Breast lift surgery in London
Breast lift also known as ‘breast uplift’ and ‘mastopexy’ is a surgical procedure is often considered by women after experiencing significant changes in their breasts after pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. Over the passage of time, the breast’s shape and firmness can undergo significant changes, particularly an increase in droopiness. Apart from pregnancy, there are a number of other causes which can affect the shape of the breasts including changes in weight, genetics, and the natural ageing process can significantly affect the shape of the breasts thus diminishing their youthful appearance. The skin envelope overlying the breasts naturally diminishes in elasticity over a period of years. This then gradually causes the breasts to droop, which is often associated with the breasts taking on a pendular appearance. The reduction in volume will often cause the nipples to drop to a lower position with a possible increase in areola diameter. Large breasts tend to be more prone to sagging compared to smaller breasts, although any woman may experience these issues. The changes leading to breast atrophy are permanent in nature. Fortunately there is a robust solution in the form of a breast uplift which can dramatically restore a more lifted and youthful appearance to the female chest. In most breast lift procedures, the surgeon will perform an enhanced correction to compensate for the breasts falling into their natural position once the swelling from surgery settles down. The net effect from a breast lift is a more ‘perkier’ and prominent breast mound which has a more natural appearance in harmony with the structure of the chest.
Breast lift surgery, otherwise known as a mastopexy, lifts the breast, involves the removal of excess skin with tightening of the surrounding tissue. While a breast lift does not make the breasts any bigger in size, it does make the breasts feel firm and can appear more youthful. A breast reduction is identical in the types of incisions used but in addition to the removal of skin, the surgeon removes underling breast tissue to reduce the size of the breasts. Breast lift surgery is also commonly combined with breast augmentation for women who have both volume loss and drooping of the breasts.
What is included in my breast lift treatment package?
- As many preoperative consultations with your surgeon as you like to make sure the mastopexy procedure is right for you
- Treatment at a specialist day surgery facility recently rated ‘Good’ by the CQC
- Enhanced same day discharge with the added benefits of recovering in your own home
- 24/7 clinical support from your surgeon for first 48 hours and our expert postoperative support team
- Your very own dedicated patient coordinator
- In-depth preoperative medical assessment to make sure you are fully fit for your breast uplift procedure
- Exceptionally high standards of postoperative care described as ‘outstanding’ by the CQC with regular telephone and face to face checks
RealSelf Top Doctors for breast lift surgery
RealSelf top doctor status is awarded to less than 10% of the RealSelf doctor community. This status is earned by achieving consistently high patient satisfaction (from RealSelf reviews), getting excellent feedback on expert answers to patient questions, and after investing significant time in Q&A and other doctor activity. RealSelf top doctors are rated among the very best breast surgeons in the United Kingdom and USA.
|Breast lift||Fast facts|
|Procedure time ⏳||2-3 hours|
|Anaesthetic type 💉||General anaesthetic|
|Length of stay 🛏||Day case|
|Up and mobile 🚶🏻♂️||Same day|
|Washing 🛁||1 week|
|Travel ✈️||3 weeks|
|Sexual activity ❤️||6 weeks|
|Driving 🚗||1 week|
|Back to work 📅||3 days (desk work)|
|Postoperative garment 👕||6 weeks|
|Sleeping 😴||On back 2 weeks|
|Exercise 🏃🏽♀️||4 weeks|
|Full recovery 🕺🏻||6 weeks|
|Final results 😃||6-12 weeks|
Why choose Centre for Surgery in London for your Mastopexy procedure?
- Over 15 years experience in all types of breast uplift surgery – anchor lift, lollipop lift, doughnut lift and crescent lift
- We own and manage our own surgical facilities. Properly performed breast uplift takes time and should not be rushed. Our surgeons perform a maximum of two mastopexy procedures in a day. We do not cram 4-5 procedures into one day like other providers. You want your surgeon to be well-rested and mentally and physically sharp to perform breast uplift which is a very demanding procedure to get the best results.
Our clinic at 106 Crawford Street was recently inspected and rated as good across all 5 domains.
- Our surgeons live and work in the UK. This is very important because whilst your surgeon takes all precautions to minimise complications, complications can and do occur and our surgeons are readily available to manage any issues if and when they arise.
Would highly recommend Centre for Surgery. Very professional staff who supported me through my entire journey from initial consultation to the procedure. Always on hand to answer any questions I had and thoroughly explained the procedure and associated risks to ensure I was well-informed.
Leading breast lift surgeons in London
Our surgeons are known for their artistry and strive to help women to natural and beautiful breasts. Our surgeons believe that the key to a successful outcome after a boob lift is the surgeon-patient relationship. Before committing to proceed with a clinical decision, your surgeon will spend time getting to know about personal goals and preferences in detail. This might sometimes require a second follow-up consultation. Our surgeons provide the safest and most natural looking breast implant procedures in London, the south-east and the UK.
All our surgeons are fully qualified and experienced plastic surgeons with the skill to perform all types of aesthetic breast surgery.
Our surgeons are full members of:
Breast lift or breast augmentation?
Breast enhancement procedures generally fall into one of two categories: the breast lift and a breast augmentation with implants. While a breast lift involves tightening the skin envelope with the removal of excess skin, a breast augmentation is designed to increase the volume of the breasts with an silicone implant.
