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Mastopexy (Breast Lift)

What is a Mastopexy ( Breast Lift )?

A mastopexy is another name for a breast lift. The procedure aims to produce a more lifted appearance to the breast mound and provide a breast shape where the nipple is situated forward-facing over the most projecting aspect of the breast.

Who is a good candidate?

We think women with noticeable descent of their breast shape resulting from having children, nursing and/or a significant amount of weight loss and women where gravity has caused their breasts to appear less lifted than they desire are good candidates for a breast lift.

How is the procedure performed?

We perform our breast lifts in our fully accredited operating facility. You will be under a light general anesthetic. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA’s) keep you completely safe and comfortable throughout. Breast lift surgery is performed by rearranging the internal architecture of the breast to provide a more lifted, supported appearance. The nipple remains connected to the underlying breast tissue, and the skin of the breast is contoured and tightened to address and remove skin excess while supporting the new shape. Incisions and scar patterns vary extensively based on the degree of lift required. In many cases, the scar can be kept off of the breast skin and hidden around the perimeter of the nipple. In other cases, we make a vertical incision that runs along the lower half of the breast beneath the nipple towards the fold which gives us access to the breast gland and allows management of the skin. In severe cases of breast decent, we may also make an incision within the fold beneath the breast. In your consultation, we will be able to give you a better sense of which scar pattern is required to achieve the best results for the final shape of your breast.

What is the post-operative recovery?

Recovery from breast lift surgery is generally straight-forward and relatively prompt. Many patients feel that they can get back to their normal activities several days following the procedure. We recommend activities that utilize substantial physical activity or cause bouncing/movement of breast tissue should be limited for the first week or so, but most patients feel as though they can resume work and activities of daily living very promptly following the procedure. In most cases, you will need to allow about a week to recover from some generalized soreness.

What can I expect for results?

Patients can expect their breast to have a more lifted and perky appearance. The lifted breast shape is initially somewhat over-exaggerated, but settles into a more natural shape and position over the first several weeks. Scars can be somewhat pronounced during the first several months as they mature, but typically fade over the first year to become less visible.

Are there any potential complications?

Like all operations, bleeding and infection are standard risks. A mastopexy can have complications but, fortunately, they are rare. Grotting & Cohn Plastic Surgery offers Costmet Assure at no additional cost to you to protect you financially if a complication does arise (see CosmetAssure). Final scar appearance can have a degree of unpredictability in certain patients and may require revision if deemed unsatisfactory. Depending on the extent of nipple movement required to get a lifted position, rare complications resulting from altered blood supply to the nipple can affect overall nipple sensation or healing of the nipple region.

Are there additional relevant considerations regarding this procedure?

  1. Will I still be able to have normal nipple sensation following mastopexy? In the majority of cases, women do not have significant change in nipple sensation following breast lift surgery. Risks for such changes increase in breasts that require more extensive movement and elevation of nipple position.
  2. Will I be able to breast feed following mastopexy? Science has shown that the overall success rate of breast feeding following breast surgery is similar to the overall success rate of breast feeding in women who have not undergone breast surgery. Essentially, one-third of women are able to successfully breast-feed after surgery, one-third of women have no desire and do not attempt to breast feed, and one-third need to supplement their breast feeding with store-bought formula. As a general rule, mastopexy surgery is best done following completion of all anticipated pregnancies so that post-partum changes do not negatively impact the final surgical result.
  3. How do I know if I need an implant or if a breast lift alone will be enough for me? One of the easiest ways to help make this determination is while wearing clothing. If you are happy with the volume (i.e. cup size) of your breast while wearing a bra, and are simply bothered by the appearance or droop of your breasts while NOT in a bra, you are likely to be a good candidate for breast lift surgery without the need for breast implant. However, if you are still unhappy with the overall volume of your breasts even with while wearing a bra and clothing, an implant placed at the time of mastopexy surgery may provide helpful, necessary volume.

Dr. Grotting and Dr. Cohn will walk you through your consultation in person at the Birmingham, Alabama office and develop the best plan for you. Call us at (205) 930-1600.