What Is A Mastopexy And Why Do It?
Commonly known as breast lift/boob lift is done with or without breast implant.
As women get older, or have children, life can take its toll on their breasts. The strain of childbirth and breastfeeding, stress, aging or even just gravity can cause breasts to sag, and this can be a real knock to women’s confidence and how they feel about themselves.
One reason breasts are prone to sagging is the skin begins to lose its elasticity. Once that happens, breasts can lose their shape and droop. One way to help combat this is a mastopexy, which is more commonly known as a breast lift.
A mastopexy can help reshape and re-firm sagging breasts for a time and if you so choose, implants can be inserted to improve the size and overall shape of your breasts. This is commonly referred to as ‘mastopexy augmentation’.
Surgery of a cosmetic nature is all to do with the individual, and it’s all about what YOU want. It is important to think carefully about what you want to achieve. Breast lift surgery should never be used as a way to make people think of you differently or as a quick fix for underlying self esteem problems.
Breasts of any size can be lifted, but the surgery does have better results with smaller breasts. The best candidates are the ones who can be realistic about what they want from the mastopexy and how they want it to affect them afterwards.
Whilst a mastopexy should not affect breastfeeding, if you choose to become pregnant after your breast lift, the stretching of the skin in pregnancy can negate the effects of the surgery and cause the breasts to sag again.
What Are The Risks Of A Mastopexy/breast lift?
Whilst breast lift surgery is not a simple operation to perform, if done by a competent surgeon it is safe and you should not have any problems.
However, with plastic surgery there is always an element of risk of things going wrong and it is important to remember this. Bleeding and infection are very rare, but scarring can occur after the operation, although these scars are usually very small and will be covered by a bra. However, be aware that in smokers the scars can widen.
Finally there is a risk of loss of feeling in the nipples and breasts after the surgery due to the closeness to nerve endings.
What Does Breast Lift/boob lift Surgery Involve?
The surgeon will measure and examine your breasts and discuss what sort of procedures would be good for you. He or she will also discuss what sort of size and shape you are looking for and advise you on how possible it is.
The surgeon should explain all the risks and the cost to you beforehand, and it is important you understand clearly what will happen before agreeing to anything. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions. Remember, it’s your body!
Depending on your age and family history, you may be required to have a breast scan to make sure it is safe to operate. You will be given strict instructions about diet and smoking and so on to make sure your body is ready and prepared for the surgery it is about to go through.
It is also advisable you have someone to drive you home after the surgery, and who can be around you for a few days after to see if you’re recovering well.
It is not uncommon to lose breast volume in the upper part of the breast subsequent to childbearing and breastfeeding. Furthermore with age, the breast and the nipple tend to gravitate to a lower level on the chest wall, resulting in what is referred to as “breast ptosis”. Many ladies wishing to have a breast lift want a augmented perked breast. In order to achieve a perfect cosmetic result after breast augmentation, it is of paramount importance that the nipple position is also raised on the chest wall, so that the nipple is sitting at an ideal height (at the level of the infra-mammary crease or at the level of the junction of the upper two-thirds and lower one-third of the arm). Breast implants, chosen appropriately, will raise the nipple and the breast to the desired position in most cases, but at times it is not possible to achieve without performing a mastopexy. Mastopexy is traditionally done with either wise pattern or vertical pattern technique (which involves further scarring). To avoid additional scarring, a novel technique of intrinsic mastopexy is possible in certain ladies who only have pseudo-ptosis. This technique is extremely valuable when the breast has lost all the volume from the upper pole and the nipple position has dropped 3 or more centimetres from its ideal position. There is no additional scarring and the procedure is performed through the same incision as for breast augmentation (5-6cm incision under the breast).
Mastopexy/breast lift After Care
After the surgery is complete you will need to wear a surgical bra or elastic gauze bandage to protect your healing chest. Although it will be quite tender for a few days, you shouldn’t experience any major pain. Your surgeon will give you some medication to help deal with it.
In a few days time you will be able to replace the surgical bra with a soft support bra covering some gauze bandage which you will need to wear 24/7 for around 3 or 4 weeks. The stitches can be removed after about 14 days.
Beware of tugging at your skin when applying moisturiser for dryness or moving too sharply as the skin will still be very soft and tender. You should also be prepared to take at least a week off work.
There will be some numbness or lack of sensation in your breasts or nipples, but this should calm down after the swelling goes; however, some people report loss of feeling for up to a year after surgery and others have it permanently. It is important to report any changes to your doctor and if you have any unusual sensations or side effects, call immediately.
Heavy lifting should be avoided for around a month, and sex should be avoided for around a week or two. When resuming your usual activities its important to start slowly and work up gradually back to normal.
If you become pregnant after your operation, breastfeeding shouldn’t be an issue as your nipples and milk ducts will be left untouched.
Whilst it is important to realise there will be scarring, this usually fades to thin white lines that are very unnoticeable, and a good surgeon will place them so they are discreet and easily concealed under your breast and bra.
Whilst implants will make the effects of your mastopexy last longer, nothing is permanent and age and gravity will inevitably take its toll.