- Breast lift surgery focuses on correcting breast droopiness. A breast implant surgery is designed for increasing the size of the breasts
- The incisions for a full breast lift are more extensive compared with the incisions for a breast augmentation
- Breast lift surgery results in a more natural appearance to the breast
- Breast lift surgery is a great option for women who are happy with the size of their breasts
- Breast lift can be combined with breast augmentation, either in the same procedure or as a 2 stage procedure
- While a breast augmentation can slightly lift the breasts particularly if the implants are placed on top of the muscle, only a breast lift can address all types of breast sagging from mild to severe
- Although the breast lift procedure takes longer to perform and involves more incisions, the recovery process is a lot quicker compared with breast implant surgery
Questions to ask at your breast lift consultation
At your consultation for a mastopexy, you will have the opportunity to ask key questions to help you form a better idea of how the breast uplift procedure can benefit you and whether it is the right procedure for you. The consultation with the plastic surgeon is the most important part of the decision making process.
The following are possible questions you could ask your surgeon:
- Is the mastopexy procedure right for me?
- Do I have realistic expectations based on my breast shape
- Is one procedure enough to give me the shape I want?
- Do you have before and after pictures I can view of similar patients?
- What is the recovery period like after breast uplift surgery?
- Do you offer continuous nursing support after the procedure?
- What side effects can I expect to have in terms of bruising, swelling and numbness?
- What happens if I am unhappy with the outcome?
Read our testimonials from our amazing patients
At Centre for Surgery in London, our surgeons take great pride in what they do and all would agree that obtaining amazing feedback is the most satisfying part of their work.
Recommend highly!! Always wanted a breast augmentation and never had the nerve to go through with it. Until I got recommended Centre for Surgery and spoke to Carolyn and the ball got rolling 🙂 meeting Dr Tillo for a couple consultation made me certain I wanted it and I would be in great hands. The day of the surgery I was nervous but having such a great support team from the nurses and care team was a massive relaxation. And the aftercare is amazing. They check in with you every over day and I could contact them if needed for anything. I could name so many great people that helped me throughout my journey but Dr Tillo is amazing with what he does. And Carolyn was and still is the best person to organise and help me with everything throughout.
Types of breast lift
As a result of degeneration of the breast tissue (medically known as breast ptosis), the breasts will appear hollow, flat or stretched out. The effects will vary depending on the shape and size of your breast and may be more noticeable with those who have larger breasts. This occurs naturally as you age, but can also occur due to factors such as breastfeeding, pregnancy, genetics, and lifestyle choices. This can often negatively impact women’s self-esteem, confidence and body image. The solution for this is a breast lift.
There are a variety of breast lifts which you can choose from, which include minimally invasive procedures or major surgical options.
The breast lift can be performed in one of four ways:
The crescent breast lift
The crescent mastopexy is performed without mobilising the areola and can address minor assymetries and can be used to minimise scars for patients with mild to moderate ptosis.
The doughnut breast uplift
The doughnut mastopexy can be great option if the nipple and areola are not wide and do not need to be raised more than 2cm. The procedure can be used to minimise scarring of the area around the areola and preserve nipple-areola sensation. The surgery is also much shorter compared with the more major types of breast lift. A doughnut breast lift can be combined with a breast implant in a single stage to raise the nipple and areola and simultaneously increase breast volume and projection.
The lollipop vertical mastopexy lift
The lollipop or vertical breast lift is a more powerful technique with a greater ability to remove loose skin. There is less tension on the doughnut incision. The vertical breast lift is a good option for patients with moderate to significant ptosis of the breast.
The inverted-T (anchor lift) breast lift
The inverted T lift is the most invasive type of breast lift and has the greatest ability to correct severe ptosis through the removal of excess skin and elevation of the nipple. Breast lift is ideal for moderate to severe breast drooping. The technique is particularly useful for the massive weight loss patient. A downside of the inverted-T lift is the significant scar burden with periareolar, vertical and horizontal components. There is a small risk of minor wound breakdown at the inverted-T junction but this is easily treated with regular dressing changes.
The first 2 techniques are classed as mini lifts while the latter 2 are more complete breast lifts. These techniques will ensure you achieve the desired results while having minimal scarring. Your surgeon will determine the most appropriate method for you. Any prominent scarring can be addressed with a number of scar management techniques including laser scar reduction which are offered at Centre for Surgery.
When deciding on which technique you should choose, you will need to think about a number of things, including:
- The size and shape of your breasts
- How much lift will be required
- How much skin elasticity you have
- Your preferences
The breast lift aims to make the breasts sit higher, increase their firmness and look more youthful.
Ideal candidate for a breast lift
Any woman who is unhappy with her sagging or droopy breasts may be a suitable candidate for the breast uplift procedure. Breast lift patients are usually women who have had one or more children with a history of breastfeeding, and/or have experienced massive weight changes perhaps as a result of determined weight loss through diet and exercise or through weigh loss surgery. Many of these women are in their 3rd, 4th or 5th decade and wise to restore their pre-pregnancy breast shape to a more youthful and aesthetically pleasing appearance.
A breast lift focuses on tightening the breast to limit sagging, causing the breasts to sit in a more natural position. Unlike a breast augmentation with implants, a breast lift does not increase or decrease the volume of the breasts. If you are interested in this, breast augmentation or breast reduction surgery may be more suitable. If you are considered to be a good candidate for a breast lift, you may wish to explore the finance options we have available. Prior to undergoing a breast lift, you will need to have a consultation with one of our surgeons. They will be able to take a full medical history from you, as well as assess your suitability for this procedure.
