Breast Uplift

Procedure time

1.5 to 3 hours

Overnight stay

0 – 1 night

Anaesthetic

General or local with sedation

Final results

6 – 12 months

A breast uplift, also known as a mastopexy or “boob lift”, is a surgical procedure that aims to lift the breasts. This allows the breasts to achieve a firmer and younger-looking shape. It is essential that you familiarise yourself with this procedure before having treatment. This breast uplift overview gives a good initial introduction to the surgery.

What can a breast uplift achieve?

Sagging or drooping breasts can develop after breastfeeding, ageing, weight loss or pregnancy. The breasts begin to droop when the skin and breast ligaments begin to stretch, therefore providing less support to the underlying breast tissue.

A breast uplift will not significantly alter the size of your breasts. In some cases, your surgeon may suggest combining the uplift with a breast enlargement in order to add a fullness to the breasts. A breast lift can however, achieve the following:

  • Lifted breasts
  • Removal of excess skin
  • Firmer and more shapely breasts
  • Adjustment of the areola shape, position or size
  • An increase in body confidence and self-esteem

You should aim to be at your target weight prior to surgery. This is because major weight changes can affect the results of your breast uplift. You should also aim to complete your family before having your breast uplift. This is because pregnancy and breastfeeding can also have an affect on the results.

Who is an ideal candidate for a breast uplift?

Some women may want a breast uplift to improve the shape and look of their breasts. The most suitable breast uplift candidates include patients who are:

  • Over 18 years old
  • Have realistic expectations
  • Physically healthy
  • Not pregnant or nursing
  • Prepared emotionally for the procedure
  • Unhappy with the appearance of their breasts
  • Non-smokers, or have not smoked or used nicotine for a minimum of 6 weeks before the operation.
Why have a breast uplift?

Sagging or drooping of the breasts occurs when the skin and ligaments of the breast are stretched, therefore providing less support to the breast tissue. This can occur as a result of pregnancy, breastfeeding, significant weight changes or ageing and gravity.
A breast uplift can reverse these effects by:

  • Lifting the breasts
  • Giving the breasts a firmer and more youthful look
  • Increasing body confidence and self-esteem

Ideally, you should reach your target weight and complete your family before having surgery. This is because significant weight changes, pregnancy and breastfeeding can all affect the results of your breast uplift.

What can a breast uplift achieve?

A breast uplift aims to:

  • Remove excess skin
  • Remodel the breast tissue to enhance its contour
  • Adjust the position of the areola
  • Reshape or reduce the size of the areola if necessary

A breast uplift will not significantly change the size of your breasts. However in order to achieve the best aesthetic result, your surgeon may suggest that you combine your breast uplift with a breast enlargement. This is because a breast implant is sometimes needed to help create a fuller upper pole of the breast, which a breast uplift alone may not be able to do.
Optimising your health will increase your suitability for a breast uplift. You can do this by: exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy diet, reducing alcohol intake and most importantly, stopping smoking.

How is a breast uplift procedure performed?

A breast uplift procedure takes 1.5 to 3 hours to perform. Before your operation, you must make sure you follow the instructions given for drinking, eating and taking your medications the night before.
A breast uplift procedure will involve the following steps:

1. Consent form

When you arrive to the hospital, you will meet your anaesthetist and surgeon to sign a consent form for surgery. This will happen on the day of your operation, or a week before, during your pre-operative assessment.
After you have signed the consent form, your surgeon will draw marks on your breasts and describe the exact goals of the operation.

2. Anaesthesia

You will have your anaesthetic administered by your anaesthetist. The anaesthetist may either use a general anaesthetic, or a local anaesthetic with IV (intravenous) sedation. The anaesthetic they use will depend on what you have agreed upon with your surgeon during your consultation.

3. Incisions

Your surgeon will clean your skin and drape it. They will then make the surgical incisions in the areas discussed.
There are a number of different incisions a surgeon may use for a breast uplift. They are all likely to affect breast sensation and breastfeeding to varying degrees. Each incision will produce a different scar, but the scars should not be visible outside of your bra or bikini top.
Your surgeon will discuss with you which incision method is best for your breasts. They will take into account your: breast size, breast shape, areola size and position, degree of breast sagging and the skin quality and quantity.
The different types of breast uplift incisions include:

If you have a very small degree of breast sagging, your surgeon may use a periareolar incision. Surgeons however, do not often use this incision as it cannot achieve a large degree of lift.

If you have mild breast sagging, your surgeon may use a circumareolar incision for your breast uplift. This technique is also not commonly used as it achieves only a small degree of lift.

A vertical incision is the most commonly used technique. It is used when there is moderate sagging of the breast, as it allows for a greater lift of the breast and more excess skin to be removed.

A surgeon may use an inverted-T incision to correct a significant amount of breast sagging. They will use this technique for large breasts, sometimes in combination with a breast reduction.

4. Closing of incisions

Your surgeon will then close the incision they have made. They will then apply a dressing over the incision. They may put surgical drains in below the skin. These drains help reduce swelling and bruising. Your surgeon will most likely remove them before you leave the hospital.

6. Return to the ward

You will go back to the ward to recover from the anaesthetic, and be able to return home the same day or the following day.
After your surgery, you will be able to see a change in your breasts instantly. It may however, take 6 to 12 months before you are able to appreciate the full cosmetic result of your breast uplift procedure.

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