Change is a natural and inevitable part of life, but that doesn’t mean all changes are favorable and easy. As wonderful as it would be for your breasts to remain firm and shapely on their own, this is rarely the case.
Breasts may begin to droop or sag for a number of reasons. Sometimes it’s aging, sometimes it’s pregnancy, sometimes it’s weight and hormonal fluctuations, and sometimes it’s all of the above.
At Turkle & Associates, we provide mastopexy surgery to help lift and reshape your breasts, enhance your silhouette, and restore your confidence.
What Is a Mastopexy?
A mastopexy (also known as a breast lift) is a surgical procedure in which excess skin is removed, breast tissue is reshaped, and the remaining skin is tightened. During the procedure, enlarged areola can also be reduced in size and repositioned so that they face forward.
Altogether, a breast lift improves the shape of the breasts and lifts them to a higher, upright position.
The crescent technique is a minimally invasive technique for mastopexy that involves making a crescent-shaped incision above the areolae. Areolae (plural of areola) refers to the darker circular area around the nipple. Considered together as a single unit, the areola and the nipple are called the nipple-areola complex.
This technique delivers a small degree of lift and is often used on patients with small breasts or a minimal amount of breast sagging.
Sometimes referred to as the lollipop technique, the vertical technique uses a v-shaped incision from the top of the areola and down the midline of the breast. While the vertical technique is considered a more invasive mastopexy technique, it results in a larger degree of lift.
This particular technique is usually performed on patients with greater breast sagging and larger breasts. It gets its name from the vertical scar it leaves that extends below the areola.
Like the crescent technique, the circumareolar mastopexy technique—also called the donut technique—is a minimally invasive procedure that is often used for patients with small breasts or minimal breast sagging to achieve a small degree of lift.
By making circular incisions around the perimeter of the areolae, the surgeon performing the procedure can minimize the visibility of future scarring.
The circumareolar technique, unlike some other mastopexy techniques, can also be used to reduce the size of the areolae.
For the greatest amount of lift, our plastic surgeons may use the anchor technique (also called the inverted T technique) to perform a mastopexy. In addition to providing the largest degree of lift, the anchor technique is also considered the most invasive. That being said, it’s also one of the most commonly used techniques.
As you may have guessed, the anchor technique uses an anchor-shaped incision. This incision goes around the areola and extends across the lower area of the breasts.
Patients requiring the anchor technique for their mastopexy typically have large breasts and severe breast sagging.
Breasts are primarily made up of glandular and fatty tissues. These tissues determine their shape and size. The lift and firmness of breasts have a lot to do with how well they’re supported by ligaments connected to the chest wall.
These ligaments (along with fatty tissue) surround the milk ducts and glandular tissue. Your breasts also contain lymph vessels and blood vessels. These help prevent and fight off infection.
Underneath the breasts, you’ll find the pectoralis muscles. The pectoralis muscles separate the breasts from the chest wall. The breast itself doesn’t house any muscle tissue—a partial exception being the tiny muscle fibers in the nipple.
What Causes Breast Sagging?
Breast sagging (also called breast ptosis) can be mild, moderate, or severe, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. It eventually happens to most women to some degree and can be caused by a range of factors. Fortunately, mastopexy surgery can be an effective solution for breast sagging across the spectrum, regardless of the cause.
Gravity & Aging
Among the leading causes of breast sagging are gravity and aging. Over time, the breasts’ skin becomes less elastic as the skin support network gradually wears out and breaks down. On top of that, the ligaments attaching the breasts to the chest wall (suspensory ligaments) stretch and weaken due to the cumulative effects of gravity.
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
Sagging breasts can also be caused (at least in part) by pregnancy and breastfeeding. Breasts naturally increase in size during pregnancy. The more the breasts grow in size, the more the skin is stretched as a result. After pregnancy, your breasts will likely decrease in size gradually, but they don’t always return to the way they were before pregnancy.
As in other areas of the body, stretched skin doesn’t always snap back once it’s no longer being stretched. This can be especially true as your body produces less and less new collagen as you age. This is among the reasons why breast sagging is more likely for women who get pregnant later in life. The breasts sag as the skin on and around the breasts becomes loose.
