A Mastopexy or Breast Lift Surgery is the surgical procedure used to correct the problem of sagging breasts (Mammary Ptosis) without decreasing their volume. Mammary Ptosis is defined as the state wherein the nipple-areolar complex lies below the breast crease.
This procedure becomes necessary for all women who want to solve their sagging breast issues, usually caused by a sizable weight loss after a pregnancy and lactation period or simply due to aging.
This procedure is always performed under general anaesthesia.
Mammary Ptosis involves the breast’s skin becoming loose and sagging. The Breast Lift procedure consists of the removal of excess skin to a lesser or greater extent.
The most important phase of the procedure occurs prior to surgery: using a dermographic pen the doctor will mark the lines delimiting the patches of excess skin to be removed .
The scar size will depend on the amount of resected skin and how far the nipple-areolar complex must be displaced. Its placement can be:
- Periareolar (around the areola).
- Periareolar plus vertical scar
- Periareolar plus inverted T-shaped scar, where the horizontal branches of the ‘T’ are placed in the breast crease (submammarial fold). There are alternate techniques, whereby instead of a ‘T’ it results in an L-shaped scar. To provide the breast with projection and ensure long-lasting results, it is necessary to reshape the glandular tissue, anchoring it to the fascia of the chest muscle with suture stitches.
Whenever the sagging breasts are associated with a significant loss of breast volume the procedure can be combined with a mammary prosthesis implantation.
In order to close the incision, careful and delicate stitching is applied on all planes, ending the procedure with an intradermal suture.
If necessary the surgeon can place drainage tubes in the area to be removed two or three days later.
Once at home the patient must observe partial rest for four to five days and take the analgesics and antibiotics prescribed by the doctor.
Breast Lift surgery takes from one and a half hours to two hours.
In most cases the patient can go home on the same day as the surgery. Nevertheless, she will need to observe a week of partial rest before returning to her usual daily activities, being careful not to exert herself too much.
The probability of complications after the procedure is very low. Those are:
Haematoma: an accumulation of blood that occurs when a clot blocking a blood vessel detaches itself. In the case of moderate, though continuous intraoperative bleeding, drainage is usually applied. If after this, the haematoma continues to occur, it would be necessary to remedy it with a new surgical intervention.
Infection:nowadays the risk is very low since it is preventable with antibiotic treatment. Even so, if it does happen to occur, and depending on the intensity, it could affect the appearance of the scar and the general results of the intervention.
Widening of the scar: an uncommon complication that can occur on skin which is very thin or has many stretch marks, or after insertion of a breast augmentation implant. In this case the scar and mammary tension are stabilized and a few months later the scar is reduced in an outpatient-type intervention using local anaesthesia.
Hypertrophic scars and keloids: la cicatriz puede ser de mala calidad, gruesa y lenta para blanquearse (hipertrófica), circunstancia que depende de la naturaleza del paciente y de su edad.
A Keloid is a pathology in the wound healing process in which the scar shows a disproportionate growth. It is quite infrequent among white women, although less rare among black women.
Scar hyperpigmentation, can be due to the patient’s physical constitution, premature exposure to sunlight, or the use of certain medications. To solve the issue there are creams, depigmenting skin peels and laser treatments that all offer good results.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is breastfeeding possible after a Mastopexy?
Generally speaking a year after the procedure lactation proceeds normally although there is a possibility of breastfeeding capacity or the amount of milk having been affected.
Can a breast lift be achieved by simply fitting an implant?
If it is a true case of ptosis then no, it cannot. However, in the case of what is called a pseudoptosis where the nipple is at or above the breast crease, there is really no surplus skin to remove but a loss of mammary volume that can be remedied with an implant.
Does breast size vary after a Mastopexy?
An implant-less Mastopexy doesn’t alter either the size or thickness of the breasts, although the ‘compaction’ effect that this procedure provides makes it look as if there was a subtle reduction in size.
Is breast lift worth the scars?
Usually a surgery scar is more agreeable than a sagging breast, as with time scars become subtler and after a few months or after the first year they end up concealed in a very satisfying manner.
Is it possible to perform a Mastopexy without leaving a scar?
This kind of surgical procedure always leaves a scar. In cases where the sagging is minor the scarring will only appear around the areola.