Breast Lift (Mastopexy) FAQ
Frequently asked questions about breast lift (mastopexy)?
What is a breast lift (mastopexy)?
Breast lift (mastopexy) is a surgical procedure that lifts the breast and also changes the shape of the breast mound to more approximate the youthful appearance. Breast lift (mastopexy) is achieved by removing excess breast tissue and elevating the internal architecture of the breast. The skin and the gland are elevated with the breast lift. The techniques for breast lift (mastopexy) have advanced with time, and the newest breast lift techniques have resulted in improvement of long term outcomes.
What are the indications for breast lift (mastopexy)?
The primary indication for breast lift is excessive sagging of the breast. Secondary indications include breast asymmetry and misshapen (bad shaped) breasts. Excessive weight of the breast and the aging process can result in excessive breast sagging. Breast sagging affects how some clothing fits and can harm self confidence. Large breasts frequently have sagging (ptosis) and this can corrected with the breast lift (mastopexy). When a significant difference in the size of the breasts is present (asymmetry), this can be improved with a breast lift (mastopexy) so that the breasts are more similar. A breast lift (mastopexy) can be considered an elective procedure, which means it is not medically necessary. A breast lift (mastopexy) can also be considered medically necessary if the sagging causes physical problems.
Does the breast lift (mastopexy) last forever?
Yes and No. The breast lift (mastopexy) is long-lasting in the sense that the breast will (almost) always be better than they would have been without the surgery. Breast lift (mastopexy) does not prevent the natural aging process. After any surgery, including a breast lift (mastopexy), the aging process progresses. Because the aging process continues, if the breast sagging (ptosis) increases over the years, a patient may decide to get another breast lift (mastopexy revision) many years after the original surgery.
What is the process for getting a breast lift (mastopexy)?
Before getting a breast lift (mastopexy), a personal consultation is completed. During the consultation, printed material is available and all questions are answered by our Plastic surgeon, Dr. Herring.
After the decision to get surgery is made by the patient, a date is then scheduled. Before the breast lift (mastopexy), an appointment is made before the surgery to complete the pre-operative preparation.
What anesthesia is used for breast lift (mastopexy)?
There are two different types of anesthesia that are routinely used of for breast lift mastopexy) surgery. A breast lift (mastopexy) can be performed using intravenous sedation which is administered by an anesthesia professional. Local anesthesia can be used in addition to the intravenous sedation. The local anesthesia also helps with post-operative discomfort.
General anesthesia is another technique sometimes used for breast lift. While this is an acceptable anesthesia technique for breast lift (mastopexy), many surgeons prefer to use intravenous sedation and local anesthesia.
The type of anesthesia used is dictated by the patients individual situation , and somewhat dictated by the patients preference.
How is breast lift (mastopexy) different from breast reduction (reduction mammaplasty)?
The breast lift (mastopexy) and the breast reduction (reduction mammaplasty) are very similar procedures. In the breast lift, the native breast tissue is preserved as much as possible, and the primary goal is lifting the breast. In the breast reduction (reduction mammaplasty), the primary goal is to reduce the size of the breast. The breast is also lifted with the breast reduction after excess tissue is removed. In the breast lift (mastopexy) a small amount of tissue is removed, and in the breast reduction a larger amount of tissue is removed.
What incision design is used for breast lift (mastopexy)?
The incision design used for breast lift (mastopexy) varies depending on the specific situation of each patient. Many different incision designs for breast lift (mastopexy) have been described. The “lollypop” design is an incision around the nipple areolar complex and a vertical incision under that incision. Another common incision used is the “anchor” incision which has an additional horizontal incision in addition to the “lollypop” design. The incision design options will be discussed by Dr. Herring at the time of the consultation.
Can breast lift (mastopexy) be done at the same time as other procedures?
Yes. Breast lift is commonly combined with other procedures. For example, the breast lift can be done at the same time as a tummy tuck (abdminoplasty) in most patients if indicated and desired. Many patients will choose to have additional procedures at the time they get a breast lift.
What is the recovery period for breast lift (mastopexy)?
Most patients can go back to work in one or two days after breast lift as long as heavy physical activity is not required. In about 3 weeks most patients can return to full activity.
Is the breast lift (mastopexy) procedure painful in the recovery period?
Most breast lift (mastopexy) patients have very little discomfort after surgery and take prescription pain medicine for several days. The minimal discomfort from breast lift (mastopexy) usually allows daily living activities immediately after surgery.
Can I get a mammogram after a breast lift (mastopexy)?
Yes. You should ask your Primary care physicians (Family Practice, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Internal Medicine) about mammograms. It is usually safe to get a mammogram about 3 or 4 months after a breast lift (mastopexy).
Is a mammogram indicated before my breast lift (mastopexy)?
In general, the primary care providers recommends and order mammograms. If that provider feels that you should have a mammogram before surgery then it should considered.
What is the best age to get a breast lift (mastopexy)?
There is no specific age to get a breast lift (mastopexy). The amount of sagging and goals of the patient are the most important factors in choosing to get a breast lift (mastopexy).