Breast Lift

About Breast Lift

A breast lift, or mastopexy, is a procedure designed to uplift and reshape breasts for a firmer, more shapely bust.

A number of factors can cause women's breasts to lose their shape or look 'flat' and 'empty'. Dramatic weight loss, having children and the natural ageing process can all contribute to a loss of elasticity in the skin, which can cause sagging and a loss of shape or firmness.

Whatever your reasons for considering a breast lift, the procedure will give you a firmer shape, which can help to boost your confidence. However, you should note that the procedure is not permanent. The effects of gravity, pregnancy, ageing and weight fluctuations will affect your breasts. Also, although breasts of any size can be lifted, the results may not last as long in heavier breasts.

Your Procedure

Prior to the procedure, your surgeon will examine and measure your breasts and discuss with you the size and shape you would like to achieve. He will also discuss the repositioning of the nipple, as this will usually be moved higher during the procedure.

Surgical techniques are varied but the most common technique is an anchor-shaped incision that follows the natural contour of the breast. Loose skin is removed to produce a firmer breast, and the nipple is then repositioned. The skin surrounding the nipple is then brought together to reshape the bust. Your stitches will usually be located in a vertical line extending downwards and along the lower crease of the breast. This procedure is recommended for women with large or drooping breasts.

Another surgical technique used is the circumvertical procedure. This technique uses a lollipop shaped incision. The nipple is repositioned as in the previous technique but instead of an incision under the breast fold there is only an incision from the nipple down creating a lollipop shaped scar. This procedure is recommended for women with small to medium breasts with medium sag.

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Your surgeon will examine the size and position of your breasts before advising which technique is suitable for you.

The surgery is performed under general anaesthetic and normally takes 1.5 to 2.5 hours. Your total stay in hospital should be one night.

After Your Procedure

  • You may have drains from your breasts to help remove any excess fluid and aid the healing process. These are removed prior to your discharge from hospital.
  • Some pain or discomfort at your wound site and/or drain site can be expected. This will eventually settle and can be managed with oral pain medication.
  • To help with the prevention of blood clots forming in your legs, you will have been measured for TED stockings and compression sleeves (SCDs) prior to your operation. These are worn to the operating theatre and post-operatively. You are able to stop wearing the SCDs once you are comfortably mobile. The TED stockings are to be worn until you are discharged from hospital.
  • The garment for which you were measured up at your initial consultation will be put on you in theatre once your operation is complete. This must be worn continuously for six weeks to help keep the breasts supported.

At Home

  • You may notice some redness, swelling and bruising around the wound, which is normal.
  • You may have some pain around the wound sites, which is normal and will eventually settle. It can be managed with oral pain medication.
  • A small amount of discharge from the wounds is normal.
  • You will have dressings over your wound site. These should be left on until the two week post-op review. These dressings are waterproof, so there is no need to cover them to have a shower. However, if the dressings lift before the post-op review, please contact one of the clinic nurses.
  • You must continue to wear your garment for six weeks.
  • This garment can be removed or showering.
  • Avoid heavy lifting, strenuous exercise and unnecessary strain on your wounds for six weeks after surgery.
  • Make sure you remain mobile at home, going for short walks, etc.
  • Avoid driving for two weeks after surgery, and if necessary, only drive short distances until six weeks after surgery.
  • Post-operative lethargy is often experienced and can last for a month or more after your operation.
  • You should eat a nutritious diet high in vitamin C and drink plenty of water to help promote wound healing.
  • You may have reduced sensitivity to the nipple and may not be able to breast feed.
  • A post-op review will generally be carried out two weeks after your surgery.

Things To Look Out For

Surgery is not without its risks and we encourage all patients to be mindful of the warning signs that a complication may be developing. If you experience any of the following symptoms during your recovery, please contact us immediately.

  • Signs of infection such as; high temperature, heavy discharge from your wound site, an increase in redness or heat around your wound site, or a dramatic increase in pain that is not relieved by oral pain medication.
  • Increased swelling around your wound.
  • Nausea or vomiting which does not settle.

Outside of clinic hours, please contact your GP or closest emergency department.