Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
A breast lift may be necessary when there is adequate breast tissue, but this tissue has fallen to a level that is dissatisfactory to the patient. This “droop” of the breast is called ptosis. In minimal ptosis, the nipple lies just below the level of the breast fold. Moderate ptosis is when the nipple lies significantly below the level of the breast fold. Severe ptosis is when the nipple falls far beneath the level of the breast crease and may be pointing in a downward direction. A breast lift may be performed for either moderate or severe ptosis and occasionally in combination with breast augmentation.
A breast lift involves the elevation of the nipple/areola complex on a portion of the breast mound in order to preserve nipple sensation. The form of the breast is also reshaped to a higher, more youthful appearance. There are multiple ways to perform a mastopexy and your surgeon will pick the procedure that fits your needs during the consultation.
Supra Areolar Mastopexy: The Supra Areolar lift is often an excellent choice when ptosis is mild or moderate. The incisions are made around the nipple, the nipple areolar complex is pulled upward, and a small amount of excess skin is excised. While the early results can show a gathered or pleated appearance around the nipple incision, this settles down very nicely over the ensuing weeks and allows for a well-concealed scar. Breast implants are often used with this procedure depending on your preference.
Mastopexy or Vertical Scar Breast Lift: The vertical breast lift can be used in cases of moderate ptosis or for small breast reduction surgeries. With this technique, the incisions are placed only around the nipple and down the center of the lower portion of the breast. These incisions can be thought of as having a lollipop configuration. This procedure provides a pleasing, teardrop contour to your breast shape. The addition of a breast implant may be an additional procedure to create your ideal breast shape.
Traditional Mastopexy/ Inferior Pedicle Breast Lift: The traditional Mastopexy, or inferior pedicle breast lift, adds an incision along the fold below the breast. This is often the best approach for severe ptosis or a very large breast reduction. The incision line can be thought of as having an anchor configuration. The additional incision allows for increased access to the breast tissue and further resection of excess skin in the lower part of the breast. In addition, a breast implant may be needed to create shape or fullness. In spite of the necessary incisions to complete this surgery, patient satisfaction is quite high, and revision procedures are infrequent in breast lift surgery. Patients often report having less discomfort than expected following these surgeries, and a week or two for recovery period is often all that is required before returning to work.
For patients who have undergone mastectomy for breast cancer, breast reconstruction can return a more natural form to the female body. Dr. Mulkey and Dr. Recinos’ extensive experience with breast reconstruction allows patients to benefit from a range of possible procedures. Consultations will include a broad educational discussion about all different types of breast reconstruction, including the risks and benefits of each type. Possible procedures include the use of breast implants or the use of tissue flaps to recreate one or both breasts. Because every woman is unique, operations are tailored to each individual patient to optimize postoperative results.
Nipple reconstruction surgery can be performed to correct an inverted nipple or to decrease the diameter of a wide areola. These procedures can be performed alone or in conjunction with breast augmentation or a breast lift. Reconstruction of the nipple and areolar after breast reconstruction can also be completed. After breast reconstruction, adding color to the reconstructed areolar can be completed with the use of tattoo. Dr. Mulkey and Dr. Recinos are able to cover all aspects of nipple reconstruction.
To learn more about our Plastic Surgery / Breast Procedures, please call 641-494-5200 today to schedule an appointment. Our breast procedure patients come to us from Iowa Falls, New Hampton, Charles City, Mason City and Algona.