Mastopexy: What to Expect from Breast Lift Surgery

The shape of the breasts can change over time. They may lose elasticity and firmness causing a sagging effect. This can be contributed to a number of factors, including weight gain, pregnancy, breastfeeding, aging, and the effects of gravity. When the breasts descend down the chest wall, we call this ptosis. A mastopexy, or breast lift, is used to raise the breast back to its original position and restore a youthful shape. Below are frequently asked questions about breast lift surgery and what to expect.

What Steps are Involved in a Mastopexy Surgery?

There are four general components to mastopexy surgery. First, we restore the breast or nipple-areolar complex to its normal position, and possibly resize it if needed. Second, if the patient requests it, there can be a volume adjustment. Breasts that are too large can be made smaller, and breasts that are small can be made larger with breast implants. Then, the overall shape of the breasts is restored. Having achieved this, there is generally some excess skin that will need to be removed as the final component of a breast lift.

How Long Does it Take to Perform a Breast Lift?

The length of the operation depends on the specifics involved in the surgery. If it is a straightforward mastopexy, it takes approximately 2 hours. If a breast reduction is performed with the breast lift, it takes approximately 3 hours. And if implants are involved, the time can fluctuate from there. Your plastic surgeon will be able to inform you of the operation length once all components of the surgery are finalized.

Is There Pain After Mastopexy Surgery?

After surgery, expect to be uncomfortable for a few days. You will likely feel pain and soreness around the incisions. For the first week, you may need pain medication. In my practice, patients have not reported very much discomfort after a mastopexy. I have had women state that it feels like they need to breast feed after the procedure. However, if breast implants are done concurrently with a breast lift, it tends to be more uncomfortable.

Will There Be Scars After Breast Lift Surgery?

The biggest drawback to mastopexy are the resulting scars. Fortunately, in most instances, the scarring gradually gets better and better during the recovery so that at the end of the healing process they become very inconspicuous. Women (and their plastic surgeons) want to minimize scars whenever possible, but the procedure that leaves the smallest scar may not always be the best choice for you. One of the keys to getting great results with a breast lift is to match the right scar pattern with your needs. It is important that when a plastic surgeon is interviewed that you see examples of incisions during the course of recovery so that you know what to expect after the operation is undertaken.

Emory Aesthetic Center

The plastic surgeons at the Emory Aesthetic Center are experts in helping you think through all your options for mastopexy. We use the most up-to-date techniques, implants, imaging systems, and adjunct therapies (like scar therapy) to help you achieve the results that you want. We’ll take the time to thoroughly explore your goals and get a deep understanding of your desires. At the same time, we will work hard to make sure you really understand what breast lift options will give you the best results in the long run. To get started, simply schedule a complimentary consultation with one our expert plastic surgeons.

About Dr. Zubowicz

Vincent Zubowicz, MD, assistant professor of Surgery, division of Reconstructive Surgery at Emory University, is a renowned leader in the Atlanta medical community where he has practiced for over 35 years. He is triple board-certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners, the American Board of Surgery, and the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Zubowicz is not only a leader in Plastic, Reconstructive, and Maxillofacial Surgery, but also a leader in patient communication. He is one of the Top 50 Contributors on Real Self, the nation’s premier online communication resource for patients, where he serves on the national media committee. As an advocate for open patient communication, Dr. Zubowicz has written over 18,000 individual answers to patients seeking insights on both surgical and non-surgical procedures. Dr. Zubowicz is a prevailing voice of medical expertise for the Atlanta media, most recently appearing on CNN to discuss the selection and safety of free-standing aesthetic surgery centers.

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