Things to consider before having breast lift surgery
1. In deciding on the right clinic for you, always carry out extensive research and choose a well established and reputable clinic. Centre for Surgery are specialists in cosmetic surgery and breast lift and have been established for many years. Our patient coordinators and surgeons are here to answer any questions you may have to empower you with the right information.
2. Your choice of plastic surgeon should be based on their qualifications, experience and having a record of good patient feedbacks. You should know who you will be seeing before the consultation. At Centre for Surgery, our surgeons are specially selected after a rigorous appointments process to ensure they have the right skill set to perform breast lift.
3. When choosing to have a cosmetic surgery procedure, you should not base your decision on price alone. It is important to make sure you are having treatment in a safe and regulated environment by staff who are both full trained and caring to look after your needs – before, during and after your breast lift procedure.
4. Avoid clinics who offer a ‘hard-sell’. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Ask the surgeon what breast implants will be used for your combined breast lift and breast enlargement procedure. Centre for Surgery have never used PIP implants unlike many of the commercial chains and always only choose the highest quality FDA approved implants for breast enlargement surgery.
We believe patient safety and happy satisfied patients are the bedrock of our reputation as an ethical provider of cosmetic surgery. Our doctors are known for giving straightforward honest advice and you can be assured that your journey with Centre for Surgery for breast lift will be a positive experience on the path to renewed self-confidence.
Breast lift or breast lift combined with implants ?
It is important to accurately determine every patients goals regarding breast size and desire for upper pole fullness. Our surgeons will listen to your concerns about breast shape or size which can in turn determine the best course of treatment. If a patient is happy with the volume and upper pole fullness, a breast alone may be enough. Our surgeons agree that a decrease of 1 cup size is expected with a breast uplift alone due to the removal of excess skin. However, if a patient instead desires restoration of upper pole volume fullness or an increase in breast size, a mastopexy would need to be combined with a breast augmentation using implants. Combined breast lift and augmentation is performed in either one stage or two stages, depending on the amount of nipple elevation desired and skin excess. When considering a combined breast lift and augmentation in a single stage, it is very important to choose an implant that is not too big to reduce the risk of wound complications. Remember that a breast lift and breast augmentation have 2 conflicting goals due to the 2 opposing forces acting upon the breast – a breast lift will reduce the skin envelope while breast implants will stretch out the skin envelope. At Centre for Surgery, our surgeons take to customise treatments as every patient is unique to get the very best outcomes.
I just want to say thank you so much to all working in the London Centre for Surgery for your kindness and support throughout the process that lead to my final operation. You even went the extra mile and booked my garment in emergency the day before the op, when we learnt that the one I found initially was unsuitable. A special thank you to my Patient Coordinator, Yasmin, for her friendship and constant availability. I was very nervous, but Yasmin supported me emotionally and, when uncertain, she liaised with the doctors to answer my every single doubt (and with the admin team for my late payments too). Five stars from me x
Preparation for Breast Lift
At Centre for Surgery, our surgeons strongly believe that the success of any cosmetic surgery procedure including breast lift surgery is optimised with following all of the surgeon’s pre-procedure instructions.
We always strive to go above and beyond to make sure all our patients are optimally prepared for breast lift surgery – physically, mentally and emotionally.
What every patient should know before breast lift
Breast Lift Surgical Technique
Your breast lift surgery will be performed in either our central London or Watford facility as as outpatient which means you are admitted and discharged on the same day.
You will receive general anaesthesia and the procedure typically takes 3 hours to perform. If the breast lift will be combined with additional procedures, the surgery may be longer. Breast enlargement with uplift takes about 4 hours to perform. A general anaesthetic means you will be comfortably asleep for the procedure.
Breast lift step by step:
STEP 1: For a full breast uplift, the surgeon will make will make an incision encircling the areola which then goes vertically downward from the nipple and then runs horizontally across the breast crease. This pattern is known as the ‘anchor type’ incision.
STEP 2: The surgeon then removes skin and fat according to the shape to be achieved.
STEP 3: The surgeon then repositions the nipple upwards into a more natural position that is more forward facing.
STEP 4: Incision closure. Once the surgeon is satisfied with the overall shape, the incisions will then be closed using dissolvable sutures with special sutures to minimise visible scarring.
After the surgery, you will be able to notice the breasts appear fuller. However, final results will not be visible until swelling has completely gone down.
Breast lift with implants
If you wish, you can combine a breast augmentation and a breast lift, and undergo a procedure known as an augmentation mastopexy. This is a good option for women who want to address both the lack of shape in the breasts, as well as the level of sagging. Women who have asymmetry, who only require slight correction or have been pregnant, are considered good candidates for this procedure.
Prior to undergoing your consultation and procedure, make sure you understand the risks of travelling abroad for cosmetic surgery.
Breast lift recovery
Breast lift surgery is associated with surprisingly little in the way of discomfort and often less than having breast augmentation which is considered a more minor procedure.. You will find you will be able to shower generally after two days, with the first three days typically being the most painful period of recovery. During this time, you will be advised on which medication you can take to alleviate discomfort.
Bruising and swelling are often seen after a breast lift, but these clinical features will resolve naturally over the following one to two weeks.
Breast lift recovery often needs a period of time off work and this usually 7-10 days. Most patients are back at work after a week. Strenuous activities should be avoided which includes gym workouts for approximately 6-8 weeks and always check with your surgeon when it is safe to resume physical exercise. Doing too much too soon may increase the risk of prolonged swelling and possibly delayed wound healing.
