Mastopexy

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The operation for breast lift is aimed at elevation of your normal breast tissue. This operation will not affect back, neck and shoulder pain due to the other problems such as arthritis. It also is not a weight loss procedure for obesity, nor will this operation correct stretch marks which may already be present. Often times this operation is done to recreate symmetry if there is a large discrepancy in the shape of the two breasts. This operation has inherent risks associated with any surgery including infection, bleeding and the risk associated with the general anesthesia which is necessary. In addition this operation results in scars around the areola and beneath the breast as has been described. It is impossible to lift the breasts without obvious scars. Although attempts and techniques will be made to minimize the scarring, this is an area of the body in which scars tend to widen due to location and the weight of the breasts. Revision of these scars may be possible depending on their appearance following a 9-12 month healing period. In addition, these widened scars may be the result of delayed healing resulting from a small area of skin death in the portion where the two incisions come together. This area is prone to a partial separation of the scar due to the tension and often times marginal blood supply in this area. This usually can be treated with local wound care including hydrogen peroxide washes and application of a antibiotic ointment. Occasionally this will result in slightly widened scars and again this may be revised if indicated. Smoking will result in slower or less complete healing. This may result in more obvious scars, cessation of smoking for 2 weeks prior and 2-3 weeks following surgery is strongly recommended.

Because of this breast surgery, nerve fibers and blood vessels to the nipple and /or areola may be divided resulting in altered nipple sensation. This may take the form of increased, decreased or absence of sensation. Although some alteration is common in the immediate post-operative period, these changes may sometimes be permanent and irreversible. Loss of blood supply may result in potential death of a portion or all of the nipple and areola. This may result in delayed healing, additional surgery or deformed nipple or areola.

With time some sagging of the breast may occur due to the effects of gravity and loss of skin elasticity. This may cause the breasts to assume a fullness in the bottom half of the breast. If this occurs, another operation may be performed to counter the effects of gravity and tighten the skin.

No increase or decrease in the incidence of breast cancer occurs after breast lift. You will still need a life-long follow-up for cancer detection. This involves both monthly self-breast examination as well as at least once a year follow-up by a health care professional for breast examination. In addition depending on your age, mammography may be indicated. Mammograms will be recommended prior to surgery to determine if any areas of suspicion are present that should be biopsied prior to or during surgery. A mammogram following the operation is usually indicated at one year to eighteen months following the operation to establish a baseline against which other mammograms may be compared.

The operation can be done as day surgery. You will also be wrapped in a compressive wrap (ace wrap) which should be kept as tight as possible to further reduce the chance of bleeding complications. Your arm motions post-operatively will be restricted to normal activity required for hygiene or non-vigorous work activities. You should be able to resume normal activity in about three weeks following surgery.

In any operation there are risks to be considered. These include bleeding, infection, numbness, pain or discomfort, reactions to the medications or anesthetics, asymmetry, removal of too much or too little tissue and/or failure to achieve your desired appearance. Efforts will be made to reduce the risks of this operation. You must help by following all preoperative and postoperative instructions and by keeping all scheduled appointments. You also must report any changes in your condition to the office so that treatment may be altered if necessary. If you smoke, your healing will be delayed and you increase the risk of a complication following your surgery.

Any of the potential problems could result in the need for additional surgery and recovery time, time lost from work, possible hospitalization, financial loss, disappointment and/or psychological stress to you. Please take time to consider this operation carefully and to ask any questions you may have regarding the procedure, risks or healing.