A mastopexy, or breast lift, is an operation carried out by a plastic surgeon to alter the shape of your breasts. Breast uplift surgery helps to correct sagging caused by pregnancy, breastfeeding, or the effects of time and gravity. It is ideal for women who want firmer, more youthful looking breasts.
Costs for a breast lift can vary depending on the extent of the surgery and if it's combined with other treatments. Below are starting prices in various countries.
Mastopexy, also known as a breast lift or breast uplift surgery, is a surgical procedure that raises and reshapes the breast. Excess skin is removed from under the breast, the breast is reshaped and the nipple is re-sited. Women choose breast uplift surgery for various reasons. For example, your breasts may be naturally droopy or sagging due to ageing, weight loss, pregnancy or breastfeeding. After the procedure, you are likely to feel more comfortable and confident.
A breast lift improves the appearance of breasts by raising them and making them firmer. Depending on the size of your breasts and the look you hope to achieve, it can be done in several ways. Normally, the plastic surgeon will remove any excess skin from under the breasts before tightening the surrounding skin and placing the nipple in a slightly higher position. You will have to go through a number of steps to complete the procedure including:
During your initial consultation, you can discuss the procedure and what you hope to gain from it. You should mention any current medical issues, allergies or treatment plans. The surgeon may want to know if there is a history of breast cancer in your family or see the results of any previous mammograms or biopsies. You should tell your surgeon if you are taking prescribed medicines, vitamin supplements or herbal remedies and whether you drink or smoke.
After covering your medical history, your surgeon will assess your general health and discuss any risk factors. You will have a breast examination so that the precise size and shape of your breasts can be measured. Photographs showing the position of your nipples and areolae (the darker area that surrounds your nipples) will be taken. Following the examination, your surgeon will explain the procedure, including the part involving anaesthesia, in more detail. They will ask how you feel, discuss your options and answer any questions you might have.
A general anaesthetic is normally preferred for breast lift surgery although it can be performed under local anaesthetic or with intravenous sedation. Your surgeon will help you to decide which is best for you.
Several techniques are used in breast lift surgery, and the number and location of incisions will depend on the type chosen - your surgeon they will decide based on your breast size and the result you want to achieve. Different techniques leave different scars, but they won't be visible when you wear a bra or bikini top. Normally, the surgeon will:
1. Make an incision around the areolae
2. Make a vertical incision from the areolae to the breast crease
3. If necessary, they will make a horizontal incision along the breast crease
Excess skin is removed from under your breast and the breast is formed into a tighter cone shape. The nipples are then moved a little higher up the breast for a more natural look. You can have your areolae made smaller at the same time. The plastic surgeon then gently pushes the skin together and closes the incisions with stitches, skin adhesive or surgical tape. Small tubes may be placed at the incision sites to allow any excess blood or fluid to drain before the breasts are dressed in gauze and you are fitted with a surgical bra.
The breast uplift procedure can vary depending on the size of your breasts and the degree of ptosis (sagging). The most common types are:
After surgery, your breasts will feel tender and sore and you'll notice a change in their shape and appearance. Most women are able to go home the same day. One week after the procedure, a nurse will check the incisions to ensure that they are healing well and remove any remaining dressings or stitches. You should be able to return to work within a week to ten days. Avoid vigorous exercise or activity for two weeks.
As with all surgeries, there are risks and possible side effects. Although bruising and swelling are common immediately after surgery, your breasts will settle in a few weeks. Heavy bleeding is unusual but possible. Before the procedure, your surgeon will discuss medications that might increase the risk of bleeding. You will have scars afterwards although your surgeon will ensure that they are minimal. They may be red or purple at first but will gradually fade over 12 to 18 months. In the unlikely event of infection, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics. Be sure to tell your surgeon about any discharge from your nipples before the operation as this can increase your risk of infection.
Once you’ve healed, it is also possible that you may have loss or changes in sensation in your breasts or nipples. Feeling usually returns in several weeks but some loss may be permanent. However, this should not affect erotic sensation. If your breasts were asymmetrical before your breast lift, this asymmetry might not be fully corrected and irregularities may appear after healing. Very rarely, the blood supply to the nipple or areolae could be interrupted during surgery causing damage to the tissue and resulting in the loss of the nipple.
Although it is a relatively simple procedure with a low risk factor, breast lift surgery is not suitable for women under the age of 18 as their breasts may still be developing. Nor is it advisable if you are hoping to become pregnant as the breast tissue is likely to stretch again, so many women wait until they have completed their family before having the surgery. Breast lift procedures work best on women with small, saggy breasts. Although it's also a viable option for women with larger or heavier breasts, the results may not last quite as long.