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Mastoplexy: Do YOU Need to “Perk Up” Your Breasts?
Written by D. Radcliff   

MastoplexyThe truth is, you’re just not 18 anymore. As the years have passed, your skin has slackened a little, and gravity has begun to take its toll. Maybe you’ve breastfed your babies. Maybe you’re a runner who has subjected “the girls” to a great deal of vigorous bouncing. Whatever the case, your breasts are probably not as perky as they were in your younger years. But does that mean you need to have a breast lift?

Reshaping your breasts

Also called mastoplexy, a breast lift is a plastic surgery procedure that lifts and restructures the breast. The end result is a more youthful appearance of the breasts. The procedure is an increasingly common one. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery cites approximately 312,000 breast surgeries in the USA in 2009. Most of the women receiving these surgeries were between the ages of 35 and 50.

So if you’re considering a breast lift, you’re in good company. However, there is a great deal you should know about this particular procedure before deciding whether or not it’s right for you. Below is the average woman’s experience of receiving a mastoplexy plastic surgery.

Before the surgery

Prior to your procedure being scheduled, you will be evaluated to determine if a breast lift is right for you. Ideal candidates are in good health. The surgeon will discuss in detail your medical history, any medications you are taking, and your expectations for the surgery. An examination and measurement of your breasts will also be done.

If the surgeon determines you are a good candidate for mastoplexy, the procedure will be scheduled. You may be instructed to temporarily stop taking any medications you may be on. It's important to let your doctor know about all medications, including any over-the-counter or herbal preparations you take, as these may affect the surgery.

The details of surgery

When you check in, you will be given a gown to change into. Your vital signs – temperature, blood pressure, pulse, etc. – will be taken to make sure you are healthy enough to undergo surgery. The breast lift will be performed under anaesthetic. This may include intravenous sedatives or general anaesthesia.

Once the anaesthesia has been administered, the surgeon will make an incision. The type of incision will depend on your breasts and the surgeon's preference. Typically, there are three options for incision:

  • An incision can be made around the areola. If scarring is an issue, this is the best option as the scars will be less noticeable.
  • The incision can circle the areola and go down vertically until it reaches the natural breast crease.
  • The incision can circle the areola, go vertically to the breast crease, and then horizontally along the breast crease. The second and third methods may end with a more visible scar. However, they may be necessary for your particular case.

After the incision is made, the surgeon will raise the breast tissue and reshape it. If the areola is large, it may be reduced by cutting excess away from the edges. The areola and nipple are moved. Excess skin is removed to give the breasts a tight appearance. Internal sutures will be put in to help support the breasts. The incisions are then closed with sutures, surgical tape, or skin adhesives. In some cases, a combination of closures may be used. Some surgeons opt to place a drainage tube in the incision to aid in removal of excess blood and body fluid.

The breasts will be bandaged and you will be sent to recovery. From start to finish, the procedure typically takes between one and four hours.

What you can expect after surgery

After surgery, you will experience some pain and swelling. The surgeon may prescribe pain medication or recommend over-the-counter anti-inflammatories. You will need to provide support to your breasts with a surgical bra or sports bra.

Most patients are able to resume work duties within one week, but it may take up to a month before full activity can be resumed. It is important not to lift, bend, or strain in the initial weeks after a breast lift as these movements can cause swelling or bleeding.

If a drain was inserted, it will be removed a few days after surgery. Sutures are removed beginning one week after surgery. Decreased sensation in the breast and nipple is normal. Sensation typically returns gradually.

What are the risks of a breast lift?

As with any surgery, there are risks. While rare, there have been reports of adverse reactions to anaesthesia. The incisions may become infected. In some cases, breasts may be misshapen and require additional surgery to correct problems. And while sensation loss is generally temporary, in rare cases it is permanent.

There will be scars from the incision. Depending on the type of incision made, these may or may not be hidden. Scars will fade over time, becoming less noticeable.

How much does it cost?

The cost of a breast lift can vary widely between surgeons.  Insurance rarely covers breast lift procedures because they are cosmetic. However, in rare cases, the procedure may be covered. If cost is a concern, there are also companies that finance health procedures.

Take some time to decide whether or not mastoplexy is right for you. Then, consult with your plastic surgeon to determine the results you can expect, as well as costs and any other concerns. Things just may be looking up before you know it!

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