Due to factors such as gravity, weight changes, and pregnancy, as women grow older the ligaments and skin of the breasts are stretched and disrupted leading to sagging tissue. The breasts are especially affected following pregnancy and breastfeeding. Surgery to correct this drooping is called a mastopexy or breast lift and involves surgery on the breast skin and tissue.
In assessing these patients, surgeons will consult to find out the history of breast sizes with changes in weight or pregnancy along with breast measurements such as volume, nipple position, skin quality, and areola size. Breast lifts or mastopexies are frequently performed in conjunction with other breast procedures such as reconstruction after breast augmentation and reduction as well as with cancer surgery. Many times a mastopexy requires the removal of variable amounts of breast tissue and different approaches are often used to improve symmetry.
Mastopexy Surgery on the Rise
‘New plastic surgery statistics released in March by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) show that since 2000, breast lifts have grown by 70 percent. They are increasing at twice the rate of breast implant surgeries. The statistics show that the number of mastopexies has gone from 53,000 in 2000 to 90,000 in 2013 vs a 37 % increase in breast augmentation surgery over the same period of time.
Mastopexy can help one to look and feel good, renewing self-confidence and boosting self-esteem. A breast lift can be performed as a standalone procedure or along with other procedures such as breast augmentation and abdominoplasty or tummy tuck. Some women even desire a total makeover, also known as a mommy makeover, to help restore their physique following issues of extra weight and skin due to pregnancy.
Surgical options depend upon the degree of sagginess of the breast. Various techniques are used for breast lift, which includes vertical mastopexy, concentric mastopexy, and anchor-shaped mastopexy. Women with severe breast dropping can benefit most from vertical mastopexy. Concentric breast lift is ideal for those with smaller breasts and minimal sagging. Anchor-shaped mastopexy is the most invasive and common type of breast lift option, in which the incision is made along the lower fold of the breast.
Other techniques are circumvertical or lollipop mastopexy, crescent mastopexy, circumareolar mastopexy, inverted T and Y-scar Vertical mastopexy. All of these techniques require different skin removal patterns. The more invasive the technique, the greater the opportunity for the surgeon to perform maneuvers on deeper breast tissue. The tradeoff is more scarring and longer recovery.
These procedures can take anywhere from one to three and a half hours to perform, and a general anesthesia is normally required. Before making a decision to have a mastopexy surgery, be sure that you do your research to find a surgeon who is skilled and reputable. It is also important to have a clear understanding of the substantial risks and consequences that may be associated with the mastopexy surgery.