What is Mastopexy
Aging breasts often show signs of sagging or drooping due to overstretching of the skin. This is a common occurrence with time, pregnancy, or weight loss. Mastopexy is designed to reverse course on this process by repositioning the nipple higher on the chest wall and removing excess skin. This can create a very natural looking result which makes the patients breasts look like they did when they were younger.
Who is a candidate for Mastopexy?
Patients who are unhappy with the shape of their breasts but not the size are ideal candidates for breast lift. It’s best for patients to be done having children and around their ideal weight, as changes to the body brought on by weight fluctuations or pregnancy can lead to poor long-term outcomes. Candidates for a Mommy Makeover frequently choose Mastopexy, or Mastopexy with Implants as a supplement to an abdominal surgery to achieve their pre-pregnancy body. Typically surgical candidates will be mentally and physically healthy. Tobacco use and smoking increases the risks of some complications.
Options and Variations
There are three different variations on the procedure which can be performed depending on the position of the nipple relative to the infra-mammary fold.
In cases where the nipple diameter is enlarged, or slightly lower than where it ideally should be, Dr. Raj recommends a peri-areolar breast lift. This procedure lifts the nipple only and repositions it in the correct location.
Some patients may have moderate sagging and drooping of the breast tissue as well. In these cases a per-areolar lift alone is not adequate. In order to achieve the desired results the nipple must be placed higher, therefore some of the excess skin and breast tissue from the lower pole of the breast must also be removed. There are two incisions and scars to consider with this procedure, one around the areola and another vertically below the nipple-areolar complex.
For patients with severe sagging or drooping of breast tissue, where the nipple is in a very low position relative to the infra mammary fold, there is a technique which removes extra skin and tissue and elevates the nipple to the appropriate position. This is the most common procedure performed, and this technique requires three incisions – one around the areola, a vertical extension to the intra-mammary fold, and a horizontal incision along the fold, forming the anchor that gives the procedure its name.
Many patients who are candidates for anchor lift procedures also require placement of a breast implant to achieve their desired result. This is referred to as breast augmentation mastopexy.
In your initial consultation with Dr. Raj, he will listen to each patient’s concerns and determine if they are a candidate for a breast lift (mastopexy) after a thorough examination. It is important to remember that some patients are a candidate for a lift whereas others are not. Some patients may require an adjunctive procedure to be performed at the same time to provide the best possible result. Dr. Raj will assess the expectations and desires of each patient to propose a plan that will help achieve the patient’s goals. important to discuss your expectations.
During the consultation, Dr. Raj will perform a thorough physical examination of the breasts and obtain measurements to determine if a mastopexy will be beneficial. He will clearly communicate the expectations of the procedure. Dr. Raj will specify where the nipple position should be and if breast augmentation is recommended at the same time.
Before scheduling surgery, Dr. Raj may request pre-operative testing to be completed depending on the patient’s age and medical history. Some patients may need to obtain medical clearance and a mammogram before surgery. Dr. Mohan and his staff provide detailed instructions to prepare for the procedure and ensure that each patient understands the potential risks, outcomes, and their individual recovery process.
In order to maintain the highest standards of safety and patient care, all surgical appointments take place at an accredited surgery center, where patients will be greeted by staff to help them prepare for their procedure. Prior to the procedure Dr. Raj will perform a marking and discuss the details of surgery in the pre-operative holding area. This provides a final opportunity for Dr. Raj to answer any questions before the patient is placed under anesthesia and the surgery commences in an operating room.
Mastopexy is an increasingly common procedure performed by a plastic surgeon. Breast lift surgery is performed in an operating room under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure for patient comfort and safety.
During the procedure:
Patients incisions are marked by Dr. Raj beforehand to determine the new lifted position of the nipple on their breast.
Once the patient is under anesthesia, Dr. Raj will make an incision around the areola. Usually this cut will extend down the front of the breast, and along the sides of the areola in some cases.
Then Dr. Raj will lift and reshape the breasts, moving the areola to the correct position on the new breast shape.
Extra skin can be removed to give breasts a firmer appearance.
The patient is then closed with sutures, skin adhesives, or medical tape.
