Breast lift — also known as mastopexy – is an operation for women satisfied with the size of their breast, yet it is flat (ptosis), sag and lost skin elasticity.
Over time and especially under aggravating factors such as pregnancy and breastfeeding, weight loss or weight fluctuation, large breast size, gravity and heredity, breast loses its firmness.
Ideal candidates for breast lift are women exhibiting the following signs:
- Loss of breast volume and shape due to sagging, especially in the upper pole.
- Breast asymmetry or anisomasty.
- Significant loss of skin elasticity even accompanied by stretchmarks.
- Areola enlargement (darker area of skin around the nipple)
- Nipples fall below the breast inframammary creases.
Degree of breast ptosis
Each subject choosing breast lift is a different case, since breast ptosis extent plays a significant role in the technique followed.
There are 3 degrees of breast ptosis:
- Grade I: A very mild ptosis; with the nipples at the height of the breast inframammary creases.
- Grade II: A mild to moderate ptosis; with the nipples under the breast inframammary creases.
- Grade III: Severe ptosis; with the nipples under the breast inframammary creases, pointing downwards.
Before breast lift surgery, depending on the physician, preoperative screening as well as mammogram or breast ultrasound is performed if necessary. In addition, stop smoking and anti-inflammatory drug administration is required.
During breast lift surgery, the physician reshapes the breasts, removing any excess skin and remodeling the remaining tissues. The whole process takes about 2 hours.
Breast lift does not interfere with breast size. However, this surgery can be combined with breast reduction or augmentation. Augmentation mastopexy may be the subject’s wish or recommended by the physician as the appropriate technique, especially in case of Grade I Ptosis and small breasts.
Breast lift can be performed only on fully developed breasts. Ideally, breast lift takes place after pregnancy and breastfeeding, as they can change the breast shape and size.
Breast lift incisions
Breast lift usually involves 3 different types of incisions, depending on the desired outcome, as well as each subject’s anatomy.
- A circular incision around the nipple, (periareolar or “round block technique” usually performed in cases of Grade I subjects).
- Periareolar incision with vertical extension: the most usual incision as it allows for a significant change in breast shape.
- Wise (inverted T) pattern: a circular incision around the nipple with vertical extension and in combination with an inframammary incision.
Breast lift surgery is performed under general anesthesia, aiming at subject comfort and safety during the operation.
Depending on the method applied, breast lift subjects may be hospitalized for a 24-hour period with drains might be fitted on the incisions.
For the first few days, either a tight strap or a very good sports bra is required, along with the preventive administration of antibiotics. Within the first week, subjects can return to their daily activities while the sutures are removed 7-10 days later.
Results and Recovery
The breast lift final result is evident 4-6 months later. If there is no weight fluctuations and pregnancy, the result can last for many years. However, the breast is expected to continue changing over time.
Breast lift scars are quite evident during the first 3 months and, although progressively fading, they are never completely eliminated. However, they shall not be visible under a bra or swimsuit.
Breast lift cost depends on the method followed and each individual case (subject). Furthermore, the cost of hospitalization, any pre- or postoperative medical tests required and medication should be taken into account as well.