Breast Uplift (Mastopexy)

Mastopexy is an operation to effectively ‘lift up’ the breasts. It moves the existing breast volume and nipple back into a higher, more natural position, reducing sagging. The operation and scarring is similar to ‘breast reduction‘ surgery but, depending on the technique used for a breast uplift procedure, there are fewer risks to the nipple areola complex.

Who is suitable for Mastopexy?

Mastopexy could be suitable for any woman who wants to lift one or both breasts because they are either sagging, un-even or both. The procedure is most common among women who have lost elasticity of the breasts, perhaps through childbirth or age, and where the breasts are sagging and perhaps causing back pain.

What to expect at the initial consultation

At a first consultation, I will ask you to tell me what you wish to change about your appearance. It is important to be honest and forthright as surgery is always tailored to your specific needs and expectations.

In addition, I will take a full medical history, including any previous surgery, cosmetic or non-cosmetic, previous hospitalisation, chronic medical problems, medication and allergies, whether you smoke or not, the reasons for wanting the procedure and your goals and aspirations.

The examination will concentrate on your proposed treatment, but will also assess your general fitness and suitability for surgery. Routine photographs will be taken. Following the assessment, I will discuss all available options and formulate an operative plan, including what type of surgery and anaesthesia will be used, venue for the surgery and costs. Any risks and possible complications will also be discussed with you.

It is important that you are clear about what your surgery will entail. Well-informed patients cope better with surgery and you have the right to ask any question you want and expect your surgeon to answer with honesty and without the use of jargon. Consent for surgery will also be taken.

Depending on your age and past history I may well suggest a pre-operative mammogram and some basic blood tests.

The actual operation is performed under general anaesthetic – a consultant anaesthetist will meet you prior to surgery – and takes 2-3 hours. The usual scars form an anchor shape around the nipple, down to the crease under the breast and then along this crease out to the sides. For small lifts I will often use a vertical scar.

You will wake pretty much pain free, with dressings and drains in place. You will spend 1-2 nights in hospital and go home with oral painkillers and wearing a well-fitting sports bra which you wear most of the time; as the dressings are shower-proof you may shower at will. You will need help at home for the first week or so, especially if you have young children, and you will not be able to drive until you are pain free and confident.

Where does the treatment take place?

I can arrange for you to be admitted as an inpatient to either:

  • Parkside Hospital, Wimbledon, SW19
  • St Anthony’s Hospital, Cheam, Surrey
  • The New Victoria Hospital, Kingston, Surrey

What can go wrong?

If performed by a fully qualified and accredited Plastic Surgeon in a proper operating theatre under sterile conditions on a relatively fit and healthy patient, mastopexy is a safe procedure. In general, complications are rare. However, as with any surgical procedure, there are certain risks and complications and these will be explained to you at your consultation. Possible complications include:

  • Bleeding and haematoma
  • Infection
  • Wound healing problems
  • Poor or absent nipple sensation
  • Loss of the nipple
  • Poor scars, including hypertrophic and keloid scars
  • Asymmetry
  • Fat necrosis (benign fat lumps)
  • “Dog ears”

How long does it take to recover?

All of the stitches used in this operation will be dissolvable. You should wear a sports bra with no underwiring for as much of the time as possible for the first 3-4 weeks. It is advisable to make arrangements for help at home during your convalescence, which should be at least 1-2 weeks, especially if you have young children.

I can discuss the exact nature of your treatment, including procedure details, recovery times and any possible side effects at a consultation. This will reflect your exact circumstances and needs. The information included here is provided for general guidance only.

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