Introduction to Breast Uplift
A breast uplift (or breast lift/mastopexy) lifts and reshapes the breasts by removing excess skin, which may result in lifted breasts and a more youthful position and shape. Here at Sthetix we have some of the most highly qualified and experienced Breast Specialist Plastic Surgeons in the country.
Who is suitable for Breast Uplift?
Breast uplift is a procedure for women who want more youthful looking breasts. Many of our patients come to us after pregnancy or breastfeeding or simply because their skin has lost the lift and elasticity it once had. Some women may naturally develop drooping breasts and breast uplift surgery is often the best way to regain youthful looking breasts.
For women who are also seeking fuller or larger breasts (but have droopy breasts), the combination of uplift and breast enlargement is also available. The two procedures together can improve the size, shape and overall appearance of the breasts.
Before breast uplift surgery
A consultation with one of our expert cosmetic surgeons is invaluable prior to making a decision about proceeding with breast uplift surgery. The surgeon will be able to advise you about your suitability for this procedure and the options available to you.
Before you have surgery, we ask patients to stop smoking. This is because smoking introduces toxins into the blood that increase the risk of healing problems, skin loss and anaesthetic complications. It is therefore essential that smokers stop well before the surgery date (at least 6 weeks) and don’t start again until wounds have completely healed.
We also ask that you stop taking oral contraception pills (alternative methods are fine), aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs as they increase the risk of bleeding. Off the shelf herbal medicines and nutritional supplements must also be discontinued before surgery.
To ensure your health during surgery, you will be required to attend a medical examination at a pre-operative assessment clinic where certain tests may be carried out. This is so we can make sure that everything is ok before you undergo the procedure.
The procedure and risks
The procedure involves repositioning the nipples to a more balanced position and this depends on your height and build. The breast tissue is also moulded into a new shape and any excess skin is removed to give a better appearance. If you have chosen a breast enlargement to be done at the same time, a breast implant is also inserted (read more about breast augmentation here).
Breast uplift can be carried out using many different methods. One method leaves an anchor shaped scar (a circle around the nipple, with a straight line below it and an upward curve under the breast), and the other method leaves a scar in a circle around the nipple. The scarring will take around 18 months to mature and improve and they tend to be red and sometimes lumpy in the first few months. To help you decide on the best option, we take into account your individual breast shape, nipple position and what your aims are.
All breast uplift procedures involve removing some skin and this will leave some scarring on the breast. Your surgeon will try their best to make the scars as fine as possible, however the final result will be determined by how you heal. In a breast uplift procedure, no breast tissue is removed.
Another method of breast uplift is called "Auto augmentation" and involves more invasive redistribution of breast tissue. This may be suitable in cases where a fuller look is required without using an implant.
The most common cause of dissatisfaction after this procedure is a mismatch between the expectations of the patient and what can physically be achieved safely. It’s therefore important that each patient has a realistic expectation and an understanding of what is physically achievable and this will be discussed in detail with you at the consultation stage.
As breast uplift is a major surgical procedure, some bleeding, oozing, bruising, swelling, scars and discomfort are inevitable after this surgery.
The potential risks with breast uplift include infection, poor scars (wide, red or lumpy), haematoma, asymmetry, excessive drooping, pain, loss of sensation, nipple and skin loss, DVT (deep vein thrombosis) and PE (pulmonary embolism). Your surgeon will explain the limitations and the potential risks of this procedure during your consultation, allowing you to make a fully informed decision. If implants are used, the the risks of capsular contracture and implant rupture are also present.
Although breast shape and size can be altered and improved with this procedure, after surgery the shape, size and position of the breast will continue to change due to gravity, weight changes and ageing changes. Your surgeon has no control over how these changes take place and cannot guarantee the longevity of the results.
A breast uplift may improve the shape of the breasts and lift the position of the nipples but the final shape and size of the breasts depends to some extent on the initial shape and size before surgery. The shape of the chest wall and ribs as well as quality of skin and underlying tissues (largely dictated by your genes) may also influence the final results and how long the lift lasts.
As your wellbeing is our number one priority, we offer a comprehensive and personalised aftercare package all included in your treatment.
After you are discharged, will we give you post-operative care instructions and you will have 24-hour access to trained staff who will be on hand to advise you should you have any questions or concerns.
After the surgery, we will arrange appointments for follow-up examinations with your surgeon to monitor your progress and check that you are recovering well (it usually takes 2-3 weeks to recover and heal from this procedure).
2 weeks after surgery, one of our trained staff will see you and check your wounds. Your surgeon will see you after 6 weeks for a follow-up and again after that until you are fully recovered. These follow-ups are standard and will be provided at no extra cost.
In the unlikely event of a problem, we will make arrangements for you to be seen by trained staff and if it’s needed, by the surgeon who performed the procedure. As all our surgeons live and work in the local area, it is possible to see your surgeon at relatively short notice. Our surgeons don’t leave the country or the local area after performing the surgery. If, on a rare occasion, a surgeon leaves the local area for other commitments, we will ensure that there will always be another trained plastic surgeon from our team available to provide you with comprehensive care.
In the unlikely event of a complication directly related to your surgery, we would provide or arrange further surgery and/or treatment at no extra cost for up to 1 year.
How long will it take to recover?
It usually takes 2-3 weeks to heal from this procedure. Full recovery may take up to 6 weeks.
When can I return to work?
This depends on your type of work but most people are comfortable returning to work around 2-3 weeks after surgery.
When can I drive?
We recommend that you don’t drive a car for at least 2 weeks after the surgery.
When can I exercise?
We recommended gentle exercise (short walks) as soon as you feel ready. Strenuous exercise should start gradually after 6 weeks.
What about smoking?
Smokers are strongly advised to stop at least 6 weeks before surgery and must not smoke until they are fully recovered. Smoking is well known to interfere with healing and may also increase the risk of complications. If you continue to smoke, you could suffer from wound breakdown and possible loss of breast tissue.
Can I breast feed?
In most cases, breastfeeding is possible after breast uplift; however it is important to understand that even in the general population, some women are naturally unable to breastfeed. This surgery is not known to interfere with the ability to breastfeed.
How long will the breast lift last?
The breasts take about 6 weeks to settle into their new shape and position after the surgery. A number of factors determine how long the lift will last, including the size of the breasts, the quality of breast tissue and ageing changes. It is not possible to predict the speed at which the breasts will droop again.