Breast Lift (Mastopexy) Surgery

Dr. Hootan Daneshmand.

A mastopexy, also called breast lift, procedure is performed to elevate the nipple and reshape a sagging breast to give a more youthful appearance. Occasionally, a breast augmentation using breast implants can be combined with a breast lift in order to achieve an optimum shape and contour. Whether you have always wanted perkier breasts, or are looking to correct the effects of time and breastfeeding, a breast lift can help you achieve the shape you desire.

Am I a good candidate for a breast lift?

There are many types of breast lifting procedures. Which procedure is best for you depends upon your breast exam and your goals. A consultation with Dr. Daneshmand at the Silhouette Plastic Surgery Institute including a thorough exam and discussion regarding your desires will best determine the benefits of a mastopexy for you. Breast lifting can be done by itself, or along with breast augmentation or breast reduction depending upon your needs.

Should I consider breast implants with a lift?

Childbirth and the effects of gravity with age can cause breasts to sag and lose breast volume. While a breast lift can treat the sagginess by restoring your nipples to their former location and elevating the breast tissue, it does not restore breast volume. Actually, once your breasts are lifted, they will feel and look smaller to you than before they were lifted, even though no breast tissue other than skin is removed. Because of this, many women opt to have breast implants placed in conjunction with a lift to maintain or restore volume. Implants can also help achieve some upper breast fullness that would otherwise not be possible in a lift alone. This helps you regain the shape and contour you once had. With this understanding; however, an implant is certainly not mandatory for anyone when considering a lifting procedure. The decision is up to you.

Can I have silicone gel implants? What are the advantages?

Yes, you can have silicone implants placed when having a breast lift procedure. Silicone gel implants feel softer and more like breast tissue. It is also much less likely that the implant will be palpable because of this. Currently, silicone gel implants are available for use under a FDA protocol in certain cases. One of these is the need for a breast lifting procedure. Dr Daneshmand is an investigator under this protocol.

Are silicone gel implants safe?

Yes. Despite the concerns voiced about silicone breast implants over the past decade, there is no convincing evidence that silicone implants cause disease. There is no conclusive scientific data that silicone gel implants cause cancer, autoimmune disease, or connective tissue disorders. Silicone is everywhere both in the environment and in medical devices, instruments, and prosthetics.

What scarring will I have from a lift?

There are many types of breast lift procedures and the degree of scarring depends upon the procedure that will work best for you. The amount of nipple elevation necessary and the shape of the breast play a large role in determining which lift is most appropriate. Some procedures involve only a scar around the areola, while others require and additional vertical scar below the areola towards the fold. For extremely saggy breasts, a horizontal scar in the crease below the breast helps achieve the best contour without any loose skin. Most women are extremely happy to have a lifted, perky breast contour at the expense of some scarring.

Am I a candidate for a short-scar breast lift?

That depends upon your breast exam, measurements, and desires. A consultation with Dr. Daneshmand is the best way to figure out if a short-scar lift is feasible for you.

Will a mastopexy affect my nipple sensation?

It is unlikely, but there is a small chance that breast lifting surgery may reduce nipple sensation. Care is taken during surgery to avoid injury to the nerves that provide sensation to the nipple. Nonetheless, especially in more extreme lifts, patients may experience decreased sensation.

Will smoking affect my recovery?

Smoking adversely affects wound healing. The small vessels that supply blood to the tissues shrink up and prevent the necessary nutrients for healing to get to the wound. The incidence of having a wound complication such as an open wound or skin death is much higher in smokers. Furthermore, the rate of wound infection is also significantly increased in smokers for the same reason of limited blood flow. Because of this, a patient must stop smoking for a minimum of four weeks prior to surgery to decrease the risk of these complications. In addition, smoking is prohibited for one month after surgery as poor wound healing may result during this time.

Where is the surgery performed?

Mastopexy surgery is performed at accredited outpatient surgery centers, which provide the safest surgical environment with very low infection rates. Board-certified anesthesiologists with hospital privileges provide anesthetic care.

What kind of anesthesia is used?

General anesthesia is used to achieve sedation and pain control during a mastopexy. You will be asleep during the surgery and awaken comfortably in the recovery room. General anesthesia and IV sedation are extremely safe in healthy patients undergoing cosmetic surgery.

What is the recovery period?

After a mastopexy, you may go home to recover comfortably in your own bed. You will be walking the day of surgery with some discomfort and tightness in your chest. A supportive bra will be the most comfortable postoperative garment while you are healing. Generally people are off of pain medication after a few days and back to work within a week. At 4 weeks, low-impact exercise is permissible followed by unrestricted activity after 6-8 weeks.

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