What does mastopexy means?

Mastopexy is a surgical intervention during which the esthetician doctor will lift and strengthen the breasts, redistribute the tissues and remove the skin excess, without modifying the breasts volume.

During this operation, if the patient wants this thing, the surgeon can also reduce the size of the mammary areola or can reposition the areola and the nipple.

This operation is an elective one and can be made with or without placing a breast implant.

mastopexy: before and after pictures

When is the mastopexy needed?

A women’s breasts suffer modifications during time. These can lose natural shape and firmness. All these changes and elasticity loss can be caused by factors like:

  • Pregnancy
  • Breast feeding periods
  • Weight fluctuations
  • Aging process that weakens the skin
  • Some hereditary causes

The mammary areola also suffers modifications during the lifetime of a woman, enlarging once with time passing. During this operation, the esthetician can also solve this problem. Plus, mastopexy can rejuvenate the physic aspect, because it offers the breasts an improved projection.

Mammary ptosis – sagging breasts

Mammary ptosis, or sagging breasts, appears when the tegumentary coating of the breasts is bigger than the mammary gland’s volume. The phenomenon appears when the skin loses its elasticity and when the suspensory ligaments of the mammary gland are not properly working anymore.

There are three degree of ptosis depending on the position of the areola comparing to the inframammary crease and sternum:

  • Minor mammary ptosis: – the areola is placed right at the level of the inframammary crease;
  • Moderate ptosis – areola dropped with 1-2cm bellow the inframammary fold
  • Severe ptosis – the areola already dropped with 2-3cm under the infra-mammary fold and rotated towards the base of the breast.

Breast lifting can also be made without breast implants, but, for this intervention to be possible, there has to be enough remaining tissue for the breast to be remodeled.

Likewise, bigger breasts can be remodeled by lifting, without volume reduction. But, because of the heaviness, they will drop again in time, and the results won’t be so durable as in the case of medium size breasts.

Mastopexy can be of two types:

  • Bilateral mastopexy – both breast intervention
  • Unilateral mastopexy – one breast intervention in case of asymmetry

Attention! Mastopexy is the breast lifting intervention. If it is not made with breast implant, this type of operation will not offer you bigger breasts.

How much does the mastopexy operation cost?

The price of such intervention starts from approximately 7000 lei, but depending on the patient’s needs and requirements, it can exceed 18000 lei.

Who can benefit from the mastopexy operation?

Usually, women call on this type of operation after an instant and dramatic weight loss, after giving birth or after menopause installing.

The conditions that women have to grant before the mastopexy operation:

  • Must have minimum 18 years
  • Must be in a good health condition
  • Has to be non-smoker or quit smoking before and after the operation
  • Has to have a proper medical history of the mammary glandular tissue structure
  • Having a stable weight
  • The patient’s skin lost the capacity of contracting enough sufficiently to naturally reduce the felt breasts effect
  • The patient’s is not planning a pregnancy in the following future
  • The patient is not pregnant
  • The patient in not breastfeeding
  • The patient is the one who wants the modification / improving the physical aspect
  • The patient has realistic expectations
  • Patient does not present the risk of forming keloid scars
  • Patient has a good skin tonus

If you decide to call on a breast lift intervention, the chosen doctor has to be updated with all your medical record, inclusively of the surgical one, and, if it’s the case, with the present administered treatments. Afterwards, he has to know if you had breast biopsy, if you suffer form chronic diseases and if you have allergies to certain drugs.

Mastopexy: Planning the operation

During the consultation, the chosen surgeon will first ask you why do you want to have this intervention, if you plan on having a pregnancy in the following period and he will ask you to report him all your medical history.

Also during the initial consultation, the doctor will explain the risks of such intervention, how the recovery period unfolds and how your expectations should be.

The esthetician can shortly relate how such surgical intervention unfolds, he will explain you the technique that he will use in your case and he will talk about the post-surgical scars that you will have.

La sfârșit își va arăta și poze înainte și după cu paciente de-ale lui care au trecut printr-o astfel de intervenție.

It is recommended you make a list with questions. And remember that when it comes to your health no question is stupid. The doctor’s role, during the consultation, is to explain everything detailed, so that you have to be aware of the smallest details, so you can be aware of all benefits, but also the risks. Plus, there can be myths about certain surgical interventions, that the doctor can easily break them.

Mastopexy: Pre-operatory preparation

It is very important that the patient should avoid smoking and alcoholic drinks with two weeks, at least, before the operation. Some vitamins – for example vitamin E, aspirin and its derivatives, ibuprofen, spirulina or ginko biloba also have to be avoided, because they can increase the risk of hemorrhage during surgical interventions, but also post-operatory.

The doctor will give you a list of medical analyzes, which have to be made before the operation. These also include a mammography.

Because such type of intervention involves general anesthesia, with at least 6 hours before the operation the patient mustn’t eat or drink at all.

It is recommended to talk with someone to drive you home after discharge.

