Breast Uplift (Mastopexy)
Women seek this procedure when they have breasts that sag, droop, or have an unsymmetrical shape or large areolae. Whether you are born with this or it develops later in life, especially after breast-feeding, it is a perfectly normal and very common request for women to want their breasts to look perkier and more youthful.
There are a variety of surgical incisions to chose from and your surgeon will be your guide. The precise choice of procedure for your breast uplift will depend upon your anatomy and exactly what it is that you are trying to achieve. Incisions such as the donut, periareolar, crescent, lollipop, vertical, boat anchor, inverted T, and others may be used.
It is possible that implants may used with mastopexy, if you want more volume in addition to your uplift. Much can be done with this surgery to not only increase the size of your breasts, but also to provide a more natural shape.
When deciding upon the best way to achieve your goals in breast uplifting, you surgeon will take account of a number of features of your current breasts including the quality of your breast tissue, your skin and the position of your nipple.
Breast uplifting is performed in a number of ways and the exact technique used will depend upon your existing anatomy and what you are wishing to achieve. The more common procedures are:
- A crescent lift just elevates the nipple.
- A periolar lift gives a smaller amount of tightening but the scar is just around the areola. This type of radial scar can sometimes widen.
- Lollipop lift – a full lift with a shorter horizontal scar.
- Vertical scar only lift.
- Full lift which gives the most skin tightening. The trade off is the anchor shaped scar.
Most full breast lifts are done under a general anesthesia. Smaller lifts such as crescent or periareolar can be done under a local anaesthesia. With any mastopexy technique it is important to recognise that the ultimate result will not be visible immediately. During the healing process the breasts drop, round and settle. This process can take up between 6 months to a year.
Once you and your surgeon have agreed on the precise details of the surgical plan, they will outline a likely recovery, including time frame for return to normal activities including work, management of young children and exercise. As with all good medical practice, they will also discuss with you potential complications of breast augmentation.
On the day of surgery you will be seen by your surgeon and your anaesthetist pre-operatively. They will discuss with you the procedure and reaffirm the surgical plan. Your anaesthetist will speak to you about previous anaesthetics and provide a plan for minimising the discomfort that you will feel after your operation.
After your breast surgery is complete you will awake gently in the recovery ward and you will be seen by your surgeon and anaesthetist to make sure that you are comfortable post operatively.
Most surgeons will allow you to return to work in one week and to begin some gentle physical exercise within the first week.
Of course, we don’t want you to put any strain on your new breasts and it is advised that you undertake a graduated return to normal activities, as guided by your surgeon.
As a general rule of thumb, however, following breast uplift;
▪ You should be able to go home on the day or the day after your surgery
▪ You should be able to return to light work at one to two weeks
▪ You should be able to drive at one week
▪ You should be able to return to light exercise at two weeks but not building up to full exercise until 3 months
Frequently asked questions
Not really. By definition, in a breast lift, skin is removed from the bottom of the breast so a few grams of tissue are lost, but because it is such a small amount of weight the breast size is virtually unchanged. For some patients I will remove some additional breast tissue if one breast is larger to help with the breast symmetry if needed.
No, this is a common misconception. Right after surgery patients may look implanty (a lot of fullness in the top of the breast) because the breasts are quite tight right after a full lift. As the skin relaxes over the first few months lifted breasts will ultimately have a softer transition from the chest wall to the breast as do natural breasts.
You should bring a supportive bra with you.
You should refrain from taking aspirin, non-steroidal painkillers (e.g. ibuprofen), or vitamin and herbal supplements, as these can increase the chance of bleeding.
Be sure to disclose everything you are currently taking, regardless of how menial.
Stop smoking and all other nicotine products several weeks prior to your procedure.
Time and gravity do continue to take their toll even after a breast uplift. It is rare, however, for women to require a second lift. Pregnancy and large weight changes will effect the shape of the breast and sometimes these will trigger a request for further surgery.
Yes, but only to a certain degree. Patients with a little bit of sagging will do well with an implant as long as they wish to be have larger breasts. Patients with a moderate degree of droop or sagging might get enough lift from an implant but will need a much larger implant and must be comfortable with a larger breast. These patients may need a smaller lift such as a crescent or periareolar lift even with their implant. Patients with significant drooping such as the nipple facing the floor will usually require a full lift (anchor pattern) whether or not they add an implant to enhance volume.
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