In most cases of moderate to severe breast ptosis
a breast lift
(or mastopexy) is the preferred treatment.
What is a breast lift (mastopexy)?
A mastopexy or breast lift, is a
surgical procedure to raise and reshape sagging breasts.
Mastopexy can also reduce the size of the areola, the darker
skin surrounding the nipple.
A breast lift does not change the
amount of breast tissue a woman has, but it does change the shape
and position which can affect overall breast size.
What patients fit the
criteria for a breast lift procedure?
Women who have sagging or drooping breast tissue
are the best candidates for this procedure. Many women are interested in a
breast lift due to pregnancy and nursing which has left stretched out skin and
less volume in their breasts. Also, women who have lost weight can end up
with sagging or droopy breast tissue.
Most surgeons prefer that their patients are done
with having children before having a breast lift to ensure the longest lasting
results. There are no special risks that affect future pregnancies, such
as preventing breast feeding, however; a pregnancy can stretch your breast
tissue and diminish the results of the breast lift procedure.
Are there other
treatments that can be used to help ptosis besides a breast lift?
In some patients who exhibit mild cases of breast
ptosis - augmentation with an implant can be possibly enough adequate treatment
to improve the shape and position of the breasts. However, getting a
simple breast augmentation with no other procedure seems to yield nothing more
than an enlarged version of what the patient had to start with. In most
cases, a breast lift would give a much better result.
How does the scars heal
with a breast lift?
Breast lift scars are can be extensive and
permanent - depending on the type of mastopexy that is suggested. Scars
for the most part can be lumpy and red in the first few months following a
breast lift. But these scars usually become less obvious as they fade to
thin light-colored lines. In some cases, a patient might end up with a
hypertrophic scar or a
keloid scar from this surgery, but there
are many scar treatments that are available to help.
Where are the location of
the scars with a breast lift?
All breast lift procedures will end up with a
scar around the areola/nipple complex.
The following breast lift techniques are used:
Lift - Least invasive breast lift method. What
is involved with this procedure is a crescent-shaped piece of the excess
skin is taken from above the nipple, and suturing the tissue higher on the
Benelli Lift -
This lift Benelli mastopexy is used for women with mild to moderate breast ptosis or
sagging.With the Benelli Lift the incision is all around the areola, in which a donut shape
piece of tissue is taken away and the tissue is then re-sutured to the edges
of the areola.
Vertical or Lollipop Lift -This lift is
reserved for those patients who have a moderate amount of ptosis
(or sagging), and the benelli
is not going to be enough. The incision runs
around the nipple/areola complex and then straight down to the crease
underneath the breast.
Full Anchor Lift -
This is the most common
used technique for women who have severe
facing down towards the ground. This is also the most
invasive lift done along with sometimes being the difficult with healing. This lift got its name from the way the incisions are placed on the breast
Can cleavage and breast volume be restored with a breast lift?
A breast lift does
remove excess skin, making the breasts tighter and bringing the nipples back
into an aesthetic position on the breasts. By repositioning the existing
tissue, some fullness in the upper part of the breasts may be restored, but this
is not always the case. In those that desire increased volume or extensive upper
breast fullness, a
breast implant is needed in addition to a
Can a breast
augmentation be done at the same time as a breast lift?
A breast augmentation
can be done at the same time as a breast lift, however; this is an "as needed"
basis with each individual patient. There are surgeons who prefer to do
the breast lift first and then a few months later, perform the augmentation. This is done to ensure the longest lasting results with the mastopexy.
Are mammograms necessary
before having a breast lift procedure?
More than likely, if
you are a patient over the age of 35 years, it is best to get a baseline
mammogram before the breast lift. Your own plastic surgeon will advise you
on his protocol regarding this testing procedure.
How does smoking affect the healing
Smoking causes the blood vessels
to constrict, reducing the blood supply and amount of oxygen
that is delivered to tissues. In order to heal properly
after a breast lift, the tissues need a good blood supply and
oxygen. If the blood supply is reduced the tissue will
heal slower - possibly contributing to the complication of necrosis (tissue
death). To eliminate the risks associated
with smoking, your surgeon will advise you to either completely
stop or not to smoke for a period of time before and after the