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Breast lift, also called mastopexy, is one of the most popular of all cosmetic breast surgeries for good reason. The aesthetic improvement created by the surgical technique certainly addresses the anatomical issue of breast ptosis, but more importantly, helps to resolve the painful emotional issues often associated with sagging breasts caused by pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Breast ptosis is the medical term for degeneration of the breast tissue, leading to a hollow, stretched out, elongated or flat appearance. Depending on the size and shape of the breasts, these changes might be minor or may be extreme, but are always noticeable to the affected woman. Larger breasts are more prone to complete degeneration of the tissue, leading to an overall downward projection of the entire breast mound. Smaller breasts might be less affected and the smallest might only suffer ptosis of the nipple/areola complex. Degenerative breast tissue changes are the result of age and activity, but can be hastened by breast size, genetics, pregnancy, breastfeeding and lifestyle factors.
Breast lift comes in a variety of forms, ranging from minimally invasive to major surgery. The goal of every breast lift is to optimize the aesthetics of the breast by improving the placement of the breast mound, firming the underlying tissue and raising the nipple position. Overall, these changes lead to a higher, more youthful looking and feeling breast which is pleasing to the eye and hand.
Breast Lift is performed to raise the level of the breasts and to increase their firmness. When performing Breast Lift surgery (with or without Breast Augmentation), our surgeons understand the aesthetics of a beautiful, youthful breast and aims to carefully incorporate these features into your results.
The typical characteristics of youthful breasts are:
- The most attractive breasts, as studied by Surgeons, have the nipple approximately above this fold.
- The two nipples should form an equilateral triangle with the notch above the sternum (that is, the distances between the nipples and from each nipple to the notch should all be the same.)
- Breast size is proportionate to chest width, waist size and height.
- Breasts are pert rather than sagging.
- Breasts appear symmetrical (but are never perfectly symmetrical in any women.)
- Proper projection: on profile, the nipple should sit directly behind the part of the breast that projects the fullest.
The goal of a breast lift is not to change the size or even the shape of the chest area. It does not add fullness or reduce size, make them appear more round, or otherwise change the overall shape. It simply lifts them back to their normal position and tightens up the tissue to limit sagging. Breast augmentation surgery or breast reduction surgery is best for women looking to change the size or shape of their chests.
Every woman will have her own unique goals and expectations for the outcome of a Breast Lift. Woman who typically seek a Breast Lift surgery are those whose breasts have lost volume and are sagging due to weight loss, pregnancy, breastfeeding (or nursing) and/or aging. The surgery elevates and improves the appearance of breasts that exhibit one or more of the following issues:
- A pendulous shape or sagging (while remaining proportionate with the body frame)
- Loss of firmness and skin elasticity.
- A flat elongated shape when unsupported.
- Nipples that fall below the breast fold (infra-mammary fold)
- Nipple/areola complexes that point downward.
- Stretched skin and enlarged areolae > Asymmetry between the two breasts and/or nipple/areola complexes.
If any of the above concerns affect you, you may be an ideal candidate for surgery at Centre for Surgery.
All patients should be in good health and have realistic expectations about what can be achieved with breast lift surgery.
We do not treat patients below the age of 18 years of age.
Healing is better if patients refrain from or quit smoking.
The breast lift procedure is performed purely for cosmetic purposes, to help improve one’s image and self-esteem.
The Breast Lift Consultation
The consultation begins by having an opportunity to discuss your ideas, concerns and expectations about the breast lift procedure with your surgeon, and ask any relevant questions you may have.
Your breast lift surgeon will:
- Take a focused history and examine you
- Explain the breast lift procedure
- Take your needs and preferences into account when deciding on the most appropriate treatment option for you
A breast lift surgeon can be either from a plastic surgery or general surgery background (a declared specialist interest in breast surgery). Both specialities are fully trained to perform breast lift surgery.
At Centre for Surgery, our unique approach to Breast Lift surgery will ensure that your whole experience, from the moment of your first consultation with your surgeon, through to your recovery after surgery at our partner hotel, is as positive and comfortable as it can be. Individualised planning, meticulous surgical technique, careful monitoring and post-surgical care all combine to ensure that we offer you the best possible long-term results for your Breast Lift.