You will need to wear a support bra at all times (except when showering) for the first month to ensure your breasts heal appropriately.
After the procedure, you may notice the scars appear to be red and sometimes lumpy. However, after the first month, this will reside, and the scars will reduce in size and look white rather than red. Most of these scars will occur around the areola.
However, as this is a surgical procedure, there are some risks, particularly with the scars. Scars can sometimes turn into:
- Hypertrophic scars: these will appear red, and will generally only occur
- Keloid scars: this occurs when scars heal too quickly and may occur at areas other than the incision site
- Capsular contracture: this is an internal lining from scar tissue that forms around a breast implant. This will make the implant tighter and may cause it to be misshapen.
You will have a number of follow-up appointments with your surgeon. The surgeon will assess the progress of your healing. At the follow-up appointments, the surgeon will discuss when certain activities can be resumed and when you can start to wear a normal bra.
Breast lift before and after
At Centre for Surgery, we only show photos of breast lift patients that have given full written consent allowing use of their images on our website.
4 week postoperative appearance of full breast lift with inverted T incision pattern combined with abdominoplasty.
Breast lift combined with breast reduction for a patient who also complained of back pain from large and heavy breasts. Full resolution of back pain following the procedure.
Combined single stage breast lift with breast augmentation using 380cc round microtextured implants.
Full breast lift with inverted T incision pattern. The patient had a previous full abdominoplasty performed by Dr Tillo 6 months previously.
Risks and potential complications of breast lift
Breast lift surgery is a commonly performed procedure at Centre for Surgery in London. At your consultation, your surgeon will discuss the potential risks and complications associated with breast lift surgery in depth. You can minimise the risk of complications by choosing an experienced surgeon at Centre for Surgery.
Potential complications of breast lift:
- Anaesthetic risks
- Postoperative haemorrhage
- Hypertrophic scars / Keloid scars
- Delayed wound healing
- Seroma or haematoma
- Nerve injury or sensory disturbance
- Change to nipple sensation
- Asymmetry of the breasts
- Surgical site infection
- Fat necrosis
- Nipple / areola necrosis – risk increased with smoking
- Requirement for revision surgery
Breast lift cost
There are a number of factors which will determine the overall cost of your breast lift procedure and the final quotation will be given after your face to face consultation with your plastic surgeon.
- Mini uplift or full uplift
- Breast lift alone or combined with breast implants (known as an augmentation-mastopexy)
- Previous breast surgery
Why not call 0207 993 4849 and speak to one of our expert patient coordinators who may be able to give you a rough costing prior to your procedure.
Always remember that price should never be the determining factor when it comes to choosing your provider. We feel that safety and quality of service should be your number one priority and instilling in you the confidence that our team will look after you before, during and after your procedure to the best of their ability.
Spread the cost of your breast lift procedure
Centre for Surgery are fully approved to offer breast lift finance via our specialist finance partner, Chrysalis Finance.
You no longer need to use your savings to pay for your treatment – you can apply to spread the cost of your procedure with Chrysalis Finance using their simple 1,2,3 application to pay for your procedure.
Don’t wait until you have enough money for your treatment, apply today and (subject to status) pay for your procedure easily in monthly instalments, using one of their payment options.
Chrysalis Finance is the only ethical provider who focus solely in the provision of specialist financing for medical procedures.
Breast Lift specialists
Patients who are keen to explore if a breast lift is right for them are recommended to book a consultation with one our expert plastic surgeons. At your consultation, the surgeon will perform a thorough review of your medical history, what medicines you are taking followed by a comprehensive physical examination. The surgeon will want to learn about your expectations and what you expect to achieve from the procedure. The full range of treatment options will be discussed for the breast lift procedure and you will have a full opportunity to ask any questions you may have. If you would like to have a volume increase as well reshape your breasts then a breast augmentation combined with the mastopexy would be appropriate. The surgeon will show you a range of implants in different sizes and shapes. For women who would like to have a more natural appearance to their breasts, the option of shaped breast or teardrop breast implants can be used in combination with a breast lift. Fat grafting to the breast is also option for women who are not keen on the idea of silicone implants. Your surgeon may perform computer 3D imaging to help you visualise how you could look after the breast lift procedure. Once you have decided to proceed with breast lift surgery, your surgeon will design a bespoke treatment plan. Your dedicated patient coordinator will liase closely with you to guide you smoothly through all stages of the patient journey.
The Centre for Surgery approach to aftercare
Our aftercare programme was recently described as ‘outstanding’ by our regulator, the Care Quality Commission.
Our postoperative support team call all our patients the day after their breast lift procedure and then every other day thereafter for the first two weeks. The proactive nature of our postoperative support gives every patient the best opportunity for a smooth postoperative recovery free of complications. In many cases if complications were to occur, their impact is markedly lessened by early detection, prompt clinical assessment and correct treatment. Where a patient expresses concern to our team over the phone, then we often call patients in the same day for assessment with one of our expert nursing team. Even if there is no significant issue, the careful explanation and calm reassurance provided by our team can help to alleviate any worries you may have experienced.
What is a breast lift or mastopexy?Breast lift is also known as a 'mastopexy' or 'breast uplift' is a cosmetic surgery procedure which is designed to lift and reshape sagging breast tissue and the nipple position. By lifting the breasts, a more youthful look is achieved.
Breast uplift surgery can be combined with breast augmentation using either implants or fat transfer (lipofilling) to restore volume as well as improve shape with a breast lift.
