Mastopexy (Breast Lift)
What is a Breast Lift (Mastopexy)?
A breast lift or mastopexy may be an option when we are unable to perform a breast augmentation due to excessive looseness of the skin. This is particularly common following pregnancy with breast-feeding and following weight loss.
Implants alone can improve loose skin if the nipple is at or above the underlying breast fold. If the nipple sags or hangs below the breast fold, placing an implant usually will not adequately raise the nipple, creating an unfavorable outcome with the breast still hanging off the implant. In these cases there is a tightening of the skin and reshaping of the breast to allow augmentation.
Types of Breast Lifts
Periareolar Lift (Intermediate)
A periareolar lift, or an intermediate lift is a main choice when only a small correction is necessary. In this case the skin is more widely tightened up around the entire nipple areola, limiting the mastopexy scar to the border of the areola.
Full Breast Lift
In the case of an extremely loose breast with most of the gland hanging below the breast fold, we recommend a full breast lift. Dr. Lipton repositions the nipple to its new ideal location and the skin is tightened up around the entire breast mound, eliminating all or most of the skin which was hanging below the breast fold. In this case it is necessary to place an incision on the lower pole of the breast which resembles an upside down “T”. These incisions are identical to a breast reduction. However, with a reduction, we remove a significant amount of breast tissue in addition to the skin. These procedures almost never require removal of the nipple, just repositioning, and in most cases sensation and function remain intact.
Breast Lift with Implants
With each of the mastopexy procedures, Dr. Lipton is able to place breast implants simultaneously. A full breast lift however is occasionally performed without an implant, especially when there is already a substantial amount of breast tissue. In addition, with a full mastopexy, placing a very large implant is impractical and may be unsafe since the breast lift is trying to tighten the skin and the implant is trying to expand it. The implant may end up slightly out of position. More importantly, there is significant disruption of the normal blood flow within the breast and healing problems are far more common when we place implants at the time of a full mastopexy.
At the time of your examination we’ll explain this more thoroughly. We’ll determine which approach is best for you and help you make decisions regarding breast augmentation simultaneously or as a future, separate procedure. Future augmentation following a full breast lift can allow excellent tightening and reshaping as well as a very large augmentation if that is your goal.
Breast Lift Recovery Time
Recovery for any of these procedures is similar to that for breast augmentation.