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Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

Mastopexy or breast lift surgery is an elective surgical procedure to lessen the degree of breast ptosis (drooping breasts). Drooping breasts are common in women who have been pregnant, have breast fed, or have gone through substantial weight loss. In any case the desired outcome is a perkier & more full looking breast.


Several degrees of ptosis dictate the type of surgery required. A full breast lift involves an incision underneath the breast, incisions around the areola, and an incision between the areola and the base of the breast. The approach allows for the most amount of change in the shape of the breast as well as the position of the nipple. A patient with a lesser degree of ptosis can benefit from a less invasive procedure referred to as a modified breast lift. This technique only makes an incision around the areola. This procedure allows for less change to be made in the shape of the breasts but reduces scarring.

A breast lift is not considered to be a permanent solution. Aging breast tissue and the effects of gravity will continue to take their toll. Some opt for a ‘touch up’ down the road to improve the overall look. In this case, a full procedure is not required and recovery is considerably shorter.

Post surgery, it is sometimes recommended to wear a push-up bra or special supportive dressing to keep everything in place. Initial recovery is achieved in approximately a week and during this period it is important to limit activity. Four to six weeks following the procedure regular activities including light exercise can be resumed.

Breast Lift FAQs

What Age

Q: At what age is mastopexy is usually performed?

A: Mastopexy can be performed at any age after full development of the breasts. It is advisable to postpone a breast lift until after you have finished bearing children. Having children after mastopexy may stretch the skin and create the need for additional surgeries.

Results After Breast Lift

Q: What results can I expect?

A: Every woman's breasts are different, therefore every breast lift operation brings different outcomes. In general, mastopexy gives women more youthful and perkier breasts that sit higher on the chest. While your breasts may not appear perfect, they will appear less droopy and deflated.

Long Lasting Results

Q: How long with the benefits of a breast lift last?

A: The youthful appearance and upright position will last a long time. Nonetheless, aging breast tissue will not maintain the shape that the mastopexy initially brought. A breast lift can diminish the effects of aging, but gravity can eventually cause ptosis to return.

Fuller Looking Breasts

Q: Will a breast lift make my breasts look rounder and fuller?

A: Breast lift surgery does not significantly change the size of the breast. If you want fuller looking breasts but have a high degree of ptosis, you might consider a breast augmentation in conjunction with a mastopexy.

Tighten Skin With Exercise

Q: Can exercise tighten the skin of the breast?

A: Unfortunately no. Exercise is good for the body in general, and greater muscle tone can help fill out loose skin in the vicinity. However, exercise increases bulk and cannot actually tighten the breast skin.

Stretch Marks

Q: Does a mastopexy take care of stretch marks?

A: Stretch marks are essentially scars produced by distension of the skin. Some stretch marks will be removed along with the extra skin, mainly at the lower and center parts of the breast. The stretch marks that remain may be tightened and smoothed somewhat.

Nipple Sensation

Q: I have heard that loss of sensation of the nipple is a major problem, is this true?

A: Loss of feeling is a possibility because virtually every mastopexy involves cutting around the nipple to move it to a higher location. Nerves will grow back slowly. If full feeling has not returned within two years, chances are it will not return to pre surgery receptivity.

Recovery Period

Q: What is the recovery period like following mastopexy?

A: As always, recovery time depends on the individual, but usually follows a regular pattern. During the first week, patients take pain medication, and generally minimize activity. After initial recovery, light exercise should be resumed. Impact exercises such as running and aerobics can be resumed after three weeks. At this point most are able to resume their daily routine with minimal or no discomfort.

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