Breast Lift Surgery (Mastopexy)
Those interested in restoring ptotic (saggy) breasts to a perky state should consider a mastopexy (breast lift). As long as the volume of the breast tissue is adequate, this procedure is a possibility. If the tissue is inadequate, a combination of augmentation and mastopexy would be required.
What Is a Breast Lift Procedure Like?
Breast lift possibilities include a crescent mastopexy, doughnut, vertical breast lift and inverted-T. Simply put, the more significant the ptosis yields a more aggressive approach.
A common concern with breast lifts involves the associated scars. The more advanced the procedure, the more visible the scar. We often find that patients take great pride in their new breasts, thereby diminishing their initial concerns over possible scars.
Postoperatively, patients are managed in a similar fashion to breast reduction and augmentation patients. If stitches are needed, which they rarely are, they are normally removed about 10 days or so following the procedure. A combination of sutures and Dermabond glue is placed over the incisions to keep the wound safe and clean. At three or four weeks, patients can return to their normal lifestyle barring complications.
Redness may take up to 18 months to resolve in the incisions. At this point, the incisions (which will always remain present) are tolerable.
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What are the Possible Complications of Breast Lift Surgery?
Hematoma - If this occurs, cauterizing the bleeder serves as the fix during surgical evacuation.
Fat Necrosis/Fatty Fibrosis - Tissue that fails to receive adequate blood supply becomes hard, tender and bothersome to the patient. Removal and revision would be delayed several months postoperatively. This may leave the breast smaller than the other and require further change.
Infection - A small stitch abscess, the most common infection, must be removed once discovered. In addition, infected implants will be removed.
Nipple/Skin Slough - We typically see this at the confluence of traps, where the most tension exists. Skin slough can normally be debrided and cleaned without further issues. More serious examples involve surgery to close the wound or remove the scar. If the nipple becomes necrotic, we excise the tissue, manage and close the wound, revise the scar and recreate the nipple.
Nipple Malposition - The most common issue with this is called the “high-riding nipple.” The odds of dealing with nipple malposition increases the larger the breast. Because it reoccurs over the life of the patient, we must go back and correct this at a later date.
Scarring - It is impossible to reposition the nipple and tighten the breast envelope without incisions. Most scars soften over time and obtain a color consistent with the surrounding skin. Treatment options include steroid injection, vitamin E oil massage or application of silicone sheeting.
Nipple Sensory Loss/Alteration - While most sensation returns over time, some patients experience permanent loss of nipple sensation. Tightening the breast envelope, repositioning the nipple, revising the scars or adjusting the implant placement are all solutions.
Breast Lift Before & After Photos?
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Related Procedures for a Breast Lift Include: