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Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
The appearance of the breasts can change over time, losing their shape, size, and desired position. With ageing, pregnancy, hormones and weight fluctuations, the supportive tissue of the breast can weaken, and the breasts can appear lower than desirable.
Otherwise known as a ‘Mastopexy’, a breast uplift is a procedure that can lift the breasts to a more aesthetically pleasing position. Depending on the degree of ptosis and size of the natural breast, often a breast uplift is performed in conjunction with an areola reduction, breast implants, and a nipple lift.
Remember all breasts are different
A breast uplift could also be an option for asymmetric breasts, tubular breasts or other breast shapes that you are not confident with. It’s important to remember that every pair of breasts are different and that all shapes and sizes are ‘normal’ – however, there are surgical options available if you desire to enhance or reposition them.
The degrees of breast ptosis and the varying breast shapes
Breast sagging is a progressive issue, that can worsen with natural ageing, free radical damage, hormonal changes, e.g. pregnancy, and weight changes. Breast ptosis can also be genetically pre-determined. Breast sagging is something that many women experience and no two pair of breasts are ever the same. The diagram below aims to illustrate whether you’re experiencing a degree of breast sagging:
The most typically desired breast shape and position in Western society is the Teardrop shape. As a result, implants are often shaped like this. This type of breast shape is slightly more full with more volume at the bottom, with less above the nipple. The nipple is above the inframammary fold, and both the upper and lower breast tissue sits above the infra mammary fold.
The nipple is in line with the breast crease with the lower breast tissue sagging below the infra mammary fold.
The nipple points down or sits below the breast crease with moderate lower breast tissue below the inframammary fold.
The nipple projects downwards with the majority of both the upper and lower breast tissue sitting below the infra mammary fold.
The nipple sits at the inframammary fold or above it, but the lower breast tissue sags below the breast crease.
What Breast Shape Are You?
Breasts can be all shapes, sizes and colours, and may comprise various characteristics as shown in the diagram:
Breasts have less fullness in the upper part of the breast and nipples point outwards.
Breasts have all over fullness both vertically and horizontally.
One breast may be fuller and sit lower than the other.
Breasts sit wide apart on chest wall but ride high, with the nipple at or below the breast crease.
Breasts look wider with a muscular broader appearance.
The breast tissue hangs low and the nipples are usually below the breast crease.
There’s space in between the two breasts so that they sit further apart.
Breasts are fuller and wider at the bottom and thinner at the top.
A tubular breast often doesn’t appear until puberty as the breasts develop and are relatively rare. The breasts appear droopy and wide set, with large and puffy areolas, nipples that point downwards, and a tube-like shape to the breast due to the lack of supportive tissue in the breasts. Approach to surgery varies slightly from a traditional mastopexy as the constricted breast tissue may need to be released.
Breast Lift (Mastopexy) FAQ
Which procedure is right for you?
A breast reconstruction surgery, whether that be a breast uplift, breast augmentation, areola reduction or nipple reconstruction, is often unique to each patient. The procedures can be combined or altered depending on your goals and limitations. The detailed consultation process will help you determine which technique will be appropriate for you.
Performing a breast uplift as an isolated procedure is relatively uncommon in our practice. We often combine this with other surgeries such as a tummy tuck as part of a makeover or with breast implants.
How long does it take?
A mastopexy can take between 1 to 3.5 hours.
Are there any side effects?
Possible risks of a breast uplift might include (but are not limited to): anaesthesia complications, Hematoma, necrosis or wound dehiscence, bruising, infection, changes of sensation in the breast or nipple, asymmetry or undesired results, seroma, loss of nipple, DVT, or other pulmonary complications.
How long is the recovery period?
Recovery rates vary from patient to patient, but generally, the recovery process for a breast uplift takes around 6 weeks.It’s recommended that patients take a week off from work and avoid lifting for three to four weeks. The sutures may be removed around two weeks after the procedure. Strenuous physical activity should be avoided for around 1 month. We may recommend wearing a supportive garment for around 2 months following your surgery.
Can you still breastfeed after a Mastopexy?
If you’re concerned about your ability to breastfeed after this operation, you should discuss this with your surgeon so that they can preserve the lactation capabilities as much as possible. Usually, the lactation system remains intact, even though the nipple usually needs to be repositioned. If this is the case, it usually isn’t separated from the glandular tissue.
What will the breast lift scars look like?
Before having your surgery, the technique and the type of incision will be discussed with your surgeon. Any procedure that involves an incision will leave residual scarring. The scars usually fade over one to two years.
Which scar is least visible
The inverted T required removal of the most amount of skin and will, therefore, be the most visible, whereas the Benelli scar (around the areola) will be the least noticeable. Due to the contrast in colour between the breast flesh and the areola, scarring will fade into the nipple line and will, therefore, be hardly visible.
Who is suitable for the procedure?
A mastopexy procedure is often considered after pregnancy, as many women find that their breasts change shape during this time. A combination of weight gain and an increase in breast tissue and ligaments can cause the skin to stretch and shrink in a relatively rapid amount of time, contributing to sagging. Additionally, breastfeeding causes the skin to stretch and shrink on a daily basis, and although the skin has elasticity and collagen to support this process, these supportive proteins are often broken down with ageing, drinking, smoking, environmental influences, and other external factors, making the skin less able to bounce back as freely.
This procedure can be suitable for anyone who has any varying degree of breast ptosis or asymmetry
What does the procedure involve?
The approach to surgery will vary depending on the concerns the surgeon is addressing and your breast size and shape. The most common technique is to use an anchor-shaped incision following the natural contour of the breast.
The operation is usually performed under general anaesthetic and an overnight stay is not usually required.
During the breast lift (mastopexy) operation, the breasts will be elevated to a higher position.
If you are having an additional breast implant procedure, the implants will be inserted through the same incision location. The incision will then be closed with sutures.
Browse our before and after pictures below:
BEFORE & AFTER photos are NOT guarantees that your results will be the same or even similar: your results will likely vary significantly — because you are a unique person. Our Plastic Surgeons take great pride in their patient care ethics, precise surgical measurements, custom planning & their advanced surgical techniques.