Breast lift (mastopexy). The problem of sagging breast
Breast lift (mastopexy) is a plastic surgery designed to correct the appearance of sagging breasts. The main goal of breast lift (mastopexy) is to correct the shape of the breast with the formation of the smallest number of scars. The main indication for the breast lift is a loss of breast elasticity, ptosis of the mammary glands due to sudden weight loss, pregnancy or breastfeeding. For women, mastectomy is especially important after childbirth, when the sagging of the breast is inevitable. It is important to note that breast augmentation and breast lift are not interchangeable operations. Mammoplasty does not solve the problem of sagging breast but only restores the volume of the breast due to implants. It often happens that the surgeon recommends doing a breast lift and breast augmentation at the same time. The result of this operation gives a more expressive aesthetic effect. The installation of implants allows patients to make the breast more attractive and the correction of the breast shape makes the breast more elastic. After the breast lift (mastopexy), the function and the erogenous sensitivity of the breast are preserved.
At any variant of carrying out the breast lift (mastopexy), the essence of correction of a breast still the same. The effect is achieved by removing excess skin and moving the nipple-are olar complex up. A breast lift can be performed by various techniques: circular access (around the areola), circum-vertical access (from the areola area to the pectoral fold), and T-shaped. The optimal method is determined by the surgeon depending on the degree of sagging of the breast.
The development of breast lift (mastopexy)
Breast lift as a surgical operation appeared in ancient times during the heyday of the Roman Empire. In those days there were operations aimed at changing the size and shape of the chest. Then, after the collapse of the Roman Empire, such experiments were forgotten and they were not remembered until the middle Ages. Then some medieval doctors tried to resume such experiments but over time they have abandoned again and their results were forgotten.
Modern breast lift (mastopexy) was born in the late 19th century. At that time, serious experiments began. The history of the development of mastopexy was associated with the history of research and experiments on the change in the shape of the breast and its reduction. Surgeons performed operations to tighten the chest and strengthen the weakened muscles of the chest. Michel P. was one of the first to try to make a breast lift and reduce its size in 1897. The doctor made a cut over the nipple in order to remove fat and glandular tissue. This operation allowed reducing and easing the chest but the result was unattractive. Dr. Morestin made another breast lift in 1907. He performed this operation by the method of moving the nipple and called it “vascular pedicle.”
The first transplantation of the nipple was made in 1921. During the operation, the surgeon removed it and then sewed it back. Three years later, in 1924, another specialist reported that a lateral resection during the breast lift was carried out successfully. Such a breast lift was quite effective. The scar having an oval shape remained with the patient. Breast lift (mastopexy) and breast reduction were very popular operations in the 1920s because the leanness and small breasts were fashionable at that time. Techniques for conducting such operations have been constantly modified. By the 1990’s, due to a large number of different studies and experiments, the main areas of breast reduction, mastopexy were formed.
The breast lift associated with its reduction, as well as the main methods of mastopexy were developed almost simultaneously. They began to be offered by surgeons as separate independent operations because not all women needed the breast reduction. If the skin of the breast has lost elasticity, then a breast lift can be performed. Dr. Forex became the first specialist who wrote a practical guide to aesthetic surgery of the abdomen and chest. His work was published in 1924. After 1930, various techniques were developed and published for tightening the breast and reducing it, as well as placing the nipple on the necessary place. But all these techniques had a number of shortcomings. The main difficulty was the formation of a symmetrical, natural, and tightened breast. Previously, after the breast lift (mastopexy), patients often had scars, blood supply disorders of the nipple, and healing of the operated site. For these reasons, the sensitivity of the breast worsened and some women lost the ability to lactation. In the future, breast lift was conducted at a higher level.
Now the breast lift (mastopexy) is an ordinary plastic surgery during which the risk of complications is extremely small. Breast lift (mastopexy) is quite a common operation in plastic surgery. It gives a good result but requires a long rehabilitation. A breast lift is usually done under general anesthesia (in rare cases, under local anesthesia) and after it, the patient should spend some time in the hospital. It depends on the complexity of the operation itself. Serious complications such as infections and bleeding are excluded. After a while, the scars remain only as thin white lines. The presence of benign breast tumors (and even more malignant) is a direct contraindication for mastopexy. Women with overweight are not recommended for mastopexy, too. First, general anesthesia may be accompanied by an increased risk for such patients. Secondly, in the presence of a large amount of adipose tissue in the mammary gland, this type of operation is ineffective.