According to a study from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast lifts have grown 70 percent since 2000. It now outpaces breast implants 2-to-1.
The procedure—also known as mastopexy—raises the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue. The goal? To reshape and support the new breast contour. “Mastopexy is a very popular procedure as most women experience some degree of droop in their breasts as they age,” says Dr. Mark McClung, who has done a slew of these successful procedures in his storied 25-year career in Kansas City. “The most common reason for breast sag is usually caused by pregnancy and breastfeeding, which both involve the breasts getting larger and subsequently shrinking. Dramatic weight gain or loss can also be factors.”
Because skin doesn’t often contract to the breasts’ new shape, many patients can experience volume loss—or a deflated breast appearance after having children, McClung says. In addition, a woman’s natural breasts will often lose elasticity and shape over time. In some cases, women experience extreme breast sag, or ptosis, which can cause their nipples to point downward.
Considering the procedure? While Dr. McClung will answer any questions you may have during your complimentary consultation at his Leawood office, here are six things to know ahead of time:
6) Results can be dramatic, yes?
“Yes, results can be quite transformative. It all depends on where the patient starts out compared to where they finish. Many patients look at our before and after photos to gauge what they want. In the three-step process, breasts are lifted, the areola made smaller, and the skin envelope tightened to give a more youthful look to the breast.
It’s an impactful surgery that can help women reach their aesthetic goals and feel more self-confident about how they look. This particular procedure can lift and tighten a woman’s natural breasts to create a more youthful, perky appearance.”
5) Who is an ideal candidate for this procedure? And who isn’t?
“An ideal candidate is anyone who feels they have significant droop in the position of their nipple or have issues with tissue and or skin laxity. I will not do this procedure on an active smoker. I mandate patients be off of all nicotine for a month. If you have trouble controlling your diabetes or have a serious ongoing medical condition, I would not suggest this surgery.”
4) Typically, women combine procedures—which include a mastopexy, right?
“The most common combined operation with a mastopexy is a tummy tuck. When the procedures are combined, it’s also known as a Mommy Makeover. I’ll often do liposuction of the waistline and flanks during a mastopexy procedure. And occasionally women prefer to also have excess fat in their arms removed, which is known as a brachioplasty.”
3) What does downtime look like?
“While everyone is different, I tell patients to expect 10 to 14 days of downtime for normal activity. I also remind them no vigorous exercise for four to six weeks.”
2) Can there be complications?
“While rare, possible complications can occur, including bleeding, infection, loss of nipple sensation, and asymmetry.”
1) Finally, how long does the procedure last—and how long do the results typically last?
“The operation typically lasts about two hours. I always tell patients their results will be permanent—in that their breasts will always look better than they did before the operation. While aging and gravity will still be present, the nipples will not return to their previous location.
Remember, breast lifts and augmentations are an artful science. That’s why it’s essential to choose a reputable, board-certified plastic surgeon with an eye for aesthetics.”
At Associated Plastic Surgeons, all of our doctors are well-versed in various cosmetic surgery procedures—including mastopexy. Want to learn more or schedule a surgical consultation? Call us today at (913) 451-3722 or visit here.