What is a Mastopexy?
Also known as a breast lift, a mastopexy is a procedure which aims to improve the shape of the breast without altering the size.
Who does this procedure suit?
Those who have drooping or sagging breasts as a result of aging, child bearing and weight gain. These factors cause the ligaments and skin of the breast to stretch and elongate, causing the breast to droop on the chest wall, known as ptosis.
What results will I expect?
Your breast lift procedure will result in an improvement of the position of the breast on the chest wall, aiming to be as close as possible to your original breast size and shape before excessive drooping occurred. However it is important to remain realistic about what a breast lift can achieve, as the effects of gravity and aging is difficult to eliminate altogether.
Before and After Photos
What’s the first step to take?
During your first consultation your surgeon will discuss what you’d like to achieve, any expectations you have, questions about the procedure, medical history and current medication. Information about your breast history, mammograms, ultrasounds or biopsies will also be discussed. Please bring any relevant information to this consultation. Your surgeon will examine your body and make sure you are suited to the procedure. We will provide as much information as possible so that you feel comfortable and informed, and if you feel overwhelmed in any way we encourage you to make a second consultation so that you feel confident with your decision.
How do I prepare for surgery?
Please ensure you have arranged someone to drive you home after your surgery and to help you out at home for a few days. To reduce risk of bleeding and bruising please make sure to:
- Avoid aspirin (or similar) and Vitamin E two weeks before surgery. Panadol, and vitamins B and C are safe to use. Alcohol is to be avoided also.
- Inform your surgeon if you take any herbal medicines that may affect clotting and the anesthetic.
- Avoid smoking 6 weeks before and after surgery so as not to restrict circulation to the skin and delay healing. Giving up altogether is best.
- Inform us immediately if you’ve had any infection (cold or flu) the week before your surgery.
What happens on the day of my surgery?
We will guide you to prepare for surgery so that your procedure and recovery go smoothly. On the day bring your toiletries, any medication needed and loose clothing.
- If your procedure is in the morning – do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before.
- If your procedure is in the afternoon – do not eat or drink anything after 8.00am.
What should I expect during surgery?
A breast lift is performed under general anesthetic so that you will be completely unaware of the surgery or any pain, and sleep comfortably through the procedure. Before the procedure, your surgeon will place some markings on your skin to determine the exact position and size of your new breasts. During the surgery, an incision is made, excess skin is removed, the nipple is elevated without detachment, the breast area is tightened, and the incision is sutured.
What should I expect after surgery?
- You may have drain tubes under the arm which allow removal of any fluid that has formed around the breast area. These are removed in the first few days.
- As with all surgeries, there will be some pain experienced initially. To ease discomfort, prescription pain relief and/or antibiotics will be prescribed.
- A follow up appointment will be made and if needed, your drain tubes will be removed in the first few days. You will then be fitted into a support bra, which will provide support and assist in gaining shape. Apart from bathing, staying in your bra day and night for 6 weeks is essential for recovery.
- At least 2 weeks off work to recover is needed and no heavy lifting, strenuous exercise or excessive alcohol consumption for 6 weeks.
- In addition to monthly breast self-examinations, please have your surgeon examine your breasts every 18 months to 2 years.
What are the risks and complications with this procedure?
- Asymmetry – your procedure is planned and careful measurements are taken, however the surgery is performed while you are lying down and it is not possible to achieve perfect symmetry is size, shape and position.
- Breast feeding potential – some techniques can increase breast feeding potential after surgery however there is no guarantee. Your surgeon can discuss this further with you.
- Bleeding – unexpected bleeding may occur and re-admission into hospital may be needed.
- Increased or decreased nipple sensation may occur, and can persist for 2-3 months. Loss of the nipple blood supply is rare, and modern techniques and quitting smoking help to minimize risk.
- Keloid or unsightly thick scars – some people have a tendency to form poor scars which is sometimes unpredictable. Poor long-term healing may require additional scar treatment.
- Infection – is rare however antibiotics help to minimize risk.
- Blood clots – in the body are extremely rare but can be life-threatening. Inform staff immediately if you experience any leg pain, swelling or chest pain after surgery.
- Wound breakdown – can result from intolerance to a particular suture material which can lead to small cysts or abscesses. These usually heal rapidly once the material is removed.