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Ask the Experts
Breast lift, or mastopexy, is a surgical procedure to raise and reshape sagging breasts (please note–no surgery can permanently delay the effects of gravity.) Mastopexy can also reduce the size of the areola, the darker skin surrounding the nipple. If your breasts are small or have lost volume (for example, after pregnancy) breast implants inserted in conjunction with mastopexy can increase both their firmness and their size. For patients who prefer not to use implants, fat grafting can be substituted.
The surgeon will examine your breasts and measure them while you’re sitting or standing. Then, discuss the variables that may affect the procedure–such as your age, the size and shape of your breasts, and the condition of your skin and whether an implant is advisable. You should also discuss where the nipple and areola will be positioned; they’ll be moved higher during the procedure and should be approximately even with the crease beneath your breast.
Don’t hesitate to ask us any questions you may have, especially those regarding your expectations and concerns about the results.
About the Procedure
Mastopexy usually takes one and a half to three and a half hours. Techniques vary, but the most common procedure involves an anchor-shaped incision following the natural contour of the breast.
The incision outlines the area from which breast skin will be removed and defines the new location for the nipple. When the excess skin has been removed, the nipple and areola are moved to the higher position. The skin surrounding the areola is then brought down and together to reshape the breast. Stitches are usually located around the areola, in a vertical line extending downwards from the nipple area, and along the lower crease of the breast. The incision along the crease of the breast can be reduced or eliminated depending on the amount of excess skin present.
If you’re having an implant inserted along with your breast lift, it will be placed in a pocket directly under the breast tissue, or deeper, under the muscle of the chest wall.
After surgery, you’ll wear an elastic bandage or a surgical bra over gauze dressings. Your breasts will be bruised, swollen, and uncomfortable for a day or two, but the pain shouldn’t be severe. Any discomfort you do feel can be relieved with medications prescribed by your surgeon.
Within a few days, the bandages or surgical bra will be replaced by a soft support bra. You’ll need to wear this bra around the clock for three to four weeks, over a layer of gauze.
If your breast skin is very dry following surgery, you can apply a moisturizer several times a day. Be careful not to tug at your skin in the process, and keep the moisturizer away from the suture areas.
You can expect some loss of feeling in your nipples and breast skin, caused by the swelling after surgery. This numbness usually fades as the swelling subsides over the next six weeks or so. In some patients, however, it may last a year or more, and occasionally it may be permanent.
Following Breast Lift surgery, your breasts will initially be swollen, but the results will be visible straight away. Your breasts should appear in proportion to your body, whilst also appearing lifted and firmer. It may take a few months for your new breasts to settle into their new shape and for any swelling to subside. You can discuss the visual aspects with your us during the free consultation.
You will be in our hospital for around two nights following the procedure, then we advise you take two weeks off work. At that point, you should be fit to do light activities and return to work, but strenuous exercise and heavy lifting must be avoided for six weeks. We recommend that you don’t drive until you feel comfortable wearing a seatbelt. You will be required to wear a support bra without any wiring to support your breasts while they heal – this is an important part of the healing process, and needs to be worn for six weeks.