I would like to proceed with breast lift surgery, what is the next step?If you are interested in breast lift surgery, we would recommend to book a consultation with an expert breast lift surgeon at Centre for Surgery. At your consultation, your surgeon will take a thorough medical history including your current medications and will perform a physical examination. A discussion of your aesthetic goals will be taken into account when formulating your customised treatment plan. The full range of breast lift techniques will be explained from inverted T breast lifts to mini peri-areolar breast lifts. It may be recommended to combine a breast lift with a breast enlargement if a volume increase is also desired in addition to changes in shape. The full range of implant types will be discussed with you including round and shaped or "tear drop" implants.
Once you have made your decision to proceed with breast lift surgery, your designated patient coordinator will work closely with you to make sure you are fully prepared for your breast lift procedure.
Am I the ideal candidate for a breast lift?Ideal candidates for breast lift include:
- those with droopy and sagging breasts who would prefer more uplifted breasts with a firmer consistency
- patients with good physical health without any significant medical conditions such as hypertension or diabetes. Diabetes is known to interfere with wound healing.
- patients with good mental health who understand the risks and complications and have realistic expectations of what breast lift surgery can achieve
- patients who are able to follow all of the pre-op and post-op instructions to ensure proper healing
- patients who are not smokers
The procedure is mostly preferred by women who have lost the volume and shape of their breasts after pregnancy, weight-loss or ageing.
What are the different types of breast lift?The actual breast lift technique used depends on the patient. A number of factors will determine the surgical method used including the patients age, the volume of the breasts, the amount of breast tissue which may need to be surgically removed and the particulars aesthetic result which the patient would like to achieve.
There are four recognised techniques for breast lift surgery:
Crescent lift - this is the least invasive type of breast lift and involves the removal of a wedge of tissue at the superior aspect of the nipple which resembles a crescent. The degree of lift is modest and often more than 1.5 cm at most. The procedure is only suitable for women with mild degrees of breast ptosis.
Doughnut lift - This type of breast lift is also known as a Benelli procedure or circumareolar mastopexy. This procedure is ideal for the treatment of asymmetry affecting the nipple-areola complex and also for minor degrees of breast uplift. The incision is made around the entire circumference of the areola and excess skin is then removed followed by the placement of a permanent suture around the areola to induce tightening. A doughnut lift is not as invasive as a vertical or inverted T breast lift. Women who would like the size of their areola reduced can also have areola reduction at the same time as performing a doughnut lift.
Lollipop Lift – This is also known as a vertical scar breast lift. The incision is made around the areola and extends vertically down from the 6 o clock position to the inferior breast fold. For women with drooping breasts this is an effective technique to lift the breasts. In some cases the surgeon may combine a small amount of liposuction to contour the breasts.
Anchor lift - This technique is used for the most severe degrees of breast sagging. The incision is identical to the lollipop lift and with the addition of a horizontal incision along the inferior breast crease for removal of excess skin. The inverted T breast lift is ideal for women with a long distance measured preoperative ply from the IMF to the nipple. Women who have undergone massive weight loss will often require an anchor lift to address the large quantity if redundant skin.
Can breast lift surgery be performed without implants?Breast lifts are commonly performed alone without the need for breast implants.
Breast lift alone will achieve a more youthful breast shape and contour through the elevation of the nipple and areola and the removal of redundant skin. The breast uplift procedure raises the height of the nipples and through the repositioning of breast tissue will result in a more natural appearance to their original condition when younger or pre-pregnancy. Mastopexy surgery can optimise both shape and restore symmetry. Sagging breasts can be surgically corrected and this can result in an enormous improvement in self-esteem.
Breast lift surgery is commonly performed because women desire to return to their formerly youthful state and to address both the aging process, pregnancy and the effects of gravity with time. Many women may notice a very small reduction in breast size but this is barely noticeable in most patients as only minimal amounts of actual breast tissue are removed. It is mainly skin that is removed.
Fat transfer to the breast, also known as lipofilling or fat grafting can also result in an improvement in breast sagging in a similar manner to the use of breast implants. Fat transfer has the major advantage of being able to shape the breast through meticulous placement of the fat. For women who are unhappy with their upper pole fullness, fat grafting to the breast can help to fill the deflated upper pole of the breasts which can also result in a more defined cleavage.
How is breast lift surgery performed?At Centre for Surgery, breast lift or mastopexy surgery is carried out under TIVA general anaesthesia as a day case which means you will be admitted and discharged on the same day. The recovery after TIVA is very quick compared with traditional general anaesthesia with a lower risk of nausea and sickness. Pain is usually very minimal after breast lift surgery and you doctor will repscribe painkillers for you to take regularly at home.
There are a number of recognised techniques for breast lift surgery. The main principle in all techniques is a surgical repositioning of breast tissue upwards, nipple-areola repositioning and removal of redundant excess skin.
Breast lift surgery involves incisions placed around the areola which is the darker area around the nipple. For small lifts, this may be enough but for larger breast lifts, more skin will need to be surgically excised and this will result in a scar running from the areola to the inframammary fold beneath the breast. For severe breast sagging, a horizontal breast incision also needs to be made in the breast fold which results in an 'inverted T' appearance. The horizontal breast incision is usually well concealed beneath the breast. Breast lift scars are initially raised and red in colour but will flatten and become pale in colour with time. The type of breast lift technique employed by your surgeon depends on a number of factors including the size and shape of the breasts, skin quality, areola size and the degree of breast lifting required. Before the procedure, the surgeon will carefully mark the breasts with a marker pen whilst you are standing to accurately map the proposed position of the nipple and areola on the the uplifted breasts.
