Breast uplift or mastopexy improves the appearance of drooping breasts by raising the nipples and pigmented area around them (the areola) to a higher level and then reshaping the breasts and tightening the skin. This makes the breasts look better in clothing of all types or even if a woman chooses to go braless. The nipples will be in a normal position on the breast, centered on the breast mound, rather than at the bottom of the breast or pointing downward. Excess skin folds seen in the cleavage area are gone, so the breasts look better in low-cut clothes such as bathing suits, sundresses, and evening gowns. Breasts that looked “tired” can be made to look “perky”!
How is the nipple moved?
The new position is determined by careful measurements before surgery. The nipple and areola are left attached to the deeper portion of the breast tissue so that most of the breast ducts, blood supply, and sensation can be preserved. Think of it like unbuttoning a button on your blouse, leaving it attached to one side, and moving it up to a new buttonhole. This is the same way that the nipple and areola are left attached to the deeper portion of the breast tissue and brought higher through a new “buttonhole.” The remaining extra skin is removed underneath and the breast sutured back together in its new, tighter shape.
Where are the incisions?
Any breast uplift has an incision around the areola, which is the new buttonhole. With this, there is usually a vertical incision from the areola down to the fold. Sometimes an incision along the fold is necessary as well to give the best contour. The length of these incisions is determined by the amount of breast droop and the amount of skin that must be removed to restore an attractive breast shape.
How do the incisions look?
The incisions from breast uplift usually fade quite well by one year and even more by two years. The type of scars a woman gets is determined by many factors, including healing, genetics, suture technique, and tension on the incisions. Most women view uplift scars as an acceptable trade-off for changing drooping breasts into breasts that have a more youthful position and contour.
What happens after surgery?
Sutures are placed on the inside and are absorbable so there are no sutures to remove. Drain tubes are not used. The dressings are removed the next day and you may begin showering. A loose protective bra is normally worn for two weeks.
Since the breast uplift procedure does not involve the muscles of the chest wall, pain is mild. Most women can return to light activities such as a desk job within three days, and to full athletics without restriction by two weeks. There is mild bruising and swelling that may last between two and four weeks.
What are the risks of breast uplift?
Some of the risks include infection, bleeding, asymmetry, scarring, and altered sensation. Detailed information is provided during the consultation.
Will sensation or nursing be affected?
While most women have about the same sensation afterward as before, there is a risk that breast and/or nipple sensation could be decreased or changed. Since most ducts are left attached, many women successfully nurse following breast uplift.
Can enlargement be done at the same time as an uplift?
When breasts are smaller than desired and also droop, it is logical to combine a breast uplift with breast augmentation. Though the combined operation takes longer, the recovery is very similar to breast augmentation alone. This combined procedure is the best way to enlarge breasts that are drooping so they have an attractive contour. Just doing an augmentation of drooping breasts usually results in an unsatisfactory shape at the folds or in the upper breast areas. For more information on Breast Augmentation, click here.