Lift (Mastopexy)

What is breast lift?

Pregnancies, breastfeeding, weight loss, and age can all contribute to sagging or droopy breast tissue.  Often this is accompanied by skin stretch, poor shape and at times, a loss of breast size.

A breast lift or mastopexy re-shapes and lifts the breast using your existing breast tissue and skin. The existing breast gland is tightened and used to create more fullness in the upper half of the breast.  The excess skin is removed and tightened as well.

Scarring is often similar to a breast reduction, located around the areola with a vertical scar extending from the lower edge of the areola down to the lower breast fold.

Some women are candidates for another breast lifting technique such as the concentric lift. With this approach, the scar is limited to around the areola at the junction of the pigmented and non-pigmented skin. Often a breast implant is used to replace the lost volume and improve the breast shape.

The Surgery

Performed under general anesthetic, a breast lift takes 2.5 hours and requires no overnight stay in hospital. On the morning of surgery, markings are made on the chest wall and breast for pre-operative planning.

All sutures used are dissolvable and no post-operative drains are used.

After Your Surgery

Some things to expect following your surgery:

  • A compression garment is worn 24 hours a day for 2 weeks, then for another 2 weeks during the day only.
  • The initial dressing is changed in the office after three days. Following this, dry dressings are changed once daily.
  • Swelling and bruising begins to subside after the first 7 days.
  • Patients usually require 1 week of downtime and should avoid strenuous exercise for 4 weeks.
Pre-Operation & Post-Operation Recovery Guide

Many women with very large breasts encounter a variety of medical problems, as well as feeling self-conscious and at times negative about their appearance. The most common problems encountered are upper back, neck and shoulder pain, inability to exercise, limitation of clothing choices and intertrigo (rash under the breasts).

A breast reduction is the surgical procedure used to remove excessive fat, glandular tissue and skin from the breast. The new breasts will be smaller, lighter, and usually more in proportion to the woman’s overall shape and size. We also reduce the size of the areola, the skin surrounding the nipple, if it has been stretched, and reposition the nipple if that is required. 

A breast lift (mastopexy) is done to lift breast that have become droopy (ptotic) with weight fluctuations, age, and following breastfeeding.  The skin and very little breast gland is excised to tighten, re-shape and elevate the breasts.

Initial Consultation

Consultation time required: New patient 30 mins.

Approx. total cost: Provided at consultation.

Usual length of operation: 2-3 hours.

Usual length of stay: Day surgery

Type of anaesthesia (usually): General.

Are there permanent scars? Yes. On the breasts. Exact location will be reviewed at the initial consultation as it depends on the technique used.

Pre-Operative Instructions

Pre-Operative Instructions: No aspirin two weeks before, fast according to instructions, take usual meds with a sip on the day of surgery. If you get ill, i.e. flu before surgery, notify us.

Post-Operative Course

On discharge: Go home to rest under supervision, drink well, take pain meds and antibiotics as directed, start a light diet if you feel able to.

Next Day: Mobilize around the house, rest, drink well, take meds as directed, we encourage walking.

Day 2 – 7: Increase mobility as you feel better.

After Day 7: Return to all but heavy exercise and work.

When is my first post-op visit? Usually day 3 following surgery.

Is there pain? Expect moderate pain – will need painkillers for a few days.

Is there swelling? Yes, especially first 7 days.

Is there bruising?  Yes, particularly where liposuction is used.

Are there stitches to be removed? No, they are dissolving.

Are there dressings? Yes.

How do I manage these? Leave them for the first 72 hours until your first post op visit to the office where they will be changed. Following this, keep the skin tapes clean.  Change dressing daily after that using dry pads and the post-operative garment.

Can I shower? Usually at 72 hours after (after the first dressing change).  You can use a handheld shower or sponge bath in the first few days if the dressings are kept dry.

When can I see people without surgery being obvious? As for all surgery of the body- immediately you get dressed and feel fairly comfortable.

When can I drive? Must be able to see clearly, be off strong painkillers and able to move comfortably, usually around 4-7 days.

When can I go back to work? Office work 3-7 days.  Heavy lifting jobs: 14-21 days.

When can I exercise? Lower body 2 weeks after surgery, upper body 4 weeks after surgery.

When can I resume heavy lifting, etc? 4 weeks after surgery.

Things I should phone about: Pain not controlled by the medication. Sudden onset of swelling and pain on one side or the other.  Vomiting or unable to take plenty of fluids.  Excessive oozing from the wound or dressings.  Fever over 38 degrees.  Difficulty breathing well.  Swelling or pain in the lower leg.  Progressive swelling or redness in the area of surgery.

First Post-Operative Visit

What we do: Check your progress and the incisions. Remove compression dressings and wrap.  Apply a new dry dressing and show you how to care for the incisions.

Sutures: Dissolving.