Weight & Hormonal Fluctuations
Your breasts can also change as a result of hormonal and weight fluctuations. Changes caused by a combination of hormonal and weight fluctuations can cause the areolae to become enlarged and the breasts to sag. These factors can also cause the nipples to point downward.
Benefits of a Mastopexy
What exactly can a breast lift do for you? Getting a mastopexy in Indianapolis can do wonders for your appearance and self-esteem. Here are a few of the many perks of the procedure:
Shapelier, Firmer Breasts
A mastopexy can adjust and enhance the shape and firmness of your breasts (long-term) by removing loose skin, reshaping breast tissue, and tightening the remaining skin.
In addition to enhancing the shape of your breasts themselves, a mastopexy can also improve the overall shape and appearance of your body and outline by giving you more flattering contours and a more proportionate physique.
Perky, More Youthful Appearance
Breast sagging is often seen as a hallmark of getting older or becoming a mother. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way—not for you. By getting a mastopexy, you can restore the youthfulness and perkiness of years gone by.
It turns out a mastopexy can lift more than just your breasts. By helping you feel good about your appearance and secure in your embodied femininity, the procedure can lift your spirits, your confidence, and your self-esteem.
What to Expect
Let’s take a look at what to expect from your mastopexy journey, from your consultation appointment to your stunning results.
Consultation & Assessment
During your consultation for a mastopexy, your plastic surgeon will conduct a thorough breast examination and ask you about your needs, goals, and medical history. The goal here is to determine the degree of breast sagging (breast ptosis) and to create a plan that fits your needs, goals, and budget.
The level of breast sagging is primarily determined by the position of the areola.
Most breast lifts take 2 to 3 hours, but this can vary depending on the needs of the patient. The duration of the procedure can also be influenced by the addition of another procedure, such as breast augmentation.
To prepare for the procedure, your cosmetic surgeon will draw an outline of the planned incision on your breasts, and anesthesia will be administered. The amount and type of anesthetic (general or local) will be determined by your surgeon.
In the vast majority of cases, breast lifts are performed in an outpatient setting. So, you should be able to go home the same day your surgery is performed.
Your plastic surgeon may send you home with a specialized bra or compression dressing to help minimize swelling, improve support, and increase comfort as you heal.
Most of our patients at Turkle & Associates need 2 to 7 days of downtime to recover after their mastopexy in addition to 6 weeks with lifting and activity restrictions. For a smooth and expedient recovery, patients will need to carefully follow all recovery and aftercare instructions provided by their surgeon.
After getting a mastopexy in Indianapolis your breasts will appear more youthful and defined. They may also appear more full as a result. It’s worth noting, however, that the default purpose of a mastopexy is not to enlarge your breasts.
That being said, our patients have the option to add breast implants to their mastopexy procedure.
How Much Does a Mastopexy Cost?
At Turkle & Associates, a mastopexy typically costs $6,395 to $10,200. Included in this estimate are the facility fee, surgeon’s fee, anesthesia, and follow-up appointments.
We’ll be able to provide a more specific figure after your consultation when we’ve had a chance to assess your needs and make a plan for the results you want.
How Long Does a Mastopexy Last?
Most mastopexies last for around a decade, but this can certainly vary between patients. Younger patients, especially, may get up to 20 years of benefits or more from their mastopexy.
A few factors that can influence the duration of your mastopexy results include your age when the surgery is performed, a post-surgery pregnancy, your skin’s health, and significant changes in weight.
Ready to Put Your Mastopexy on the Calendar? Get Started Today
Turkle & Associates is a premier provider of mastopexy in Indianapolis and the surrounding areas. Dr. Turkle is a top plastic surgeon in Indianapolis and is dual board-certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Schedule your consultation to get started.
Not ready for an in-person visit? Our virtual consultation tool makes it easy to get started anytime online. Answer a few questions about your areas of interest, and you’ll receive personalized recommendations right to your inbox.