Women’s breasts change over time and you may find that they have lost their shape, size or are beginning to sag. Our breasts are affected by a number of things, from our lifestyle choices such as pregnancy, breastfeeding and fluctuations in weight, to the natural ageing process and the effects of gravity which wear away the supportive tissue of the breast.
While there are temporary options, such as shape wear or opting for a push-up bra, you may feel that a breast lift, or mastopexy, can help you get back the breasts you used to have and love. It is often combined with breast augmentation to achieve a fuller, perkier shape.
Planning your surgery
During your initial consultation with your surgeon it is important to be honest with your surgeon about the results you wish to achieve and to listen to his or her opinion. Your age, breast size and shape and the condition of your skin will all affect the results of your breast lift. Your surgeon will fully explain this to you, and advise whether implants would be suitable.
Your surgeon will measure your breasts during the consultation, while you are sitting or standing. You will also discuss the placement of your nipple and areola. They may be moved higher during the surgery and should be approximately even with the crease beneath your breast.
At 111 Harley Street we strive to ensure you understand the procedure and process. Your surgeon will guide you through the surgery, explaining the results and limitations. There will be scarring with the surgery, and the severity of the scarring will be dependent on the individual. A breast lift will not be able to keep you firm forever, the effects of pregnancy, gravity, ageing and weight fluctuation will eventually take their toll. Women may find their effects last longer with implants.
A Breast Lift can take between one and a half to three and half hours. The most common technique is to use an anchor shaped incision following the natural contour of the breast, but the technique used will depend on your breast size and shape.
The incision will outline the area from which breast skin will be removed and defines the new location for the nipple and areola. When the excess skin has been removed the nipple and areola are moved to the new higher position, and the skin surrounding the areola is bought down and around to form the new breast. Stitches are usually located around the areola, extend down in a vertical line and along the crease of the breast.
Some patients, especially those with smaller breasts and less sagging, may be suitable candidates for different procedures involving less extensive incisions. One procedure is the ‘doughnut’ (or concentric) mastopexy, where circular incisions are made around the areola and a doughnut shaped area of skin is removed.
If you are having an implant inserted along with your breast lift it will be inserted directly under the breast tissue or deeper, underneath your chest wall muscle.
Your breasts may be bruised, swollen and uncomfortable for a day or two following your surgery, but the pain shouldn’t be severe. Any pain you do experience can be managed with pain medication prescribed by your surgeon.
Post-surgery you will wear an elastic bandage or sports bra over gauze dressings. Within a few days this will be replaced with a soft support bra which you will need to wear day and night for three to four weeks over a layer of gauze. Your stitches will be removed after a week or two.
If your skin is very dry following your breast lift then you can apply moisturiser several times a day, but be careful not to tug at your skin and keep the moisturiser away from sutures.
You can expect some loss of feeling in your nipple and breast skin caused by the swelling after surgery. For most patients this usually subsides over the next six weeks, although in some cases in can last up to a year and, occasionally, the numbness may be long lasting.
Your surgeon will give you detailed instructions for resuming your normal activity, and remember healing is a gradual process. Although you may be up and about in a day or two do not expect to go back to work for a week or more after surgery, depending on how you feel. Avoid lifting anything over your head for three to four weeks. You may be instructed to avoid sex for a week or two, and refrain from strenuous sport for about a month. After that time you can resume these activities slowly. If you become pregnant, this operation should not affect your ability to breast feed as the milk ducts and nipples will be left intact.
Browse our before and after pictures below