Pregnancy or weight loss can cause the breast to drop on the chest wall and leave the nipple pointing toward the floor rather than the horizon. Breast lift or mastopexy repositions the nipple, shifting the breast tissue in a vertical direction. The excess skin is removed in the process. Mastopexy has limited ability to produce fullness in the upper part of the breast; if that is the desired outcome then an implant must be added.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the risks?
As with all surgery, bleeding (hematoma), infection and healing problems are possible. Small dimples or puckers along the scars can occur and usually can be corrected by a small procedure under local anaesthetic at a later time.
What about recovery?
There are bandages for about 1 week and bruising for approximately 2 weeks. There is moderate pain with this procedure which by 2 weeks has subsided to allow normal activities. The swelling goes down over a month or so and as it does the breast will loosen and drop slightly.
Will I lose sensation to the nipple?
There is always some numbness initially but a permanent loss of sensation only occurs in about 15% of cases.
What about scars?
Scars are the trade off in this procedure. There is always a scar around the circumference of the nipple, usually from the nipple vertically down to the breast fold and often horizontally in the breast fold. The scars have the pattern of a donut, a lollipop, or an anchor depending on how much skin is to be removed and how much the nipple needs to shift. The scars fade with time but they are permanent.
How is the procedure done?
This operation is a day surgery procedure performed in an accredited, non hospital surgical facility. Prior to surgery the breast is measured and marked for the new nipple height and for how much skin is to be removed. Breast tissue from below the nipple is shifted to a higher level, the excess skin is removed, the nipple is relocated and the breast tissue and skin is tightened.