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.
What type of anaesthetic is used for breast lift surgery?At Centre for Surgery, our anaesthetists are expert in the delivery of Total Intravenous Anaesthesia or TIVA for short. TIVA is the most advanced and modern form of general anaesthesia available in the UK. The medicines used in TIVA have both a fast onset and rapid offset which means there is much lower risk of the residual hangover feeling which many patients experience after a traditional general anaesthetic using volatile gases. The depth of anaesthesia is very precisely controlled using state of the art brain monitoring technology. This means that the right amount of anaesthetic can be given - not too much and not too little. Patients often report very little in way of dizziness or drowsiness which facilitates a much smoother postoperative recovery. TIVA is ideal for day surgery and is the default anaesthetic used for all our surgical procedures which require a general anaesthetic.
How long does a breast lift procedure take?The procedure takes 2-3 hours on average depending on the type of breast lift required.
What is the recovery period like?Expect mild post-operative pain for the first three days but this 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.
How do I get firmer breasts?Breast lift or mastopexy is ideal for the restoration of firm breasts and is often performed in conjunction with breast augmentation surgery. Your surgeon will provide expert advice on the most appropriate treatment option for attaining firmer breasts.
Is breast volume or cup size affecting by breast lift surgery?With breast lift surgery, the volume of the breast does not change appreciably as it is mainly the skin envelope that is removed along with rearrangement of the internal breast tissue and not removing the internal breast tissue as with a breast reduction. A mastopexy without breast implants does not significantly change the size of the breasts. The outcome following breast uplift surgery is a more youthful and perkier breast with an improvement in breast symmetry.
Breast lift combined with implants will result in an increase in cup size due to the presence of the implant. Depending on the size of the implant chosen, a significant increase in breast size is possible which will accentuate cleavage compared with doing a mastopexy without implants. For enhanced shape of the breast, a mastopexy is ideal for breast enhancement.
How old should I be to qualify for breast lift surgery?Patients should be a minimum of 18 years old before considering have any form of aesthetic breast surgery including breast lift. It is generally accepted that the breasts will still be undergoing growth and development and if a breast lift is carried out during this phase of growth then ongoing growth and development as part of the growth spurt may result in a requirement for a further breast lift further down the line. A breast lift before the age of 18 may also cause psychological issues as patients may not be adequately prepared for a surgical procedure which will affect the appearance of the breasts.
Some surgeons are of the opinion that early intervention in the form of a breast lift may be indicated when there is a clear structural abnormality of the breast. This could be in the form of unequal sizes, tuberous deformity and underdeveloped breasts. These can all cause significant psychological harm and may be exacerbated by bullying at school. The most common breast abnormality are tuberous or tubular breasts. The best strategy in these cases is to adopt a multidisciplinary approach with the involvement of the patients GP and a specialist psychologist to assist in the clinical decision making process alongside the surgeon.
How do I sleep after a breast lift?Your surgeon will generally recommend that you do not sleep on your front for up to the first two weeks after breast lift surgery. It is recommended to sleep on your back in a position of mild elevation which helps any surgical swelling to subside more rapidly. Many patients often place pillows either side of them which minimises the possibility of turning to sleep on ones front during the night. Sleeping on the front after breast lift surgery may increase the risk of further swelling and possible disruption to the delicate healing wounds.
How much time will I need to take off work?This will vary from person to person and will depend on your own recovery, as well as what type of work you do. If you work in an office you may be able to return to work sooner than someone who had a physically intensive job.
You may need to take at least four to five days off work. During this period dressings will be removed and you will instead wear a compression bra.
When can I resume my normal activities after a breast lift?You should avoid all strenuous activities after breast lift surgery for the first 4 weeks.
Most women can return to work after one week of recovery at home.
How old do I have to be to get breast lift surgery?We would recommend that patients should be at least 18 years of age before considering breast lift surgery. It is likely that the breasts will still be undergoing growth and development and undertaking surgery too soon may not lead to permanent results as the breast is still developing. At such a young age, patients may not be fully psychologically ready to undertake what can be quite an extensive procedure with a significant scar burden.
In some cases, surgery after one turns 18 may be a possible treatment option. Some women may have developed abnormally shaped breasts from birth such as tubular or tuberous breasts, or the breasts may be so large that social embarrassment has developed leading to psychological disturbance. In these more complex cases, we would advise a joint care approach with input from your parents, GP or psychologist to make the treatment is right for you.
What kind of scars does breast lift surgery result in?There are a number of techniques for performing breast lift surgery depending on patient expectations, medical factors such as smoking and the degree of breast droopiness or breast sagginess. All incisions result in a scar and the more older methods of breast lift surgery result in a higher scar burden compared with newer methods. It is common to have a circular scar around the areola in most types of breast lift with a vertical extension downwards from the nipple in cases where more lift is required. In the most extensive type of breast lift (inverted T), a horizontal scar along the lower breast fold is also produced.