Mastopexy: types of interventions

There are many types of mastopexy, which classification depends on the degree of mammary ptosis. All involve incisions – smaller or wider – in order to eliminate excess skin:

  • Periareolar mastopexy – indicated only when the breasts have a small degree of ptosis. The breasts are lifted only with 2cm, through an incision around the areola. It is frequently associated with the insertion of a breast implant.
  • Vertical scar mastopexy (lollipop) – most frequent used, indicated in most cases of medium or severe ptosis. The scar is made around the areola and vertically continues until close to the breast base, so that it will have a lollipop aspect. If the mammary gland hasn’t enough volume, a silicone implant will be introduced.
  • Anchor shaped incision mastopexy – used only in case of severe ptosis. An incision around the nipple is made, a vertical one and a horizontal one in the inframammary fold. It can also be associated with the introduction of an implant.
  • Breast augmentation mastopexy – breast lifting and augmentation made in the same time. When a silicone implant is used to restore breasts volume, the doctor will remove only a small quantity of skin as the implant will fill the skin coating. In case of small ptosis, this implant is enough to correct the position and breasts volume. The introduced implants will not have a very big size to prevent a future sagging. This intervention is considered one of the most difficult, because it adds up the risks of both mastopexy, and breast augmentation. Practically, the doctor has to perform two interventions in the same time. This is why, the doctors prefer to perform them one at a time, with 3-6 months distance between. In this case, the discomfort is bigger for the patient, because she will have two operations in one year, and the breasts aspect is quite unpleasant.

Mastopexy: the operation

The mastopexy operation includes more steps which the surgeon will follow:

  • Before the operation, the aesthetician will draw the patient with a marker. This is very important for the operation;
  • Anesthesia is usually general – the patient doesn’t feel or remember anything;
  • The doctor will make the incisions, being guided by the pre-operatory drawing. After he will remove the skin excess he will place the nipple in the upper part;
  • Then it follows the remodeling of the gland. In some cases, this is modelled on the inside, afterwards anchored with wires on the thoracic wall, so it will not sag again, in time. With this procedure, the surgeon will fill in the superior pole of the breast. This step is very important, because remodeling the gland is the one that allows obtaining firmer, lifted and fuller breasts. During the operation, the breasts can also be equalized, with obtaining equal nipples, if it’s the case. In this phase of the operation the implant is also introduced, if it’s the case;
  • Afterwards the suture is made, which is usually being made with resorbable fine wires (some doctors use common suture wires), which do not need a further removal. The wires are being introduced under the skin, so the scars will be as unnoticeable as possible.

Mastopexy: Recovery

Mastopexy is a surgical intervention and, like as any other surgical intervention which is made with general anesthesia, it needs a certain recovery period. This involves:

  • In the first 2 weeks from the surgical intervention, the patient can experience discomfort, which not necessarily involves pain
  • Bruises last for approximately 10-14 days from the interventions
  • Patient must not sleep on her abdomen
  • Must avoid bathing in bathtub
  • You can have showers, but 3-4 days after intervention
  • Wires, if not resorbable, must removed after 10-14 days
  • Patient must wear a bralette for minimum one month, day and night. Some doctors recommend two months
  • The patient mustn’t wear wired bra in first 3 months after intervention
  • Retaking daily activities is made step by step, 7 days from mastopexy
  • Smoking must be avoided for at least few weeks from the surgical intervention. On the contrary, blood will not be oxygenated at a maximum level, and the healing process will be slowed
  • Edema can remain for a month or even more. Only after this period, the final case can be evaluated
  • A light numbness of the nipple can be felt, which should disappear in 6 weeks after intervention. Only in rare cases the numbness is permanent
  • Patient can experience tingling sensations or small burns of the breast. These normal phenomena are provoked by nerve regeneration
  • Patient must not lift weights above head in first 3-4weeks from operation and have to, generally, avoid lifting bigger weights for 4-6weeks from surgical intervention
  • In the first 2-3months, scars will be red, endured and visible. After this period their color will fade, becoming white and soft. These will never disappear, but their aspect can be improved with the help of certain creams or silicone sheets. Likewise, doctors recommend patients to avoid sunlight exposure in the first 9 months from mastopexy
  • An itching sensation is felt around the incisions. This can be treated with different creams or with medication, on surgeon’s recommendation

How many visits to the doctor do I have to make after the operation?

First visit to the surgeon has to be at 2 days after the intervention. During this first visit, the doctor will remove the drain tubes, if it necessary. You have to come back to the clinic that you picked and in 7-10days after the surgical intervention, when the doctor will remove the suture wires if it is necessary. During these post-operatory visits, the doctor will also explain what you can do further on or he will solve the problems that might appear. The next consults are after 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and one year after intervention.

Mastopexy: Main benefits

Amongst the benefits of mastopexy, we enlist:

  • Breast lift – by removing excess skin and giving the breasts their volume back, phenomenon caused by weight fluctuations, pregnancy, breast feeding and aging
  • Breast ‘rejuvenations’ – breasts naturally drop by aging, the process being intensified by weight loss, breast feeding or birth. Mastopexy solves all these problems
  • More various possibilities in choosing clothes – lack of self confidence caused by the aspect of the breasts determines many women to give up on wearing certain outfits that could disadvantage them. After such operation, many women are confident in wearing the clothes they’ve been avoiding in that moment
  • Self respect can increase after such intervention – a lot of women state that after a mastopexy, the frustrations related to the way they look disappeared, and their life enormously changed for the better

Mastopexy and pregnancy

Doctor’s recommendation is that the mastopexy intervention to be made only if the patient is not planning on having a pregnancy, at least in the following future. This is because the effect of the operation will fade along with the new pregnancy and the new breast feeding period.

Most women chose this type of surgical intervention after a pregnancy affected their physical aspect.

If the patient plans on having children, the mastopexy won’t lead to losing the ability of breast feeding. Still, there is the risk of losing this ability if a mastopexy is associated with the implant breast augmentation. It is recommended to discuss with your doctor about this risk, if you want this certain operation.