Mastopexy (Breast Lift)
A breast lift, or mastopexy, is performed to lift and restore a youthful shape to your breasts. Your breasts may have sagged as a result of weight loss, pregnancy, loss of the skin’s natural elasticity or simply due to the effects of aging and gravity. This sagging may cause your nipples to lie below the level of the breast crease or even to point downward.
There are a variety of techniques available, depending upon the shape of your breasts, your overall body proportions, and your goals. Patients with smaller breasts requesting a slight lift may be satisfied with a crescent or circum-areolar mastopexy. These methods result in a thin scar confined to the area around your areola (pigmented area around the nipple).
Patients with excess skin and greater ptosis (sagging of the breasts) as a result of significant volume loss and skin stretching may benefit from a vertical pattern or Wise pattern lift. These techniques provide a greater lift, reshape the skin envelope around the breast, reposition the nipple, and can decrease the size of a very large areola. The vertical-pattern mastopexy leaves a lollipop-shaped scar (a thin scar around the the areola with a vertical component down to the inframammary crease) and the Wise-pattern mastopexy leaves an anchor-shaped scar (in addition to the lollipop scar there is also a horizontal scar component along the inframammary crease).
Mastopexy will address the sagging of your breasts but will not address the volume loss that often accompanies sagging or droopy breasts. Mastopexy may be combined with a breast augmentation to add volume and restore the upper pole of the breast (the part of the upper chest that flattens as the breasts sag). If you are seeking a mastopexy after massive weight loss, your own breast and chest tissue may be rearranged and positioned higher on your chest wall to give you an auto-augmentation and lift.
The techniques that Dr. Betty Kim uses focus on reshaping a more youthful breast, repositioning the underlying breast tissue higher on the chest wall, and then redraping the skin over the new breast shape. This is in contrast to the majority of methods that rely on the skin to lift the breast and result in early recurrence of sagging.