Do breast lift scars improve with time?All surgery involving an incision will result in a visible scar and a breast lift (mastopexy). Breast lift scars improve with time however the appearance of scars is dependent on a number of a number of factors including skin type. It is difficult for your surgeon to predict how you may scar after breast lift surgery. Patients with darker skin have a higher risk of developing prominent scars called keloids and these most commonly occur in the middle of the chest area and your surgeon takes this into account with incision placement during breast lift surgery. At Centre for Surgery, our surgeons are experts in scar revision techniques. Most scars respond very well to silicone gel or sheets applied to the incisions from 4 weeks after the breast lift procedure. The silicone sheets act to flatten the scars. Duration of silicone gel sheet application can be for up to 6 months. We have access to the full range of scar management strategies including fractional laser, RF microneedling and pulse dye laser for optimal scar cosmesis. We also offer scar treatments for patients who have had procedures elsewhere and are unhappy with the appearance of their scars after surgery.
Can breast lift surgery correct asymmetry?Breast lift surgery is a very powerful technique for the correction for breast asymmetry in breasts of all shapes and sizes. It is well known that no 2 breasts in a woman are perfectly symmetrical and virtually every woman has some degree of breast asymmetry however minor. The problem arises when the difference between the 2 breasts is very noticeable and even obvious to others and this can result in significant psychological morbidity. Breast asymmetry can also be accentuated by scoliosis of the spine or structural anomalies of the chest wall which include both pectus excavatum and Poland's syndrome. At the consultation, your surgeon may deploy a variety of techniques to correct breast asymmetry including breast augmentation, breast reduction or a breast uplift mastopexy for one or both breasts. In many cases, you may prefer to have one breast corrected to match the more normal looking breast on the other side which could be due to surgery for breast cancer or a congenital deformity. A number of women have a tuberous breast deformity or 'tubular breasts' and this is where there is a constricted appearance at the base of the breast which gives rise to an excessively prominent nipple and areola complex. Breast lift surgery is the ideal treatment for the correction of unequal breasts and our surgeons at Centre for Surgery have many years of experience in treating this very common problem.
Can I combine breast lift with breast augmentation?Yes, both procedures can be combined ideally for those with deflated breasts after pregnancy or treating asymmetry if required. Doing a breast lift alone will improve shape but not volume. With a combination procedure both shape and volume can be improved. In some cases, your surgeon may recommend a 2 stage procedure to reduce risks and maximise safety. If you are keen to have breast implants that are larger than 380cc, your surgeon will advise you to have a 2 stage procedure as excessively large implants combined with a mastopexy increase the risk of complications.
What are the risks of a breast lift?As with every surgical procedure, a breast lift procedure has risks.
Rare risks include:
- More noticeable or prominent scars than anticipated
- Decrease in sensation
- Interference with circulation to the nipple
- Seroma or hematoma which will require draining
- Poor wound healing
Following your surgeon’s pre and post-operative care instructions will help to minimise your chance of any complications occurring.
Can I breastfeed after breast lift surgery?A breast lift procedure does not involve cutting the milk ducts which are the conduits for milk to exit onto the nipple from the milk producing glands. It is therefore possible to breastfeed normally after the procedure. With a breast enlargement procedure with the placement of a breast implant, the breast implant is often inserted in a subglandular position (below the breast tissue). With the standard inframammary incision for a breast enlargement, the milk ducts are not disrupted. The circumareolar incision for a breast lift procedure preserves the vast majority of the milk ducts which preserves the ability to breastfeed. With a breast reduction procedure, both the skin and the underlying breast tissue are surgically removed. The removal of excess breast tissue is not known to interfere with breastfeeding as the milk ducts are still patent to the remainder of the newly reduced breast. Older methods of performing breast reduction had a higher chance of disrupting the milk ducts but with more modern methods, this no longer a problem. Your surgeon will be able to address your concerns at the consultation. Patients with very large breasts often have difficulty breastfeeding to begin with and so surgery is not something that can be a cause of inability to breastfeed if function is impaired from the outset. Fat grafting to the breast is increasingly performed for natural breast enlargement. In this procedure the fat is placed around the borders of the breast and therefore does not disrupt milk production and secretion. Whilst the increased volume of fat may increase the pressure within the breasts, this is not known to affect the milk gland or ducts. In cases of very large breast reductions, all surgeons will advise you of an inability to breastfeed when the nipple and areola has to be detached fully from its wound bed. This leads to complete division of the milk ducts. The nipple and areola is sutured into a new higher position. In a very small number of cases, patients may be able to breastfeed after free nipple areola grafting for very large breast reductions. Your surgeon will discuss with you the potential options available for breast lift and breast reduction surgery and which is the right option for you. Different techniques will result in slightly different appearances depending on the degree of lift required. When considering the potential for future breastfeeding, it is key to consider if the intended breast lift procedure will impact upon this.
Can sensation be affected by breast lift surgery?It is common to experience some temporary numbness or extra sensitivity after the mastopexy procedure although this often resolves and may take up to one year for full recovery of nipple sensitivity.
Are there less invasive options to a surgical breast lift?Yes, Centre for Surgery also offer a mini breast lift using the BodyTite radiofrequency platform. The procedure can be performed under a local anaesthetic and can achieve a nipple lift of up to 1cm which although modest can be significant for those with very mild degrees of breast sagging. There is no non-surgical option for a breast lift. The nature of the problem which involves loose skin can only be effectively addressed with a surgical breast lift. The use of bras designed to push the breast upwards do not achieve a meaningful degree of breast lift. Treatment options which claim to lift your breasts naturally should be treated with suspicious and avoided.
Where can I view breast lift before and after photosAs well as the breast lift before and afters on this page, you can ask your surgeon at your consultation to show you before and after breast lift photos of patients who share similar characteristics to your anatomical features.
