- 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.
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 Augmentation and ImplantsBreast 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.
Plastic Surgery PicsThinking about getting plastic surgery? Check out before and after pictures of popular plastic surgery procedures, including: liposuction, tummy tuck, breast implants, rhinoplasty (nose job), neck lift, and more.
FaceliftA face lift is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of excess facial skin to promote a more youthful appearance. Potential complications of the procedure include
- asymmetry, and
- loss of muscle function or sensation.
propofolPropofol is an intravenous anesthetic drug used for general anesthesia and sedation during surgical procedures. Common side effects of propofol include injection site burning, stinging or pain; low blood pressure (hypotension), reduced cardiac output, elevated blood pressure (hypertension), pause in breathing (apnea), lung impairment (respiratory acidosis), impaired movement, high level of emulsified fats in the blood (hyperlipidemia), and high triglyceride level in blood (hypertriglyceridemia). Abuse of propofol can cause death and other injuries.
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.
succinylcholineSuccinylcholine is a skeletal muscle relaxant used for medical procedures done under general anesthesia, including tracheal intubation, mechanical ventilation, and surgeries. Common side effects of succinylcholine include postoperative muscle pain, jaw rigidity, muscle twitch (fasciculation), respiratory depression, cessation of breathing (apnea), low or high blood pressure (hypotension or hypertension), irregular heart rhythms (cardiac arrhythmias), slow or rapid heartbeat (bradycardia or tachycardia), cardiac arrest, increase in intraocular pressure (IOP), high blood potassium levels (hyperkalemia), severe life-threatening drug reaction with excessively high temperature (malignant hyperthermia), salivary gland enlargement, excessive salivation, rash, hypersensitivity reactions, and others.