Breast uplift surgery (mastopexy) is a common procedure carried out to correct breast droop (ptosis) following breastfeeding, ageing or significant weight loss. Some patients naturally have a more droopy breast shape which they’d like correcting.
The procedure aims to lift the breasts, providing a perter, more youthful, attractive shape, with fuller upper poles and a higher nipple position.
There are a number of different types of mastopexy, the type selected depends on the degree of droop (ptosis). It can be performed alone, or in conjunction with breast augmentation if additional breast volume is required.
How is a mastopexy procedure performed?
Mild degrees of breast ptosis can be corrected by breast augmentation alone. Further nipple descent can be corrected with a crescenteric (or periareolar) lift in combination with breast augmentation – during this procedure, a crescent-shaped portion of skin is removed from above the nipple allowing it and the lower pole of the breast to be lifted to the correct position.
More extensive ptosis requires a vertical scar mastopexy. The nipples are mobilised on tongues of glandular breast tissue, which maintain the blood and main nerve supplies, and are moved to a higher position on the breasts. Excess skin is removed and the breast glandular tissue reshaped to create pert, hemispherical breasts with fuller upper poles, positioned higher on the chest wall. The incisions are placed around the nipple, vertically down the front of the breast, and often a short incision in the crease under the breast.
Very extensive breast ptosis requires a full mastopexy with incisions placed around the nipple, vertically down the front of the breast and in the crease underneath the breast. Larger amounts of spare skin are removed and the nipples have to be moved more significantly from their lower positions.
If a breast augmentation is also required to add volume during mastopexy surgery the implants will be inserted behind the chest muscle or underneath the breast tissue.
Mastopexy procedures usually take between two and three hours under general anaesthetic with a one-night hospital stay. Some patients may have surgery as a day case in less extensive cases.
Small drains are usually placed at the end of the procedure to allow any fluid to drain, these are normally removed the morning after surgery. At completion of surgery, a two-layer dressing is applied and a thin Lycra bra is worn.