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Breast Lift Surgery (Mastopexy)

Written By: Dr Krisie McNealy                                   Reviewed: 25 June 2010

Breast lift surgery (also known as mastopexy) is a common breast augmentation procedure. As a woman gets older breast size and contour can be affected by nursing, pregnancy and the skin losing elasticity. These factors can lead to a loss in breast firmness and shape.

Breast lift surgery raises and reshapes the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour. Breast lift surgery can be done with or without implants.

Is a Breast Lift Right for Me?

When considering breast surgery there are a number of factors to take into consideration. It's also important that you do the surgery for yourself and not to live up to someone else's desires or expectations, or to fit an ideal body image.

Breast Lift Surgery may be a good option if:

  • You are physically fit and healthy and have realistic expectations about what the surgery can accomplish.

  • Your breasts are sagging, flat or have an elongated shape.

  • You do not plan to have more children. Pregnancy and breastfeeding can change the shape of the breast. If further pregnancies are planned it may be best delay the procedure until afterwards.

  • You wish to correct breast sag but do not wish to increase the size of your breasts. Breast size will not change during a breast lift unless you opt for a breast implant as well.

  • You wish to have implants, but have such marked breast sag and skin laxity that an additional breast lift procedure is also required to tighten surrounding tissue.

  • You have stretched skin on your breasts and your areola are enlarged

  • One of your breasts is lower than the other

Breast Lift Procedure Overview

Breast lifts are typically performed under general anaesthetic and the operation usually takes about three hours depending on the extent of the procedure.

There are three main techniques used during breast lift surgery. The right procedure for you will depend on your breast size and shape, the size and position of your nipples and areola, the degree of sagging and your skin elasticity. The degree of 'lift' required will determine the number and length of the incisions.

Incision_pattern_1

 

Breast_Lift_Incision_2

Breast_Lift_Incision_pattern_3

Will I Have Scars After Surgery?

It is not possible to perform a breast lift without some scarring. Scarring may be minimal and will usually fade over time. A woman having breast lift surgery needs to be well counselled and informed in advance and prepared to have any combination of scars from peri-areolar to vertical and horizontal.

Can I Have Implants With A Breast Lift?

Breast Implants may be placed either beneath the pectoral muscle or under the breast gland itself (in front of the muscle). In general the larger an implant, the less skin tightening needs to be done, therefore the less visible scarring is seen on the breast. There is however a limit to the maximum size implant that can be inserted. This is dictated by the available width of each side of the women's breast. A wider-chested woman can obviously accommodate a wider, thus bigger, volume implant than a small chested woman.

What Are The Side Effects or Risks With A Breast Lift

Temporary side effects can include swelling and bruising which should subside within four weeks. You may notice a burning sensation around your nipples for a few weeks following surgery. It is not possible to perform a breast lift without some degree of scarring. However scars will fade gradually.

While complications with a breast lift are very infrequent, it is important that your surgeon goes through these with you. Possible complications can include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Loss or change in nipple sensation
  • Assymetrical lift
  • Dissatisfaction with the overall result

Next: Am I Suitable for a Breast Lift?

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Breast_Lift_Surgery_Video

Breast Lift Surgery Video

Follow a patient's journey through the initial consultation for breast lift surgery to correct sagging breasts, through the operation itself and finally the patient's reactions to the final result.

Click to view

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