Breast tissue is held in position by breast skin. When the breast skin stretches and the volume of breast tissue and fat in the breast decreases, the result is saggy breasts and a less youthful appearance.
A breast lift can correct breast droop (ptosis) and raise the position of the nipple/areola. Surgeons can also reduce the size of the areola during the procedure. Breast size and your skin quality are determining factors in breast appearance following surgery. It is important for patients to discuss their expectations for the surgery with the surgeon.
Breast skin that has good tone will hold the breast in a better position. When the skin is stretched, some drooping will likely occur even with surgery. The greater the droop, the more skin will need to be removed, which means longer incisions and scars. Scars usually soften and fade within six to 12 months. Because scars are permanent and their appearance can be difficult to predict, scarring is an important consideration for many women. Potential candidates will have to decide if they are willing to trade breast droop for some degree of scarring. Breast-feeding is usually possible with a breast lift since the nipple is not separated from the milk glands.
For those who wish to increase breast size in addition to improve breast position, shape and size, a breast lift can be combined with augmentation.
The surgeon will measure the distance between the clavicle (collarbone) and nipples prior to surgery to determine the best surgical approach. Depending upon the degree of droop, skin may be removed around and below the nipple, and if droop is significant, skin may also be removed along the inframammary crease below the breast. The amount of droop helps surgeons determine which surgical technique should be used. The technique chosen determines the location of incisions and resulting scars. In some cases only an incision around the areola may be needed. In other cases it is necessary to use a vertical incision from the areola to the breast crease and another along the inframammary crease. Patients may have up to three incisions.
Risks associated with mastopexy include, but are not limited to:
Breast lifts are performed by specialists in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.