Mastopexy (or Breast Lift) reshapes the breasts and repositions the areolas. This procedure is usually performed on women who have been pregnant multiple times and breastfed their babies, or on bariatric surgery patients who have lost a significant amount of weight. In either case, the deflated look or excess skin in the breast area can be disconcerting to the individual, who may desire aesthetic improvement. When performed on bariatric surgery patients, the procedure is usually combined with breast augmentation (enlargement) to better fill the empty space vacated by the fat loss.
The breast lift operation is performed under general anesthesia or heavy sedation combined with a local anesthetic. The skin below the breast is generally removed to excise excess skin from the area. The nipple is then moved higher up on the breast to better situate it in relation to the new breast positioning. The skin above the breast is pulled around to create a swell and to tighten the remaining area of skin around the glands and fatty tissue of the breast for a more youthful appearance. The areolas can also be resized if necessary. Some doctors may also place small drains to help reduce swelling for the first day or so following surgery; these drains will be removed soon after in a follow-up visit less than three days after surgery.
The full recovery time of this procedure is usually around a month, but patients can generally return to desk jobs within 10 to 14 days. A supportive bra must be worn everyday for the full recovery period to ensure proper healing. Pain medication is prescribed for the week following surgery, as well as antibiotics to reduce the likelihood of infection. Although scarring is likely, most of the scars associated with breast lift surgery are readily hidden by a normal bra. These scars will fade over time to become almost invisible to the naked eye.