Breast uplift (mastopexy) is a surgical procedure, the aim of which is to correct sagging/drooping of the breasts. This method suits women who wish to correct the shape of their breasts without changing their size. The operation may be combined with the placing of breast implants if the woman wants to additionally augment her breasts.
Sagging/drooping of the breasts usually occurs as a result of the decrease of the mammary gland tissue and insufficient contraction of the skin due to post-pregnancy and post-breastfeeding changes in the breast, thin skin, weight changes, and, in elderly patients, changes of the skin and shrinkage of the glandular tissue caused by age.
The expectations of the patient and options for meeting them are identified during a pre-operative consultation. The discussion will cover the health status of the patient and the medications used. The need for a pre-operative breast examination (ultrasound or mammography) and a blood test is identified on a case-by-case basis for each patient.
During the examination, the patient’s chest and mammary glands are assessed. Photos of the breasts are also taken for the medical records. Finally, the breasts are measured and the location of the wound (later scar) is determined. It is important to talk about the patient’s possible wish to become pregnant and breastfeed in future, because in such case a surgical method which preserves the milk ducts as much as possible must be selected.
Course of surgery and recovery
The surgery is performed under general anaesthesia and it usually lasts for 2–3 hours. Excess skin is removed and the mammary gland tissue is relocated during the surgery. Drains are usually left in the operated area. The surgery is performed at Kotka Private Hospital.
Usually, the drains are removed and the patient is allowed to go home on the next morning after the surgery. Recovery is individual, depending on the patient. Post-operative pain treatment is necessary in the first days after the surgery because of swelling caused by tissue damage. Wounds are covered with wound tapes for up to 2 weeks, followed by the treatment of the scars. It is required to wear a special support bra for 6 weeks (and thereafter for another 4–6 weeks during physical exertion), but wearing push-up bras must be avoided. It is advisable to avoid heavy physical exertion in the first weeks after the surgery.
Results and risks
The final result may take up to 6 months to develop. The result is long-term.
Immediately after the surgery, swelling, discomfort, changes in the sensitivity of the nipple or subcutaneous hematomas may develop. If a hematoma develops within the breast, repeat surgery may be necessary. Inflammation is relatively rare and most problems are related to the healing of the wounds which may cause stretching of the scars. Slight asymmetry of the breasts is common and it must be understood that aging continues to affect the breasts after the surgery and the breasts may become slack again.
Operations are performed by plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Mart Eller.