Loss of skin elasticity, gravity and other factors such as weight loss, pregnancy and breast-feeding ultimately affect the shape and firmness of the female breast. Breast lift or Breast Elevation or Mastopexy is a procedure designed to restore the shape and firmness of the breasts and raise them to their initial position, without changing their volume. Breast Lift can also reduce the size of the areola (the darker skin around the nipple). In certain cases, with mild ptosis (sagging), the appearance of the breasts can be enhanced just by enlarging the breast with a breast implant, without actually performing a Breast Lift. In other cases, where sagging is combined with loss of volume (as is often observed following pregnancy and breast-feeding) a combination of Breast augmentation and Breast Lift is required to achieve the desired result.
How is a Breast Lift performed?
Individual factor and personal preferences will determine the specific technique suited for each patient. In general, the procedure is performed under a general anaesthetic and takes approximately 2 hours. In most cases an incision is placed around the areola, another one runs vertically from the bottom edge of the areola to the crease underneath the breast, and a third one runs horizontally beneath the breast following the natural curve of the breast crease (inframammary fold), forming an inverted “T”. The excess skin is removed, usually along with part of the (enlarged) areola, the nipple and areola are shifted to a higher position, and the skin is brought together to reshape the breast. Some patients, especially those with relatively small breasts and minimal sagging may be suitable for modified procedures with less extensive incisions. The horizontal limb of the incision may be smaller or even be done with altogether, or there may be only a circular incision around the areola. If the breast volume has shrunk down considerably, a silicone breast implant could be used to restore it.
The Double-Flap Technique
Is the technique that Dr Harris Zavrides and Dr Andreas Foustanos usually perform for Breast Lift. It is their personal technique and it has been described in several congresses e.g.
A personal Mastopexy Technique
10th European Congress of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery.
European Society of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery.
Austrian Society of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery.
August 30-September 03, 2005. Vienna - Austria.
Breast Lift: An alternative technique.
11th Cyprus Surgical Congress.
Cyprus Surgical Society.
Ministry of Health.
December 13-14, 2008. Nicosia - Cyprus.
The technique is also published in the most prestigious Plastic Surgery Journal of the World: The “Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal” (known as PRS Journal) which is the official Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons:
A Double-flap technique - An Alternative Mastopexy Approach.
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (PRS) Journal. 2007 Jul;120 (1):55-60
What can I expect after the operation?
As already mentioned the procedure takes approximately 1-2 hours and usually requires an overnight stay in hospital. The post-operative pain is usually well tolerated and can be easily managed with regular painkillers. Your breast will initially appear swollen and slightly higher than expected. Within the following 2-3 months the swelling will gradually subside and your breast will assume its final appearance. The use of a support bra (maternity or sports bra) is recommended for a month. The scars in Breast Lift may be quite lengthy and take several months to settle. Initially the scars will be red, hard and lumpy, but with time they usually fade and flatten. This process of scar maturation may be expedited by daily massage. Nipple sensation may be initially reduced but usually returns over the months to follow. Your ability to breast-feeding will not be affected by the procedure, but you should be aware that a subsequent pregnancy and lactation might cause the sagginess to relapse.
When can I resume my normal activities?
You will be up and about on the afternoon of surgery, and you will be able to assume very light duties from the following day. More strenuous activity should be avoided for a week and sexual activity (and handling) should also be reduced for the first couple of weeks. Full recovery to your previous activities, including exercise is expected in 4 weeks.