Risks of surgery fall into three categories. There are limitations, trade-offs, and complications. Limitations describe what a particular operation is not capable of doing. A trade-off is something possibly adverse that one must expect to occur in order to gain the desired goal. Side effects fall into this category. Complications are unwanted conditions that may be due to faulty judgment on the part of the patient or surgeon. They may also happen because of conditions that are outside of the control of either patient or surgeon.
With current technology, there is not a way to lift the breast without creating scars. A breast lift does not remove stretch marks that occur outside of the area of skin that is removed. The breast will continue to sag with age. Some women have a normal shaped breast that is positioned low on to the chest wall. There is not a method that predictably and consistently elevates the position of the entire breast to a significant degree.
The more breast skin that is removed, the longer the scars will be. The scars are permanent. They may be good-quality or poor quality. There is not a predictable and long lasting way to achieve upper pole fullness without an implant. If a woman chooses to have an implant there are a number of trade-offs that go along with that implant. One should expect a higher incidence of interference with nursing and nipple sensation with a breast lift.
CHANGE IN NIPPLE AND SKIN SENSATION
You may experience a change in the sensitivity of the nipples and the skin of your breast. Permanent loss of nipple sensation in one or both nipples can occur after a mastopexy.
All surgery leaves scars, some more visible than others. Although good wound healing after a surgical procedure is expected, abnormal scars may occur within the skin and deeper tissues. Scars may be unattractive and of a different color than the surrounding skin tone. There is the possibility of visible marks in the skin from sutures. In some cases scars may require surgical revision or treatment.
Excessive firmness of the breast can occur after surgery due to internal scarring or scarring around a breast implant if one is used. The occurrence of this is not predictable. Additional treatment, including surgery, may be necessary.
There is the possibility of a poor result from the mastopexy surgery. You may be disappointed with the results of surgery. Cosmetic risks would include unacceptable visible deformities, poor healing, and unacceptable breast shape. You may be dissatisfied with the size of your breasts after mastopexy.
Wound disruption or delayed wound healing is possible. Some areas of the breast skin or nipple region may not heal normally and may take a long time to heal. Areas of skin or nipple tissue may die. This may require frequent dressing changes or further surgery to remove the non-healed tissue. Smokers have a greater risk of skin loss and wound healing complications.
Some breast asymmetry naturally occurs in most women. Differences in terms of breast and nipple shape, size, or symmetry may also occur after surgery. Additional surgery may be necessary to revise asymmetry after a mastopexy.
Breast disease and breast cancer can occur independently of breast lift surgery. It is recommended that all women perform periodic self-examination of their breasts, have mammography according to American Cancer Society guidelines, and to seek professional care should a breast lump be detected.
FUTURE PREGNANCY AND BREAST FEEDING
Mastopexy will not interfere with pregnancy. You should expect it to interfere with breast feeding. If you are planning a pregnancy, your breast skin may stretch and offset the results of mastopexy.