A breast uplift, or mastopexy, is an operation that restores shape to breasts that have “descended” usually as a consequence of age or motherhood. A breast enlargement and uplift could also be an option; Mr Fitton will advise on consultation.
One of the conspicuous features of breast ptosis (drooping) is the associated descent of the nipple. The level of this descent determines the type of operation required.
A mastopexy is a breast uplift operation that is performed under a general anaesthetic and takes around 2 hours to perform. Patients having this procedure usually stay in hospital for 1 and sometimes 2 nights.
The breast uplift procedure involves elevating the nipple and, depending of the severity of the ptosis, tightening and re-draping the loose breast skin.
Peri-areolar mastopexy is indicated for mild degrees of ptosis and results in a scar that encircle the junction of the areolar of the nipple and the breast skin.
Vertical Scar Mastopexy is indicated for moderate degrees of ptosis and results in a scar that encircle the junction of the areolar of the nipple and the breast skin and extends vertically down to the crease of the breast.
Wise Pattern mastopexy is indicated for severe degrees of ptosis and in addition to the peri-areolar and vertical scar a transverse scar runs along the lower fold of the breast.
Recovery from Mastopexy
At the time of surgery dissolving sutures will have been used to close the wounds and light dressing will have been applied. A surgical drain may have been used to prevent haematoma.
Once the drains have been removed (usually the next day) , patients can go home. The operation is not normally associated with much pain and simple analgesia will control any discomfort.
Dressings and a support bra should remain until the first clinic review at 10 days. Any symptoms of increasing pain, swelling or redness (suggesting a possible infection) require earlier and prompt review.
At the first clinic review dressings will be removed and healing assessed. Commonly patients can drive and work after 14 days or so but this varies from patient to patient and on their occupation.
A support bra should be worn night and day for 3 weeks.
By 6 weeks most patients are able to return to strenuous activity at which time most of the swelling should have subsided.
Scars will become pink and lumpy initially and can itch but they should fade to their final state by 12 months. Scars are permanent. The operation can cause the nipple to lose their sensitivity: recovery does vary between patients
Severe complications such as nipple necrosis, infection and fat necrosis are rare but more likely in patients who smoke or who suffer certain diseases such as diabetes.
In these situations, you will be advised to stop smoking at least 6 weeks prior to surgery and also perhaps make sure that your diabetes is well controlled.
Whilst surgery aims to produce a symmetrical and even result, on occasion some degree of asymmetry or irregularity can occur.
Whilst it is hoped that the surgical scars will heal to produce a fine line in some patients’ scars can stretch or become very red (hypertrophic) and thick. The use of a moisturising cream will help scar maturation.