This is when the skin stretches causing the mammary gland to sag. The breast is in too low a position and frequently “detached” from its upper part.
Drooping breasts can exist from the outset, after significant weight loss or after pregnancy, especially through breast-feeding.
- They may merely droop but have a satisfactory volume, in which case they are known as pure ptosis.
- Ptosis may also be associated to some extent with mammary hypertrophy, or conversely, with mammary hypotrophy (breasts too large or too small).
Before the operation for correcting breast ptosis: choice of technique
- Where the ptosis is slight and is combined with a request to increase the volume, it is sometimes possible to correct it merely by inserting breast implants, with minimum post-operative scarring (see the information file about breast prostheses).
- Above a certain degree of ptosis, it will be necessary to resection and re-tighten the skin and this will cause scarring:
- The scar usually takes the shape of an inverted “T”.
- If the breast is only slightly sagging, we can perform the so-called “vertical” technique leaving a scar around the areola and a vertical scar.
- In rare cases, it will be possible to have just one, peri-areolar scar.
In all cases, it is possible to insert a breast implant as part of the same operation, to restore a satisfactory volume to the breast.
The operation for correcting breast ptosis
- General anaesthetic.
- Operation lasts one to two hours.
- The breast is marked while the patient is in a sitting position before sedation in the operating theatre.
- The operating for curing ptosis consists in detaching the skin of the mammary gland, reshaping the gland and re-draping the skin after having re-sectioned the excess.
- If planned pre-operatively, at the same time a small breast reduction can be performed by removing a little of the mammary gland or increasing it by adding a breast implant.
- Sutures are made with re-absorbable thread so there are no stitches to remove.
After the operation
- Hospitalisation for one night (generally discharged on the day after the intervention).
- If no implants are inserted (otherwise see the section on prostheses/implants):
- In general there is little pain after the operation so only ordinary pain-killers are required.
- It is possible to lead a normal life and to drive a car after a few days.
- Œdema and ecchymosis disappear in a fortnight to three weeks.
- The first dressing is removed after 48 hours and replaced with a bra. Dressings are changed at the doctor’s office once or twice a week for two to three weeks.
- The final result in terms of the shape and volume of the breast is achieved six months after the operation.
- The scars achieve their final aspect after one to two years.
- Allow for convalescence and work stoppage of between three and 10 days.
- It is advisable to wait for one or two months before starting to do sport.
- Sequels and any complications from correction of mammary ptosis will be explained to you by Dr COURBIER during the consultation and in the literature supplied.