This is a procedure to elevate and re-shape ptotic (sagging) breasts.
A breast lift or mastopexy is an operation that removes excess skin around the breast that has been stretched during pregnancy, developed after weight loss or with ageing. The technique and resultant scars will be determined by the degree of correction or lift required. The more sagging you have, the more likely that you will need more extensive and longer incisions to achieve a desirable result. Techniques I commonly perform include the 'peri-areolar or donut mastopexy', 'vertical scar or lollipop' and 'inverted 't'' mastopexy's.
Peri-areolar / donut mastopexy / Benelli mastopexy:
The incision is around the areola, removing a ring of skin from around the areola. Sutures are then placed around the areola and the skin is tightened like a purse string to lift the breast. This technique is indicated for mild cases of breast ptosis.
Vertical mastopexy or lollipop:
The incision is made around the areola and then down the centre of the breast to the inframammary fold. This technique is used for mild to moderate breast ptosis.
Inverted 'T' mastopexy:
The incisions are made around the areola, down the centre of the lower portion of the breast and then transversely in the infra-mammary fold. The length of the transverse incision in the infra-mammary fold is determined by the amount of skin excess to be removed. The scar remains hidden completely below the lower half of the breast in the fold. The technique is used for those with moderate to severe breast ptosis.
With all these techniques the areola can and usually is reduced to create the desired proportions.
In addition to lifting and reshaping sagging breasts their volume can also be modified to create the optimal size. In cases of mild sagging a breast augmentation with implants may be used alone, to elevate the breast and create the optimal shape with minimal scarring. In more severe degrees of breast sagging, especially when breast are small, breast implants can be used in conjunction with a breast lift to achieve the desired result.
Duration of surgery:
Approximately two hours.
The procedure is usually performed under deep intravenous sedation with local anaesthetic. This ensures complete comfort without awareness during the procedure, rapid recovery and good post-operative analgesia. Alternatively general anaesthesia may be used.
Discomfort during the first 2-3 days is controlled with pain medications. Patients can usually return to work within a week to 10 days. Strenuous activities may be recommenced between a month and 6 weeks. A custom fitted bra will be supplied to support your newly shaped breasts. Scars are taped and topical vitamin A applied to optimise healing and prevent stretching. The fading of scars may take between 6 months and 2 years.
Outcome varies from patient-to-patient.
Factors that may result in recurrent breast ptosis include pregnancy and weight fluctuations. With advancing age and the continued effects of gravity some sagging is to be expected. This is more likely to occur in larger breasts.
Recovery following a mastopexy is generally quick. Temporary bruising, swelling and discomfort are inevitable. Temporary numbness of either the breast skin or nipple may occur.
- Delayed wound healing.
- Unfavourable scarring with keloid formation.
- Asymmetric nipple position or breast shape
- Permanent loss of feeling in the nipples and/or the breast skin.