After the procedure
Usually the procedure can be completed in as little as two to three hours, depending on the complexity and techniques required. Patients are discharged the same day after the procedure. Dr. Raj and his staff provide all prescriptions and detailed information about the recovery process based on each patient’s treatment plan, but most patients can return to work 1 week after the procedure, with restrictions on heavy lifting and strenuous activity for 4 weeks to allow tissues to heal. By week 6 most patients are cleared to resume a normal exercise regimen and play sports. Individual protocols may vary. Patients can reach out at any time with questions and concerns as Dr. Raj and his staff are available every step along the way.
Limitations, Risks, and Possible Complications
- Risks of Anesthesia
- Poor healing of incisions or wound healing difficulty
- Changes in nipple or breast sensation, which may be temporary or permanent
- Breast contour and shape irregularities, some may require revision
- Asymmetry of breasts
- Fat Necrosis
- Fluid accumulation (Seroma)
- Partial or total loss of nipple and areola
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Possibility of a revision surgery
Q: Do I need a breast lift?
A: Here is a simple set of criteria to help you determine if you need a breast lift:
- If your nipples are below the infra-mammary fold of the breast
- If your breast shape is flat or deflated
- If the skin on the breast is stretched or has stretch marks
- If the volume of your breasts is much less than the skin around it
Q: How Long does a breast lift procedure generally take?
A: It takes around 2-3 hours to perform but it depends on the technique and the patient.
Q: Can breast lift fix a stretched-out areola?
A: Yes, not only is a breast lift designed to reposition the nipple, very often it is necessary to decrease the size and diameter of the areola.
Q: Yes, this is a very common procedure performed by Dr. Raj called an augmentation-mastopexy. The lift is intended to reduce excess skin, raise the nipple position, and lift the breast tissue. The augmentation adds volume to the breasts, especially in the upper part of the breast. Both procedures can be done at the same time. Sometimes, Dr. Raj also performs fat grafting or fat transfer to address any asymmetries or area with loss of volume.
Q: Is the muscle cut during a breast lift?
A: In breast augmentation the muscle is cut but in a mastopexy or breast lift, the muscle is not. However, if a patient undergoes an augmentation-mastopexy then the muscle will be cut. Because the muscle is not cut, there is less pain and discomfort with a breast lift.
Q: When can I resume normal activities after a breast lift?
A: It is recommended that patients do not return for one week after the procedure to allow ample time to rest. Additionally, they shouldn’t lift their arms above their head or do any heavy lifting for one month after the procedure. This helps prevent difficulty with wound healing. Patients can resume their normal exercise regimen or play sports six weeks after surgery.
Q: Does a breast lift change bra size?
A: Possibly, but it is hard to judge until after the healing has completed. The breasts will be a similar size, but the breast tissue and skin will be in a more lifted position. Sometimes the breasts can be a bit smaller than the original size, therefore Dr. Raj advises patients not to be fitted for new bras until 6 weeks after the surgery.
What are the scars like after a breast lift?
The incisions and scars depend on the technique. For a peri-areolar lift, there is a scar around the nipple that is well hidden. For a lollipop or vertical mastopexy, there will be a scar around the nipple and one that runs vertically in the middle of the breast. For the anchor or inverted-T mastopexy, there is a scar around the nipple, one that runs vertically to the infra-mammary fold and a horizontal scar that is hidden underneath the breast. In addition to practicing the most advanced surgical techniques, Dr. Raj provides patients with instructions to help minimize scarring.
Patients choose Dr. Raj for a variety of reasons. He trains and studies with the best in the industry as a peer and leader, and this commitment means that his patients are always able to benefit from advancements at the cutting edge of science and surgery.
He is knowledgeable and personable and is known for both candor and compassion. He really cares about his patients and it shows, both in how he interacts with them as well as in the quality of patient care he provides.
Ultimately, however, all roads end with the outcomes, and the reason most people choose Dr. Raj is because he delivers results that speak for themselves.
If you want to learn more about breast lift/mastopexy surgery please call (469) 301-1725 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Raj Mohan, board certified plastic surgeon serving the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. He operates in Arlington, Grapevine, Southlake, Dallas, Plano, Frisco, Irving, and Coppell.