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Posted on September 27th, 2012 by Dr. Albert Carlotti
For a woman who is unhappy with the way her breasts have changed over time, having breast lift surgery, or mastopexy, may be an option to explore. This procedure improves the appearance of the breasts and returns a curvier and perhaps youthful look to a woman’s overall figure.
In 2011, well over 100,000 women underwent breast lifts, making mastopexy the fifth most popular surgical cosmetic procedure in the United States, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. However, just because breast lifts are fairly common does not mean that they are simple procedures. As with all surgeries, cosmetic and otherwise, there is a risk of complication from mastopexy, and trusting your procedure to an experienced team of cosmetic surgeons like the Drs. Carlotti is a wise decision.
Because the force of gravity acts on a woman’s breasts her entire life, they gradually lose some of their elasticity and stretch downward over time, especially in middle age and the post-menopausal years. Pregnancy and nursing can accelerate or accentuate this inevitable process. Putting pregnancy aside, drooping of the breasts, called ptosis, does not affect all women equally. There may be genetic factors that predispose some women to experience a greater degree of ptosis of the breasts. Larger breasts are more prone to sagging and seem to be more negatively affected by pregnancy. Women who gain and lose large amounts of weight over the years tend to experience more sagging as well. Smoking can increase ptosis because there are chemicals in cigarette smoke that break down a specific protein that helps the skin maintain its elasticity.
Mastopexy raises and reshapes breasts to give them a more aesthetically pleasing appearance. As part of the procedure, the nipples, which to some degree will have begun to point downward and sagged to a point below the fold where the breast meets the chest wall, are repositioned higher up on each breast. The size of the areolas – the darker skin surrounding the nipples – can be reduced as part of the mastopexy as well. Breast implants can be inserted during the surgery if increased breast size is also desired.
Two consequences of having a breast lift need to be kept in mind. First, while every effort can be made to keep scarring to a minimum, mastopexy will result in noticeable, permanent scars. However, these scars will be covered by clothing, even by low-cut tops or the minimal coverage of a swimsuit. Second, mastopexy patients will experience a period of reduced sensation in the breasts and nipples, and for some women this loss of sensation will be permanent.
Prospective patients should also understand that a breast lift, unfortunately, will not keep the breasts from sagging again forever. Patients who get breast implants in conjunction with mastopexy tend to get longer-lasting results. Patients who go through pregnancy or weight fluctuations after the breast lift surgery are more likely to lose some of the firmness gained by the procedure.
The Carlotti Center for Cosmetic Surgery can answer any other questions you have about breast lifts. Please take some time to look at the “before and after” pictures of some of our mastopexy patients in our website’s photo galleries https://www.carlotticosmeticsurgery.com/before-after-photos/?gallerytag=breast-lift. Then, call the Carlotti Center for a consultation at (480) 947-7700.