By viewing before and after photos, you should be able to form a realistic idea of what sort of outcome you can expect after breast lift surgery.
Can I get a breast lift on the NHS?Breast lift is a cosmetic surgery procedure. The NHS does not perform surgery purely for cosmetic reasons.
What To Expect
The breast lift consultation
When you have a consultation with your surgeon, a number of measurements are taken of your breast dimensions and an assessment will be made of the nipple-areola position and the soft tissue quality. Our surgeons are skilled in all types of breast lift and mastopexy surgery and the most appropriate choice will be made based on your preferences. The surgeon will also give information on the location of the incision for the breast lift and also whether breast implants are to be combined with the breast lift. If you decide to have implants combined with a breast lift, you can either have a single stage procedure or have the breast lift procedure first followed by the breast augmentation procedure 3 months later. If you choose implants that are larger than 390cc, your surgeon will advise to have the procedures separately to reduce the risk of complications.
High-resolution photos will be taken and your surgeon may also use computer digital imaging. Your surgeon will take time to discuss the important risks and potential complications of breast lift surgery and what you can expect in the postoperative period.
The surgeon will also take a full medical history which includes previous operations, current list of medicines taken and any potential allergies. This information will be used to decide on your fitness for the breast uplift procedure. If you are deemed to be a suitable candidate for mastopexy surgery then we would recommend to spend a period of time to reflect on all the information given. We always recommend a minimum of a '2 week cool off period' for to weigh up your options.
All our prospective patients are more than welcome to have as many follow-up consultations after their initial consultation to make sure you are fully empowered with all the information to make an informed decision for proceeding with breast lift surgery at Centre for Surgery. Breast lift surgery is a very commonly performed by our surgeons.
Before your procedure
Once you have decided that breast lift is right for you, our preoperative assessment team will be in contact to prepare you for mastopexy surgery.
The following are recommended actions to take:
- For 6 weeks beforehand, it is highly recommended to stop smoking as active smoking is associated with a number of risks including delayed wound healing which could result in wound infection and a possible need to have the implants removed if you had implants combined with a mastopexy. Smoking can also increase the risk of nipple necrosis.
- You should also avoid aspirin and all medicines containing aspirin for at least one week prior to the procedure. Aspirin increases the risk of bleeding and could lead to the formation of a haematoma (collection of blood beneath the skin).
- For 6 hours before the breast uplift procedure, you should refrain from eating any food or any type of drink apart from sips of clear fluid (water and tea/coffee without added milk) which is allowed for up to 2 hours before the procedure. You will be having a general anaesthetic and so will need to have an empty stomach to reduce the risk of anaesthetic complications occuring.
On the day of your breast lift procedure
Please aim to arrive for your mastopexy procedure at the confirmed time. One of our nursing team will admit you for the procedure and will carry out a number of tasks including checking your blood pressure and other vital signs including pulse and temperature and then getting you changed into single-use clinic wear. The anaesthetist will then come in to assess you to make sure you are fit for TIVA anaesthetic and will also prescribe a number of oral pre-medications which are given by your nurse to help your recovery after the breast lift procedure. These include anti-sickness medicines and medicines for reducing bleeding. You will then be seen by your surgeon who will confirm the breast lift procedure to undertaken and you will sign the informed consent form. Skin marking and photos may be taken at this point. The skin marking takes time and is a very important component of a successful breast lift procedure.
Breast uplift surgery is a very commonly performed procedure at Centre for Surgery and is carried out under TIVA general anaesthesia as a day case. The procedure takes approximately 2-3 hours to carry out. If combined with breast implants, the procedure may take longer to perform. During breast lift surgery, your surgeon will make incisions around the nipple and depending on the degree of lift required, place vertical and horizontal incisions beneath the breast. The breast tissue is surgically repositioned to a more elevated position before closing the skin with dissolvable sutures. A sterile dressing will be applied to protect the incisions during the healing phase.
Once you have woken up from the TIVA anaesthetic, our nurses will closely monitor you for 1-3 hours afterwards to make sure you make a full recovery. You will be given a fruit juice drink or a warm drink as you prefer to build up your energy levels. Once you are assessed as fit for discharge, you will require a responsible adult escort to take you home in a car or taxi and to look after you for at least the first 24 hours after surgery. One of our clinical support team will call you the next morning to assess your progress.
After your procedure
After your breast lift procedure, our dedicated postoperative support team are available round the clock to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Our clinical support team will call you regularly for the first 2 weeks after your procedure to make sure your pain levels are well controlled and your healing is progressing as normal.
Compared with breast enlargement surgery, the recovery after breast lift surgery is much quicker with very little in the way of discomfort and the majority of our patients are very comfortable by the end of week 1. Your doctor may recommend a period of approximately one week off work. You should minimise any excessive movements of your arms for the first 2 weeks after surgery to help with the healing of the incisions.
You will be required to wear a supportive surgical bra for a full 6 weeks to make sure healing is optimal, breast shape is preserved and so that scars heal with best results. Exercise involving the upper body should be stopped for a full 6 weeks to avoid any potential implant rotation for combined breast lift and breast augmentation surgery.
You will attend for a postoperative check up with one of our nursing team at 7-10 days to review your surgical wound sites and ensure proper healing is taking place. Recommendations on treatments for scar healing may be given for optimal cosmesis. At 6 weeks you should begin to see your final results and you will see your surgeon for a comprehensive review and make sure your results are in line with your expectations.