Breast Lift Procedure
Breast lift surgery, or Mastopexy as it is also known, is a surgical procedure that will reshape sagging or droopy breasts and improve breast form. There are a number of different ways breast lift can be done, which depends on the size and shape of the existing breasts.
To see before and afters on this procedure visit our gallery.
About Breast Lift Surgery (Mastopexy)
Ideally, the nipple and areola are level with the centre of the upper arm. However, pregnancy, breast feeding, weight loss and the simple passage of time can cause volume loss and elasticity, leaving the nipples at a lower level.
Unlike breast reduction surgery, breast lifts do not aim to change the size of your breasts, they’re designed to restore breasts to more youthful and attractive shape. In some cases a Breast lift can be combined with an augmentation (breast implants) to achieve not only a lift but more fullness.
During the procedure Dr Briggs will remove excess and sagging breast tissue to bring the breast into a lifted position. During this time he can also reshape and move the nipple.
Depending on the technique required, a lift won’t necessarily interfere with breastfeeding, making it an option for women who have not finished childbearing. It should be noted that an breast lift will not prevent breasts from drooping ever again.
Your surgeon will take a medical history and enquire about any prior breast surgeries. He will advise you about the scarring that can result from breast lift surgery and explain the various options available to you.
Breast lifts typically leave scars around the areola, and possibly down and along the breast crease. The amount of scarring varies depending on your initial shape – your surgeon will explain the extent of the scars you should expect as it can vary from patient to patient.
If your breasts have not drooped significantly, and an increase in their size would be acceptable to you, breast augmentation alone may be a better way of lifting and firming them.
In other cases, where breast droop is minimal, Dr Briggs may suggest a technique that causes less scarring; or he may advise against having surgery at all.
What to expect from Breast Lift Surgery
Technically known as ‘Breast Ptosis Correction’, Mastopexy usually takes about two hours, is done under general anaesthesia, and can be performed as a day procedure.
During the procedure, skin is cut away above, below and around the nipple and areola. The tissue is reshaped in order to achieve a better contour and enhanced projection. The remaining skin is then stretched taut and re-joined, and the nipple is repositioned. This type of surgery doesn’t interfere much with the nerve supply to the nipple areola, so sensation is usually preserved.
As routine precautions against blood clotting, you will wear anti-embolism (TED) stockings until you are discharged from the hospital. You will also be expected to get out of bed and move around as soon as possible after surgery.
The location of the incisions depend on the size and shape of your breasts, how much skin needs to be removed, and your surgeon’s recommendations.
There are three surgical techniques that can be used by Dr Briggs:
Robbins (inferior pedicle) method
- Around the areola;
- Vertically down from the areola to the crease under the breast;
- Horizontally along the natural curve of the breast;
- Excess skin and fat are removed and the nipple and areola are placed in a higher position.
A short scar technique – Incisions are only made around the areola and down to the fold. This method is now used on the majority of patients, and gives a very youthful, vibrant look to the reshaped breasts.
Benelli (peri-areola) method
Two circular incisions around the areola from where the breast tissue and skin are removed. This method has limited applications.
Immediately after your breast lift surgery you will immediately notice the shape of your new breasts. You should see less drooping, and your nipples will be positioned higher; however, the final shape of the breast will take around six months to show.
During your breasts recovery there are several things you should expect:
- Your breasts will be uncomfortable, possibly painful. This may initially helped with intravenous pain medication, thereafter mild pain killing tablets such as Paracetamol as and when required. Aspirin must be avoided because it causes bleeding.
- You will have dressings on your breasts after surgery.
- In the first week Dr Briggs advises you do not completely submerge yourself in the shower. Your dressings must remain dry, therefore it may be easier to sponge shower.
- Dr Briggs will provide you with a post operative bra to wear after surgery. This must be worn for 6 weeks. You must not wear other bras that are hard or contain underwire.
- Bruising of the skin of your ‘new’ breasts is to be expected, however, it should subside in two to three weeks. To speed the resolution of bruising and swelling you may take Arnica for one week before surgery and two weeks afterwards.
- You should not return to vigorous exercise for six weeks. It is also best not to plan to travel for a month after your breast surgery.
- You should expect to feel somewhat tired for up to two weeks after the breast lift procedure. If you tend to be anaemic or have heavy menstrual cycles, you should take iron and folic acid supplements.
- Immediately after your surgery, the skin around your incisions may appear slightly ‘pleated’ and your scars may be hard, red, raised and lumpy. Depending on your body’s healing characteristics, it can take up to 18 months for scars to flatten and resolve.
- Your scars should, in time, return to normal skin colour but you should not expect them ever to be invisible. Dr Briggs will prescribe a strict scar care routine for you to follow after surgery to aid in healing.
- As with any surgery, there is a possibility of infection. This is readily treated with antibiotics and/or dressings.
Delayed healing is more likely if you smoke cigarettes before or after surgery.
For professional advice on breast lifts and surgical procedures, contact Dr Patrick Briggs whose practice is located in Subiaco, Perth Western Australia.