What is breast lift (mastopexy) surgery?

A breast lift — also known as mastopexy, breast reconstruction or breast uplift surgery — is a surgical procedure to lift and reshape sagging or drooping breasts, giving them a more uplifted appearance. This procedure can improve the shape and projection of the breasts but will not make your breasts bigger or smaller, so it is ideal for women who are generally satisfied with the volume of their breasts.

Some patients may choose to combine a breast lift with breast augmentation or breast reduction surgery. Mr Olivier Amar will discuss all your options during your initial consultation.

Why consider breast lift (mastopexy) surgery?

Breasts tend to lose shape and firmness over time – often as the result of pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight fluctuations or loss of the skin’s natural elasticity.

The female breast consists of glandular tissue, connective tissue such as ligaments which support the breast, fat for fullness and the skin, which, when firm and tight, holds the breast in position. All of these elements are subject to change due to time, gravity, hormones and weight fluctuations.

Patients often tell me that their breasts have changed with age or after having children. This can often affect their self-esteem. Patients do not necessarily want bigger or smaller breasts, but rather wish to restore a firm and youthful contour. A breast lift can help women feel more confident personally and in her social life.

Mr Olivier Amar

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What happens during the procedure?

During breast uplift surgery, loose sagging skin is removed, breast tissue tightened and the nipple and areola – the skin around the nipple – restored to a higher position. Surgery can lift breasts of any size, but results tend to last longer on smaller breasts due to the weight of the breast.

Why consider breast lift surgery?

Some common reasons for seeking a breast lift include:

  • You feel your breasts have always been lower on the body than you would prefer. This may be caused by genetics. Some patients have breasts that have naturally developed this way and larger breasts are more prone to drooping due to their weight.
  • Your breasts have volume only in the lower part of the breast while the upper part is flat.
  • Your nipples point downwards.
  • Your breasts have lost firmness and projection after pregnancy and breastfeeding. This is due to hormonal changes and stretching of the ligaments that hold the breasts in place.
  • You have low or sagging breasts due to changes in your weight. Significant weight loss is a common cause of loss of breast volume and an increase of loose skin.
  • Your breasts are less firm because of ageing and the menopause. Gravity stretches ligaments over time, while hormonal changes at the menopause can make breasts less dense as breast tissue is replaced by fat. This process can make breasts soften and sag.

How do I achieve the best result?

A combination of wearing your compression garment, wearing a bra regularly, maintaining a steady weight, following your aftercare instructions and attending your post-operative appointments is key to achieving the best result. It is vital that you follow all the aftercare instructions issued to help aid the scarring process.

Do I need to do anything before the procedure?

Prior to breast lift surgery, an ultrasound or mammogram will be required in order to check the breast tissue.

Will I have obvious scars following breast lift surgery?

Some scarring is inevitable. The resulting scars are usually in the shape of an anchor with a circle around the areola, a vertical scar down to the fold under the breast, which links to a curved, horizontal scar along the fold under the breast. These scars will fade over time and after one year, should be much less noticeable. Mr Olivier Amar will discuss scar management with you in further detail at your consultation.

Will I still be able to breastfeed?

Breast lift surgery can affect your ability to breastfeed. If you are hoping to breastfeed in the future, you should take this into consideration. If you are considering breast surgery and you have recently breastfed, we recommend that you wait 6 months allow the breast to settle down before opting for surgery.

How long does the surgery take?

The operation can take between 2 -3 hours depending on the specific requirements and complexity of the case.

What form of anaesthetic will be used?

All breast procedures are performed by Mr Olivier Amar as day surgery. Breast lift surgery is performed under total intravenous anaesthesia (TIVA), a technique of anaesthesia which uses a combination of agents given exclusively via the intravenous route without the use of gas anaesthesia. This means you will sleep comfortably throughout the procedure yet wake immediately afterwards with a significantly reduced likelihood of feeling groggy or nauseous. The anaesthesia will be explained to you by your anaesthetist during the preoperative consultation. Having surgery with TIVA allows you to go home the same day to rest and recuperate in comfort.

Will it be possible for me to stay in hospital following my procedure?

Having surgery with TIVA allows you to go home the same day to rest and recuperate in comfort. Mr Olivier Amar’s practice is happy to arrange the procedure at a hospital with an overnight stay facility if you wish or assist with a nurse to stay with you overnight, as well as helping you find local accommodation after your surgery if necessary.

Am I required to wear specific clothing following surgery?

After breast lift, you will need to wear a soft, elastic, compression bra for between three and six weeks to support recovery during the healing period which is easy to hide under your clothes. A compression bra helps with skin retraction and to reduce swelling as the surgical area is healing.

Can any other procedures be done at the same time?

Mr Olivier Amar Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation with implants

Some patients already have sufficient breast tissue to fill the shape of their newly lifted breast and restore firmness.

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Mr Olivier Amar Fat transfer to breast

Fat transfer to breast

Fat transfer can be used to add volume to flat areas of the breast, restoring the firmness of the skin

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What can I expect after breast lift (mastopexy) surgery?

In most cases, postoperative pain is moderate and usually relieved by pain medication, prescribed by our Anaesthetist. Initially you can expect swelling and bruising, this should settle down between two and three weeks.

You will be asked to come in for a post-operative nurse appointment one week and two weeks after your surgery. At this point your incision sites will be reviewed, stitches removed and your preliminary healing will be assessed. You will come back at six week after surgery to be reviewed by Mr Olivier Amar.

How long do I have to wait to return to normally activities following the surgery?

Depending on your type of daily activity, you will usually be able to resume your normal activities and return to gentle exercise after two to three weeks. Strenuous activities should be avoided for at least 2 weeks. Mr Olivier Amar will discuss this with you in further detail at your consultation.