Breast lift surgery involves making incisions on the surface of the breast to access the breast tissue. The two techniques commonly used are the periareolar and vertical lift techniques. These two techniques produce superior results and minimal scarring compared with more traditional techniques.
The technique that is chosen for breast lift surgery will depend on:
- Your needs and preferences.
- The size and shape of your chest
- The amount of breast lift required
- Your skin elasticity
Breast lift surgery needs general anaesthesia, this ensures your comfort throughout the procedure. Incisions will be made under sterile conditions to allow access to reposition the breast tissue. A lifted appearance and fuller breast projection will be aimed for. You will have some bruising and swelling after surgery and so a week of work is recommended.
Once the swelling has settled down, the final results will become visible.
Breast Scars is a recognised effect that can occur to the patient after having a breast lift. Incisions are necessary to make the changes needed for the more youthful and firmer appearance of the breast. Scars from these incisions will be noticeable and may be reddish and lumpy in appearance for the first months. When the scars heal, they may turn whitish and flatten but some scars can turn into hypertrophic scars or keloid scars. Hypertrophic scars are raised scars that are usually red but are limited to the place of the incision. Keloids on the other hand are scars that are prompted by healing too quickly and may extend beyond the initial incisions. Scarring can also occur within the breast lift site, commonly called capsular contracture. These are internal scarring that occurs around the breast implants, if the lifting surgery includes implants. Incisions and scars will be restricted to around the areola as much as possible.
At surgery, the surgeon will perform nerve blocks to help control early discomfort. Patients usually can shower in 2 days. Arm use and motion is not restricted although lifting associated with straining is not advised for at least 2 weeks. The post-operative pain is usually the most severe during the first three days. It is usually well-controlled with oral pain medications.
By the end of the first week, much of the pain has subsided and many normal activities resumed. Generally, full exercise activity is not recommended for about 3-4 weeks post-operative. Driving should not be done until oral analgesics are no longer required for pain control. It is recommended that a support bra be worn, at all times, except when showering for the first post-operative month.
Breast augmentation and breast lift (augmentation mastopexy) are both effective procedures to address the appearance of breasts without shape and also with sag. The procedure can benefit women, who in addition to being suitable candidates for a Breast Lift, also have:
- Deflated breasts after pregnancy
- A smaller level of correction
- The need to correct asymmetry
Am I an ideal candidate for breast lift?
The procedure is mostly preferred by women who have lost the volume and shape of their breasts after pregnancy, weight-loss or ageing.
How should I prepare for a breast lift procedure?
You should stop all medications that can increase the risk of bleeding after your procedure.
You should use an antiseptic solution to wash in prior to your procedure to reduce the risk of infection.
How is breast lift surgery performed?
At Centre for Surgery, our surgeons specialise in two techniques; periareolar and vertical breast lifts.
How long does a breast lift procedure take?
The procedure takes 1.5 hours on average.
What is the recovery period like?
Expect post-operative pain for the first three days but can be reduced with pain medications, and normal activities can be resumed after the first week following your surgery. However, extensive activities should be avoided for 3-4 weeks.
When can I resume my normal activities after a breast lift?
You should avoid all strenuous activities after breast lift surgery.
Most women can return to work after one week of recovery at home.
What are the age restrictions for breast lift surgery?
There is no upper age restriction on who can have a breast lift. Prospective patients must be in good health and have realistic expectations before surgery.
Does breast lift surgery leave scars?
All breast lift surgery will leave scars. The surgeon will do his very best to minimise the appearance of any scars following breast lift surgery.
Can breast lift surgery correct breast asymmetry?
Breast lift surgery can improve breast asymmetry but perfect symmetry cannot be achieved in any woman. Some cases may require breast implants to correct the asymmetry.
Can I combine breast lift with breast augmentation?
Yes, both procedures can be combined ideally for those with deflated breasts after pregnancy, small level of correction or treating asymmetry required.