Breast lift or mastopexy

Specialty of Plastic surgery

What is mastopexy?

Mastopexy, or breast lift, is a form of plastic surgery that raises sagging breasts in order to correct ptosis. Throughout a woman’s life, her breasts will naturally sag as she ages, as breasts lack muscle tissue, meaning they cannot be strengthened. While it is not necessary to correct natural sagging, some women choose to in order to restore volume and fullness to the breasts.  

Why is mastopexy performed?

Mastopexy is performed to correct sagging breasts, which can occur as a result of gravitational pull, ageing (as fat and tissue decrease in the breasts), pregnancy, or weight loss. Smoking and sunburn can also affect the elasticity of the breasts. Sagging can occur in both large and small breasts. While sagging breasts do not affect physical health, they may affect self-esteem, and as a result women may wish to have the ptosis corrected.

What happens during mastopexy?

During the procedure, your surgeon makes several cuts on the breasts, depending on the technique that they are using. Skin can be removed from around the areola, and from under the breasts, or only one area. The breast is then reshaped, making it ‘tighter’, and the nipples are repositioned, with the areola being reshaped on some occasions to fit the new breast size.

Sometimes breast implants can be inserted during the same procedure, in order to perform a breast uplift and enlargement.

How to prepare for mastopexy

At consultations before your surgery, your surgeon will assess your breasts and take photographs for records. They will assess the size and position of your nipples and mark where the cuts will be made. They will discuss what you want to achieve from the procedure in-depth.

Before undergoing a mastopexy, your surgeon will explain what you must do in preparation. If you smoke, you will be asked to stop at least six weeks before the operation, as smoking increases the risk of infection and slows recovery.

You will be advised not to eat or drink anything for about six hours before the operation. The procedure is performed under general anaesthesia.

Post-operative care  

After surgery, you’ll need to:

  • Wear a suitable bra (elastics, without underwire and with adjustable straps) and a bandage for a month
  • Remove the bra only for showering
  • Not wear an underwire bra for several months after the intervention
  • Massage the area to reduce inflammation (if recommended by the specialist)
  • Avoid lifting heavy things, strenuous exercises and sudden movements

Your surgeon will also give you advice on aftercare and how to clean the wound. Speak to your specialist if you have any questions or worries after the procedure.

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