What is breast uplift (mastopexy)?
Breast uplift (mastopexy) involves reduction of the breast skin envelope, elevation of the nipple to a higher position and reshaping of the breast to give a rounded appearance. When a breast uplift is combined with breast enlargement it is called augmentation mastopexy.
Do I need a breast uplift?
Breast uplift is indicated in women with droopy breasts (ptosis). The degree of ptosis or droopiness varies from person to person. The common causes for the breast to droop are; multiple pregnancies, breast feeding and massive weight loss. The breasts not only droop but the skin gets wrinkled due to the loss of internal breast tissue. Breast uplift enhances the overall breast appearance. It is also known to boost self confidence, enhance body image and self-esteem.
What does the surgery involve?
The surgery is performed under a general anaesthetic. The cut is normally made around the nipple to elevate the nipple along with the blood supply, nerve supply and breast tissue. Depending on the degree of droopiness, one may need a vertical cut underneath the areola or another cut on the crease, under the breast (infra-mammary fold). If the procedure is combined with breast enlargement, an implant is inserted commonly under the muscle and sometimes behind the breast (augmentation mastopexy).
What complications can happen?
- Bruising – this is very common and can take 2-3 weeks to settle
- Reduced ability to breastfeed.
- Breast lift is a temporary stage. With time, breasts may droop again.
- Wound breakdown - Most commonly this happens where two cuts meet i.e. at the T junction in lower breast. It requires simple wound dressings.
- Loss of skin or nipple – this is rare. The risk factors are smoking, diabetes, previous radiotherapy and very large droopy breasts.
- Fat necrosis - it means hard lump formation due to reduced blood supply to the native breasts.
- Altered nipple sensation of the nipple – this tends to improve within a few months. Complete loss of sensation is rare.
- Hypertrophy or thickening of scars.
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Complications related to implants (please see augmentation section)
How long before daily activities may be resumed?
- Normal activity can be resumed in 48 hours
- Shower normally after 10 days
- Avoid heavy arm exercises for 4-6 weeks
- Avoid lifting heavy weights for 4-6 weeks
- Do not go on long haul flights for 6 weeks to avoid the risk of deep vein thrombosis
- Wear a sports bra day and night for at least 6 weeks
Clinic appointments (all covered within the fee)
- One week
- Two weeks
- Three months
Breast mastopexy has a high success rate with few serious complications.
What you can do to help make the operation a success
- If you smoke, stopping smoking several weeks or more before. It reduces your risk of developing complications.
- Try to maintain a healthy weight.
- Regular exercise should help to prepare you for the operation