What is Mastopexy?
With aging, weight loss, pregnancy, and breast-feeding, the breasts can lose their elasticity and volume. This results in a lower nipple position, lower breast position, and loss of breast volume. A mastopexy lifts the breast tissue onto a more youthful and aesthetic position on the chest wall. In addition, it repositions the nipple to a more elevated position on the breast mound.
Who is a Candidate for Mastopexy?
You may want to consider a mastopexy if you have:
- Inferior displacement of your nipples
- Loss of volume and elasticity of your breasts due to weight loss, pregnancy, breast feeding, or the aging process
- Nipple position asymmetry
How is Mastopexy Performed?
There are many different techniques and incisions utilized in mastopexy surgery.
- A “crescent” mastopexy is performed through a small incision hidden on the upper border of the areola. This procedure is done when the nipple needs to be only minimally elevated (e.g. minor nipple asymmetry).
- A “donut” mastopexy involves an incision around the entire areola. This procedure is best used for patients that do not need an excessive amount of nipple elevation or skin excision. Although this incision is hidden in the areola, the scars can be visible and the areola may widen over time.
- A vertical mastopexy “lollipop incision” involves an incision around the nipple and down the middle of the lower portion of the breast. This incision allows the nipple to be significantly elevated, and it also addresses excess skin that contributes to the drooping appearance of the breast.
- A wise pattern or “anchor incision” involves an incision around the nipple, down the middle of the lower portion of the breast, and under the breast at the level of the inframammary fold (IMF). This incision is used for patients that need the most amount of nipple elevation, as well as excision of excess skin that is contributing to breast deflation and drooping.
A mastopexy alone cannot restore volume to the superior portion of the breast. If upper pole fullness or increased breast volume is desired, a breast augmentation can be performed at the same time as the mastopexy. Conversely, if volume reduction is desired, a breast reduction can be performed at the same time, as well.
All surgery is associated with risks. The risks of a mastopexy include bleeding, infection, scarring, asymmetry, nipple necrosis, loss of sensation and need for revisional surgery. Unfortunately, the aging process continues, and over time, the nipple and breast will continue to fall. Some patients will require a secondary mastopexy in the future. It is important to talk with Dr. Rovelo about the risks of your surgery and how the risks can be minimized to provide the best possible outcome.
Mastopexy is performed in the outpatient surgery setting, under general anesthesia. Surgery takes between 2-3 hours to perform, and patients will go home the same day. Patients will be seen in the clinic on the first post-operative day, and again in one week. Most patients will be able to return to light activity and work within 1 week. Patients should avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting until their incisions have fully healed, typically 4-6 weeks.