Breast lift surgery – otherwise known as a mastopexy – is an operation to lift the nipple and areola (the area of dark skin around the nipple) into a higher position, and reshape the breast by removal of excess skin and repositioning of the underneath breast tissue. It is normally done to re-create a youthful and firm appearance to the breasts, which naturally become droopy with age.
Drooping breasts can also occur after pregnancy, breast feeding and significant weight loss, or can just be a characteristic people are born with.
Why you might need breast lift surgery
Mastopexy surgery results in the breasts becoming firmer and returning to a more youthful appearance. The surgery can help to rejuvenate your figure with the breasts sitting in a more desirable position. This surgery is common with women who have seen their:
- Breasts lose shape after significant weight loss
- Breasts lose shape after pregnancy
- Breasts lose shape after breast feeding
- Breasts lose shape with age
Assessment for this surgery
Before you press ahead with a mastopexy, you will meet with Mr Sherif Wilson FRCS (Plast) who will assess the current shape of your breasts and recommend the best course of action for your specific situation. It’s possible that a breast augmentation procedure may be recommended instead. Mr Wilson will be happy to meet with you as many times as you need before surgery takes place.
What does this procedure involve?
Surgery is performed under general anaesthetic (with you asleep). There are a number of ways to perform a mastopexy and Mr Wilson will explain the best option for your breasts. Often, a cut will be made around the areola, and from here vertically down to the breast crease. Occasionally, a horizontal cut is also made in the breast crease itself.
The operation takes about two hours to perform. You may have drains (small plastic tubes) placed at the time of surgery to remove blood from the wound; these are normally removed on the ward before you leave hospital the next day.
Before and after gallery
Going home after surgery
When you return home following surgery, you will need to take it easy and rest to allow the body to recover as quickly as possible. You will need to purchase a soft bra with no under-wiring to support the healing breasts after surgery for up to 6 weeks. Initially, your breasts will be supported in a dressing until it is removed at a follow-up appointment, which normally takes place one week after surgery.
Whilst you will be encouraged to stay mobile after surgery, it is advised to take two weeks off work and to avoid strenuous exercise for a period of six weeks. It is also advised to not drive for a period of two weeks post surgery. It is recommended to check with your insurance provider in case you invalidate your policy by driving too soon after surgery.
What are the risks of this surgery?
Complications with surgery are rare, but there are potential risks that you need to be aware of before deciding if you want to go ahead.
A collection of blood in the wounds can occur even if drains are used. This is normally obvious within a day of surgery, and if significant you may need to return to theatre to have this removed under general anaesthetic. A wound infection can also occur any time after surgery until the wounds have healed.
In addition, sometimes the nipple, areola and surrounding skin are more sensitive after surgery, and sometimes they are less sensitive. Such changes are often temporary and often settle after a few months but changes can be permanent in rare cases.
The operation is not possible without creating scars. Normally these are narrow and start off red and fade over a few months. Finally, the breasts may not be exactly symmetrical following the procedure, especially if there was any difference in size and shape beforehand, which is not uncommon.
How much does this surgery cost?
Depending on the type of procedure you require, the cost of surgery can vary. Please see prices below:
These are guide prices and are subject to change following an initial consultation with Mr Wilson, where a bespoke quote will be provided, specific to each patient.
At Spire Bristol Hospital
At BMI Bath Clinic
At Winfield Hospital (Gloucester)
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