All you need to know about an uplift (mastopexy)
Posted on December 15, 2015
Over time the effects of gravity on the breast tissue, often together with changes with pregnancy and breast feeding, can lead the breast to lose volume, tone and shape and become droopy in appearance (ptosis).
This most commonly occurs after pregnancy and breast-feeding where the breast significantly enlarges, stretching the skin envelope, then decreases in size subsequently leading to droopy (ptotic) breasts, usually with an accompanying residual loss of volume. Ptosis may also occur following changes in a patient’s weight, or some patients may have naturally ptotic breasts.
Correction of this problem is a very common patient request. The extent of surgery required depends on the degree of breast ptosis (droop) and the patient’s preferences.
The ideal breast shape is hemispherical, with the nipple on the summit of the breast mound and the upper pole (top half of the breast) smoothly merging with the upper chest tissues. Correction of the ptosis aims to recreate the breast mound volume and shape, with the nipple positioned on the summit of the breast mound for optimal appearance.
Mild breast ptosis can be corrected by the insertion of a breast implant alone. Where the breast has dropped further an implant alone won’t fully correct the droop – it will leave the nipple in too inferior a position. For a full correction and optimal shape the patient will need some form of lift with or without an implant.
Where the nipple is a short distance below the skin fold under the breast, the shape can be corrected by the insertion of an implant, together with the excision of a small amount of skin adjacent to the nipple/areola, to lift the nipple onto the top of the breast mound.
Where the nipple has dropped further a more extensive re-shaping of the breast glandular tissues, together with some skin excision and movement of the nipple is needed. Depending on the extent of this ptosis (droop) either a vertical scar mastopexy or a full mastopexy is needed.
A vertical scar mastopexy reshapes and lifts the breast, leaving scars around the areola and vertically straight down below the nipple. A full mastopexy requires a horizontal scar in the crease below the breast in addition and is used where the ptosis is very extensive. Some patients may choose to have an implant also inserted at the same time as these procedures, or subsequently, to increase their breast volume in addition to improving its shape.
The most suitable procedure to correct the breast ptosis will be recommended during consultation with your surgeon.