Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

Gravity, pregnancy, and changes in weight and hormonal balance combine to transform a woman’s breasts over time.  With loss of skin elasticity, the lower part of the breasts become softer and droop a bit.  Sometimes the nipples descend.  Breast lift (mastopexy) surgery can help with that.  This procedure tightens and reshapes breasts, restoring a more youthful shape and firmness.

Types of Breast Lifts

One of the most important factors in helping a woman achieve the best result is matching the right woman with the right type of breast lift. Dr. Kunkel uses the Vectra XT 3-dimensional imaging system to help with this. Each of the three major types of mastopexies has been programmed into the Vectra system software. With a few mouse clicks, the 3-d image of the woman’s torso is altered to show how a specific type of breast lift may affect the appearance of her breasts.

An “anchor lift” or “Wise pattern” is a commonly used type of breast lift.  It results in scars that go around the areola, down the lower central breast, and along the crease below the breast.  This type of lift may be most appropriate for a woman with a lot of loose skin, someone who has lost weight, or a woman whose nipples are noticeably low.  Another type of lift is the “vertical” or “lollipop” mastopexy.  This procedure results in a scar around the areola and down the lower central breast, but not along the bottom of the breast.  It may be best for a woman who has some loose skin and the nipples are a little low.  The third type of lift is not used as frequently as the other two.  This is often referred to as a “donut” lift because it only results in a scar around the areola.  Dr. Kunkel will discuss the options with you when you visit the Fort Worth office.

breast lift surgery, Breast implants, and Fat grafting

Many women like how they look in their clothing.  They don’t want more fullness, just better shape. For them, mastopexy surgery by itself may provide a great result. Other women want to have more fullness. Their breasts look low and they have a gap at the top of their bra when they lean forward. For these women breast implants may enhance the result of breast lift surgery. For women who want more fullness but prefer not to have breast implants, fat grafting may be an option.  In these situations Dr. Kunkel performs liposuction of areas like the abdomen and flanks and transfers the fat into the upper parts of the breasts. This allows a more focused positioning of fullness toward the top of the breasts compared to breast implants. When you visit with Dr. Kunkel in Fort Worth he can have a more detailed discussion with you about this.

Where is Mastopexy surgery performed?

Dr. Kunkel performs breast lift surgery in an outpatient surgery center or hospital.   The woman is put to sleep under the direction of an anesthesiologist (general anesthesia). The surgery typically takes between 2 to 3½ hours and she is able to go home the same day.  Many women combine breast lift surgery with other body contouring procedures like a tummy tuck.  Women who undergo longer combined operations may need to spend one night in the surgical facility.

Recovery after breast lift surgery

Gauze dressings are placed at the end of the procedure.  Patients return to Dr. Kunkel’s office one to three days later for the first dressing change.  The staff in Dr. Kunkel’s office provide detailed guidance about how to take care of the breasts.  The breasts will probably have some bruising and be a bit swollen for a few weeks.  Many women find their breasts feel tight but they have less pain than expected.

The upper areas of the breasts may look full and shapely initially while the bottom areas of the breasts appear a bit tight.  The breasts change over the next three or four months.  The lower breast tissues stretch due to gravity pulling on the weight of the breasts.  As this happens the lower areas of the breasts become more rounded and appear more natural.  Some of the upper breast fullness shifts toward the central areas of the breasts.  An option exists to help minimize the lower breast stretching.   Commonly known as “an internal bra”, Dr. Kunkel may place some material internally to help the tissues support the weight.  Different materials are available for this, a product from the Galatea company being the most commonly used.  Not every woman selects this option and Dr. Kunkel will discuss this with you during your visit.

Most women are able to return to work in 1 or 2 weeks.  Surgical incisions require about 6 weeks before they are strong.   Dr. Kunkel asks his patients to refrain from working out, doing strenuous activity, and swimming during that period of time.

will pregnancy affect the result of breast lift surgery?

For women who may want to have more children, it’s probably best to wait to have breast lift surgery. Pregnancy and breast-feeding result in changes of the breasts, and breast lift surgery does not alter those normal physiologic responses.

risks of mastopexy surgery

As with any surgery, there are some risks. For breast lifts these include numbness of the nipples and breast skin, uneven positioning of nipples, asymmetry of the results, and widening of scars. Other complications include infection, bleeding, problems with healing, long-term pain, and loss of a nipple.



Translate »