- Breast Conditions
- Breast Lift Procedure
What is breast mastopexy (breast lift)?
More than 100,000 mastopexies were performed in the United States in 2018, according to a report published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Generally, mastopexy is less painful than other cosmetic breast procedures and requires minimal follow-up care.
How do surgeons decide how to approach mastopexy?
Sagging of the female breast is medically referred to as ptosis of the breast. Cosmetic surgeons classify sagging breasts according to the grades listed below. This helps guide potential mastopexy options:
- Grade 1: In mild ptosis, the nipple lies just below the natural boundary of the breast (inframammary fold) but still above the lower portion of the breasts
- Grade 2: With moderate ptosis, the nipple goes further below the inframammary fold but with some lower portion of breasts present below the nipple
- Grade 3: With severe ptosis, nipple goes well below the inframammary fold, and no lower portion mass present
- Pseudoptosis: The sagging of the lower portion of the breast with the nipple at or above the inframammary fold.
Who should not undergo mastopexy?
- If you are planning for pregnancy, you should not undergo this surgery because breastfeeding might alter the breast structure
- If you had recurrent breast cancer, mastopexy might hinder detection or treatment of cancer
- If you are obese or have diabetes
- If you are addicted to smoking
- If you have contracted implants after breast augmentation
How to prepare for breast mastopexy
- If you fulfill all the criteria mentioned above, and if you wish to proceed with the surgery, discuss your goals and expectations with the surgeon.
- You will have to detail your medical and medication history and any related history.
- You may undergo a mammogram before the surgery if you are 35 or older.
- Your surgeon will discuss with you the possible risks and benefits of the procedure.
- Your surgeon will discuss the postoperative scars and changes in the sensation of the nipples.
- Your surgeon will ask for photographs that might help the surgeon to detect any asymmetries before the commencement of surgery.
What happens during the breast mastopexy procedure?
- Mastopexy can be performed in an outpatient setting based upon your surgeon’s choice.
- Your surgeon might give local or general anesthesia to make you numb or unconscious throughout the procedure.
- You will lie flat on the operating table with arms extended.
- Depending on the type of surgery, an incision is made, which can be
- an egg-shape around the nipple,
- a vertical incision, or a
- The nipple is detached and fixed at a higher site with a suture that keeps it intact.
How painful is a breast mastopexy?
- Wound care is minimal; you will be asked to wear a surgical bra for a few days
- Opioid pain medications may control postoperative pain
- You should limit your activities for up to six weeks
- Within two to three weeks, your stitches will be removed
- Generally, mastopexy is less painful than other cosmetic breast procedures and requires minimal follow-up care
- If you experience any of these side effects, immediately contact the physician:
- Asymmetry of nipples
- Sensation changes of nipples
- Fluid built-up at the site of incision
Advancement in mastopexy techniques will continue to improve recovery times and complications rates.
Latest Women's Health News
Daily Health News
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top Is Mastopexy a Major Surgery Related Articles
Breast AnatomyThe breast, or mammary gland is made up of lobules, milk producing glands, and a system of ducts to transport milk. Both males and females have breasts. Abnormal enlargement of breasts in men is referred to as gynecomastia. In women, during pregnancy the breasts grow larger and produce milk. Common medical conditions that affect the breasts include breast cancer, breast lumps, fibrocystic changes and cysts, mastitis, and benign tumors (fibroadenomas).
Breast Anatomy PictureThe breast refers to the front of the chest or, more specifically, to the mammary gland. See a picture of Breast Anatomy and learn more about the health topic.
Breast AugmentationBreast augmentation refers to the surgical implantation of a silicone or saline implant to give the breast a fuller appearance. Potential complications of the procedure include
- asymmetry, and
- hardening of the breast.
Breast ReconstructionAfter a mastectomy, breast reconstruction is performed to replace the skin, breast tissue, and the nipple. A patient's goals, medical conditions, cancer treatment, and previous surgery affect the type and timing of the reconstructive surgery.
Breast Reconstruction Without ImplantsIf a woman doesn't want to have breast implants after a mastectomy, she may have her breast(s) reconstructed with her own body tissue. This is commonly known as a flap procedure. There are two methods of flap procedures: tunneling and free-flap. Side effects include pain, itching, numbness or tingling, and fluid collection under the wound.
Breast ReductionThis surgical procedure involves the removal of excess fat, skin, and tissue to reduce the size of the breasts. Complications and side effects of the procedure include breast pain, tiredness, scarring, and inadequate healing of the nipple area, which may require a skin graft. Serious potential side effects include fever, unusual discharge from the incision site, and sutures coming out before they are due to be removed.
Cosmetic Surgery PicsThinking about getting plastic surgery? Check out before and after pictures of popular cosmetic surgery procedures, including: liposuction, tummy tuck, breast implants, rhinoplasty (nose job), neck lift, and more.
Non-Surgical Face LiftsSee before and after photos of the latest in nonsurgical cosmetic procedures for the face such as Botox, laser and peel treatments. Learn to look younger and slow the aging process without surgery.
Plastic Surgery (Cosmetic Surgery)Cosmetic surgery and procedures include interventions to improve one's appearance and fight the effects of aging on the outside. Breast augmentation, eyelid surgery, and liposuction are examples of cosmetic surgical procedures. Botox injections, laser hair removal, and laser skin resurfacing are examples of cosmetic nonsurgical procedures.
Is a Muscle Cut Necessary During a Submuscular Breast Augmentation?Submuscular breast augmentation surgery involves changing the shape of the breasts and enlarging them by placing an implant below the breast muscles. The muscles are spread apart to accommodate the implant, but the surgeon does not cut through them. This preserves the insertion of the breast muscles at the sternum.