What is a breast uplift procedure and why is it performed?
A breast uplift procedure (mastopexy) can help women of all ages to correct sagging breasts. The procedure involves the surgical tailoring and tightening of breast skin under general anaesthetic. Patients undergoing this procedure usually stay in hospital for one night to recover. The objective of uplift surgery is to produce a pert, firm, more youthful breast shape that is in proportion to the rest of a women's figure.
What kind of women requests this procedure?
- Women of all ages who want to change the general shape of their breasts
- Women who have been affected by ageing, pregnancy or significant weight increase or loss
- Women who suffer with uneven (asymmetrical) breasts
- Women who are limited by the way their sagging breasts interfere with their confidence to choose certain items of fashionable clothing
- Women who feel that their self esteem, social confidence or relationships are affected by concerns about their breast appearance
What are the results like?
This procedure can provide excellent results, freeing women from the concerns that sagging breasts can cause. In some instances where significant weight loss or pregnancy has occurred, this procedure can also be performed in conjunction with breast implant surgery, boosting both the size and shape of the breast.
This advanced corrective procedure is reasonably lengthy and complex and needs to be performed by a Consultant Plastic Surgeon who is fully qualified and highly experienced. However, even the highest standards of breast uplift surgery will result in some visible scarring on the breasts.
How is a mastopexy procedure performed?
This procedure involves the rearrangement of soft tissue, repositioning of the nipple and tightening of the surrounding breast skin. Occasionally, breast augmentation (enlargement) can be incorporated into this procedure to also provide a fuller breast in addition to the mastopexy (uplift) procedure. This procedure can take an average of around 1 - 2 hours to perform under a general anaesthetic.
Techniques for breast uplift vary between surgeons and according to the individual needs of each patient. However, the most common incision methods are shaped in a 'mid-line' or 'anchor-like' appearance, leaving a scar that extends around the darker tissue surrounding the nipple (areola) and extends down the midline of the lower segment of the breast and then follows the natural crease line beneath the breast.
How will you feel after surgery and what is the recovery period like?
Whilst the operation of breast uplift is a relatively major procedure, the operated area is often quite numb following surgery. Typically patients therefore express that they experience a surprising lack of postoperative pain.
The return of nipple sensitivity following surgery is entirely variable from one patient to another. The sensation in the nipple may be preserved, but can be temporarily reduced or increased whilst the scars heal. A proportion of women will lose some or all feeling in one or both of their nipples. Breast-feeding may or may not be possible if a future pregnancy were to occur.
In the early days following discharge, patients are strongly advised to stay mobile at home, but to avoid any level of activity that would put undue strain on the new surgical wounds.
It is usual for patients to take between 1 to 2 weeks away from work following this type of surgery and to refrain from any strenuous exercise for at least 8 weeks.
Are there are any risks involved in breast uplift surgery?
All surgery involves an element of risk from developing complications. However, cosmetic surgery is usually undertaken voluntarily and only when a patient is in good health. Therefore, the probability of experiencing complications following this kind of surgery is substantially lower than for those who undergo surgery due to ill health.
Risks such as bleeding, infection, delayed healing, asymmetry, alteration in sensitivity and scarring will all be discussed openly at consultation, as well as our scrupulous efforts to manage and minimise these risks.
Smoking may adversely affect wound healing and heavy smokers may be precluded from having this type of surgery as a result. The appearance of surgical scars (which generally fade progressively after surgery) is a highly individual matter. Usually, scarring matures and fades to a cosmetically acceptable level within 6 - 12 months following surgery. Occasionally, patients can develop red, unsightly, firm scars, known as hypertrophic scarring or keloids, which may require further corrective treatment, although the results can never be guaranteed.
The importance of a thorough pre-operative consultation with the Consultant Plastic Surgeon who will actually perform your operation cannot be overstressed. At Classic Hospitals, each consultation is tailored to an individual's needs. The process will always involve a thorough evaluation of your present and past medical history and a physical examination of the area of concern.
Your surgeon will take time to listen to your concerns regarding your present breast size, and will take care to ensure that you have a thorough understanding of what can be done to help, the procedure itself, the recovery stages and a clear explanation of the risks involved. You will need time to consider all these factors before making a decision regarding mastoplexy.
You are positively encouraged to ask any questions that you may have and to look at photographs of others who have had the same type of surgery that you are considering. If you would find it helpful, our advisory team may be able to arrange for you to speak with a previous Classic Hospitals' patient who is willing to discuss their experience with you over the telephone.
How to arrange a consultation with a fully qualified Consultant Surgeon with GMC specialist registration
Please feel free to call our Customer Service Advisory Team at your local Classic Hospital who will be pleased to answer any queries, or make an appointment for you to meet with a Consultant Surgeon who has specialist skills and experience in breast uplift surgery.
Our Customer Advisory Service is personally manned between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. We will also be happy to discreetly return your call if you leave a short message, forwarding name and telephone number on our confidential answer phone after office hours.