to change the shape and position of breasts after surgery. Patients who have maintained a stable body weight within their desired weight range for a significant period of time are likely to maintain their results for longer. Subsequent pregnancies may also cause significant alteration in the appearance of the lifted breast.
Patients should have realistic expectations regarding the outcome of a breast lift. Aging will continue to affect breast tissue and skin over the years. This means the results of a breast lift are not permanent. The degree of future ptosis cannot be predicted.
This surgery ranges from minimally invasive to moderately invasive depending on the type of breast lift procedure used. There will be visible scars after any type of mastopexy surgery. The more extensive the lifting, the longer and more numerous the scars will be. These usually fade some over time, but some skin types are more prone to hypertrophic or keloid scarring that remains highly visible over time. Fortunately, the scars are in locations that are covered by most undergarments and swimwear.