Breast Uplift Surgery

What is it?

Breast uplift surgery (Mastopexy) can restore a more natural and youthful breast shape in women who are unhappy with their breasts. Often it is combined with breast implant surgery, to get the best results.

Pregnancy, excessive weight loss and ageing can all contribute to drooping or sagging breasts. The result is a loss in breast volume in the upper part of the breast, overstretched skin and low positioned nipples on the breast, itself. This can have a detrimental impact on self-esteem and may cause you to restrict your involvement in certain activities such as swimming, or limit your choice of clothing.

What to expect

The surgery is carried out under general anaesthetic. Incisions are made around the areola with possible linked vertical and horizontal incisions
to create a lollipop or anchor-shaped scar. Droopy breasts are remodelled and repositioned to sit back on chest. Nipples are lifted. In some cases, a breast implant may be used to achieve a better shape.

You will need to stay in hospital overnight.

Dressings are placed around your breasts, so the nipples are visible and the blood supply can be checked regularly during your initial post-op recovery. Drains (tubes that drain tissue fluid by connection to suction bottles) are placed in each breast during surgery and remain until you are discharged from hospital.

What results can be achieved?

Breast uplift surgery can help reverse sagging breasts and create a natural, uplifted breast profile. In turn, this can boost confidence and self-esteem, enabling you to take part in activities that you may have not felt able to do before surgery.

It is advisable to have completed your family and to have achieved your ideal weight, before having breast uplift surgery as further pregnancies or major fluctuations in weight can impact the breasts and may result in the need for more corrective surgery, later on.

Possible Risks

All surgery carries risks and cosmetic surgery is no exception. Fortunately, there are rarely any significant complications associated with breast uplift surgery, which is a commonly performed procedure.

After surgery

After surgery you are likely to experience only mild discomfort that can easily be controlled with painkillers. Wearing a sports-bra for six weeks can offer extra support and help with your recovery. After a week, you will be invited into the clinic for a wound check and your surgeon will advise you about showering and getting the incision sites wet. You should refrain from physical exercise for six weeks after surgery. After three months, most of the swelling will have settled and this is a good time to be measured for a bra.

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Common risks

The risk of most types of cosmetic surgery is similar and these will be discussed with you during your consultation. You can help to minimize certain risks by following your surgeon’s advice and instructions after surgery. Some of the common risks include:

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  • Minor discomfort – this can be treated with over the counter painkillers.
  • Minor swelling and bruising – your surgeon will advise you how long this will last based upon your individual procedure.
  • Scarring – Any scars will be hidden in normal clothing, concealed under a bra or bikini top, as much as possible. Scars fade over months to become paler and less obvious. However, they will always be present and visible out of clothes In most women, scars will be thin, but in some they can stretch or become red, sensitive and unsightly. Surgical revision of the scars may be needed, when bad scars fail simple treatments (silicone application / steroid injections).
  • Dissolving skin stitches not holding properly – if this occurs the stitches may need to be removed under local anaesthetic.
  • Stitch granuloma – sometimes a tender lump or abscess can occur at the stitch site. This is generally more common where the skin is thinner, such as in front of or behind the ear. The stitch may need to be removed or it may be treated with antibiotics.
  • Inexact cup size or shape – The final size and shape of your breasts after breast augmentation surgery is unpredictable , but your preference will be taken into consideration during the planning stages. Initial post-operative swelling will take time to settle – normally around three months – and it is only after this time that you will be able to get an accurate idea of the shape and size of your breasts. The breast is a glandular organ that changes throughout your life. Ageing, pregnancy and weight loss or gain can affect the final result.
  • Asymmetrical breasts – Nothing in our body is naturally symmetrical and this includes our breasts. Breast augmentation surgery is not an exact science as it relies on the artistic eye of the surgeon. As such, some level of asymmetry is inevitable after surgery.
  • Inability to breastfeed – Breastfeeding is no longer possible after breast reduction surgery as the nipples and underlying milk ducts are divided during the procedure. You can still get pregnant but if you are of childbearing age you may want to take the fact that you will be unable to breastfeed into account before embarking on surgery.
  • Loss of sensation – The nipples can lose sensitivity after surgery due to disruption of the nerve supply and it is quite possible that numbness will extend over part of the breast as well. This is usually permanent.
  • Breast changes – It is very unlikely that your breasts will regrow after breast uplift surgery but they will change if you gain or lose weight or become pregnant. As we age our breasts naturally droop and sag. These natural bodily changes are likely to impact on the shape and size of your breasts in the future.
More serious risks
The symptoms listed above are normally temporary or without serious consequences. There are some more serious risks associated with cosmetic surgery, which will be discussed with your surgeon as part of the initial consultation.

Plastic surgery alone cannot change your life but it can give you the confidence to make those changes for yourself.

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