Breast lift surgery or ‘mastopexy’ is the name given to the procedure which lifts and firms the breasts. The aim is a fuller, tighter bust.
Breast lift surgery does not increase the size of the breasts – see breast augmentation
The breasts start to lose tone and elasticity as a result of the ageing process. Pregnancy and childbirth can also result in stretched skin and drooping breasts. Lifting the breasts means a return to a more youthful and shapely appearance.
What happens during the operation
There are several techniques for breast lift surgery which are based upon different types of incisions. These range from the most popular ‘anchor’ shaped incision through to the ‘doughnut’ shaped incision. Some women will require more extensive incisions whereas others will be suitable for smaller, less extensive incisions.
This procedure usually takes around two to two and a half hours and is performed under a general anaesthetic. You will experience some bruising and slight swelling afterwards but this will ease. You will be prescribed painkillers to control any discomfort.
This procedure is usually carried out under a general anaesthetic and if combined with breast implants, will take around two to two and a half hours to complete. This means an overnight stay in hospital.
There are several techniques used in breast uplift but the most common involves making 3 separate incisions. The first is made around the nipple, the second is a vertical incision from the bottom edge of the nipple to the crease underneath the breast and the third is made in a horizontal fashion and follows the natural contour of the breast.
The surgeon will then trim any excess breast skin and move the areola and nipple to a higher position. He or she will then take hold of the skin above the areola and bring this down and around it.
This will lift and tighten the breast.
The difference with this procedure is that both the nipples and areolas remain attached to the skin and tissue which means there will no loss of sensation. This is important to those women who are looking to start a family and breastfeed.
Aftercare and recovery
Following your surgery you will be advised to wear a special support bra. When you go for your first aftercare visit, the light dressing will be removed and the wounds cleaned. It is important that these are kept clean so do not have a shower for the first few days following your surgery. Once you are able to do then try to avoid completely submerging your wounds. You can use moisturiser but don’t use on the surgical wounds.
Your breasts will feel tender and sore and there may be some minor loss of fluid. This is entirely normal but if it is accompanied by severe pain and/or bleeding then contact your GP or the hospital right away.
After a few days you will be able to walk around and resume some of your normal activities but you should avoid any strenuous exercise for a week to ten days. You should be able to return to work after a week. You will find that it will be six weeks or so before you have fully recovered.
Risks and complications
All surgical procedures carry risks so it’s important that as well as the benefits of cosmetic procedures you are also fully aware of any complications that may arise.
Complications can include: Excessive bleeding, poor wound healing, haematoma (blood clot under the skin), infection, under sensitive or oversensitive nipples, loss of nipple sensation, sore nipples, slight risk of deep vein thrombosis, slight risk of pulmonary embolism, breast asymmetry and tissue death (necrosis).
Book a consultation