Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
Loss of breast elasticity due to pregnancy and breastfeeding, rises or falls in breast volume, gravity, the habit of lying on the breast are among the reasons which cause the breasts to loosen and sag, thereby losing their shape over the years. Breast lift is a surgery that ensures the correction of sagging problems in breasts and re-shaping of the breasts. As necessary, the nipple may also be downsized during breast lift surgery.
A moderate degree of breast sagging is at stake if the nipple is at the level of inframammary fold. A significant degree of breast sagging is at stake if the nipple is below the level of inframammary fold.
Very mild breast sagging problems can be corrected using breast prosthesis. However, breast lift is necessary for moderate and significant breast sagging problems.
If the sagging breasts are also low in volume, it is possible to provide volume support using a breast prosthesis in combination with breast lift.
Breast lift is a very safe surgical procedure. Very rarely, minor problems may occur in women who smoke. Smoking may also negatively affect the healing of surgical scar.
Where are the surgical scars left and how do they look?
Following the breast lift surgery, line-like scars remain under the bra or briefs. These scars can be in the shape of an “I”, a small perpendicular line under the nipple while they can also extend to the inframammary fold in very sagging breasts and be in the shape of “J”, “L” or an inverted “T” depending on the degree of sagging. Since the nipple is also displaced upwards, a surrounding scar would be formed. However, these scars generally become effaced in 3-6 months. Very rarely, in cases that we describe as hypertrophic scar that emanate from the patient's tissue characteristics, the wound healing may become disorderly with reddish, raised scars growing, as well. There may need to be treated separately.
What is the procedure to perform a breast lift surgery?
Mastopexy surgery is performed under general anesthesia. Depending on the degree of sagging and the relevant need for the use of prosthesis, it may take 2-4 hours. The surgical procedures can be summed up as follows: removal of the excessive skin that causes sagging, lifting the mammary gland and nipple upwards, collecting the remaining skin under the nipple and suturing them as appropriate and placing a prosthesis under the mammary gland if required.
In some selected cases where the breast sagging is mild, a circumferential, round-shaped skin segment can be removed from the areola, then the remaining tissue can be sutured back to the areola to cover the area all around it a technique that is termed “concentric” mastopexy.
What does the post-operative healing period look like?
After surgery, support is provided around the breast with a circumferential dressing. The patient is mobilized and discharged on the following day. There may be slight bruising and pain in breasts. They are relieved by medicines and ice packs. The drains placed on the outer ends of both breasts are kept in for about 2-4 days. After the drains are removed, the patient is made to wear a medical bra and allowed to take a shower. Since intradermal suturing is placed using absorbable sutures, it is not required to remove sutures following surgery.
It is very important in terms of wound healing that the patient does not smoke for at least 2 weeks following surgery. Rigorous exercise and weight-lifting should be avoided for approximately 2-3 weeks.
What if I have a baby?
Since the mammary gland is not removed during mastopexy, breastfeeding after pregnancy is not impaired by this procedure. However, the possibility that a breast that underwent mastopexy may be subjected to deformation once again during another pregnancy should be kept in mind. If there are cracks on the breasts that occurred in the past, they are not completely corrected with mastopexy.