A breast lift is a cosmetic surgical procedure also known as a mastopexy. The aim of the surgery is to give the breast a more youthful look by removing skin and lifting the breast to a higher position.
During a woman’s life, certain events can cause the breasts to change shape and sag. Pregnancy, weight loss and age are all common culprits. A breast lift can reverse these changes. For some patients, this can be combined with a breast augmentation as a one-stage or two-stage procedure.
In your initial consultation, the surgeon will find out what do you want to achieve with the surgery and understand your expectations of the breast lift. They will then do a physical examination to examine your breast tissue, the skin laxity of your breasts and give you an idea of what would be the outcome of the surgery to be. The surgeon will also go through the risks for the surgery, although there is a low chance of anything going wrong, it is important that you know what they are so that you can make the right decision before going ahead with the surgery.
Summary of the Procedure
Before you have breast lift surgery, your surgeon will mark the new nipple position and the amount of skin to be removed.
First, the nipple and areola complex together with an area of breast tissue are raised to sit higher up the chest wall. The excess skin is removed and the remaining skin and remaining breast are reshaped around the nipple. There is no breast tissue removed at all. The result is an uplifted and firmer breast. The methods of reshaping as well as the scars resulting will vary depending on the patient’s characteristics (breast size, amount of loose skin and whether an implant is used). I will discuss this with you fully at your initial consultation.
The procedure can be done as a day case or as an overnight stay.
You will wake up with dressings over the surgical area and a support bra. Drains are not always used but if they are necessary, they usually stay in for around 24-48hrs. A sports bra (no wires) should be worn 24/7 for four weeks. A properly fitted under-wired bra can be used after eight weeks.
Time off and recovery
The exact time varies from patient to patient and can depend on how physically demanding your job is but in general two weeks off is suggested. You could go back to swimming after three weeks however, aerobics or other strenuous exercises should be avoided for at least six weeks. Likewise, you should avoid driving for two weeks after surgery.
What you need to be aware of before having a breast lift
As with any surgical procedure, there can occasionally be complications; bad scarring, bleeding, infection, alteration of sensation, some degree of breast asymmetry, wound breakdown, chest infections and clots in the legs or lungs. The chances of any complication can be reduced by observing the postoperative recommendations above. Obesity and smoking are risk factors. As mentioned before, these risks will be discussed with you before the surgery.