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Breast Lift

Surgery to the breasts may be done to reconstruct, enlarge, reduce, or lift your breasts. Whatever the need we offer a range of options to help you achieve your goal.

Please give us a call to discuss your options or to book an initial consultation with Dr Greenbaum.

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Surgery to the breasts may be done for a variety of reasons. You may want to reshape, resize, raise, or remove breast tissue.

Breast lift surgery is also known as Mastopexy. This operation is done to raise and reshape your breasts. If they are small or have lost volume, mastopexy can be combined with breast implants (augmentation) to increase their size also.

Things you need to know to help you make an informed decision:

  • Most women have one breast larger than the other.
  • Most women have one breast that sits lower on the chest wall than the other.
  • Breasts are composed of a mixture of fat and glandular tissue. The glandular tissue (the part which secretes breast milk) weighs more than the fat so the larger the proportion of glandular tissue your breasts have the heavier they are and the more they will droop without support.

Frequently asked questions

Am I a good candidate for a Breast lift?

This is most beneficial for women in good physical and mental health, who have reasonable expectations of surgery that will raise and reshape sagging breasts. A consultation is needed to determine the best options to help you achieve your goals.

What are my other options?

Large breasts can be lifted, but because they are more sensitive to the forces of gravity than smaller breasts, breast reduction surgery may be a more suitable option. Likewise, breasts which have lost substance after breast-feeding, or weight loss may benefit from combining a breast lift with breast implants (augmentation).

What happens if I want to start a family?

It’s best to postpone your breast lift until you have had children. Pregnancy stretches the skin of your breasts and breast-feeding usually decrease the substance thus reducing the cosmetic results of a breast lift. Rather than repeat it later, you might prefer to wait till your family is complete.

Will I be able to breast feed after having a breast lift?

There is a theoretical increased risk that breast feeding may not be possible, however, as it is a smaller operation than a breast reduction and so less likely to damage your ability to breast feed.

Can surgery affect my nipples?

It’s possible for nipple sensation to decrease after surgery. The colour of the nipple area may lighten or darken – this is more likely in dark skinned races or after infection. 

In a very rare complication, some/all the skin surrounding the nipple (nipple-areolar complex) may die. This is more likely in people who smoke or have diseases affecting the small blood vessels to the skin.

Will a breast lift affect breast cancer screening?

Generally, if women over 35yrs have a base-line mammography before surgery and then again after their breast lift has settled (around 6 months later) there is unlikely to be a problem.

What should I expect from my consultation?

I will take a full medical history. If you have had mammograms, please bring along the results. We will discuss your desired breast size and shape and anything else related that you feel is important.

You will have a full examination with the focus on your breasts to assess their size, symmetry and shape and the quality of their surrounding skin. I will take photographs to plan your surgery and measure you for a sports-type bra, which will be used as a comfortable dressing over your surgical dressings after your operation.

Feel free to bring along pictures from magazines to show me examples of women who seem to have breasts of a size that equate with your desired breast size – these will be useful in discussion.

How is the surgery performed?

The technique I use will depend on the size, symmetry, and position of your breasts. I will minimise skin incisions as far as possible whilst providing you a predictable, stable, and aesthetic breast shape. There will always be a scar around the nipple and vertically down to the skin fold under the breast. A scar in the skin fold beneath the breast may be necessary but will be minimised. 

I may sometimes use liposuction to remove fat from the armpit area to improve the aesthetics of your breast and torso.

When a breast lift is combined with implants (augmentation), these are placed in surgically created pockets beneath the newly formed breast or below the pectoral muscles on the chest wall.

What does my operation involve?

Before surgery, you will be assessed by your anaesthetist who will prescribe medications for your comfort and to lessen anxiety if need be. 

On the evening prior or the morning of your operation I will review what we have discussed, and we will both sign your operation consent forms. I will then measure and draw guidance marks for surgery on your chest and breasts.

The operation usually takes 1-2 hours and is performed under General Anaesthetic so you will be asleep. After surgery, you will awake in a recovery area and soon afterwards be taken to your room. 

A drain is placed under the incision in each breast to remove normal healing fluid. These are usually removed after a day or two and you can then shower normally. 

Most patients go home a day or two after surgery on simple pain-relieving medications and a short course of antibiotics.

What about my recovery and return to normal activities?

You will feel tired and sore for a week or two, but you will be able to move around and function relatively normally. You won’t need stitches removed as these will dissolve.

You can usually return to work after 3 – 4 weeks, however if your work involves heavy lifting/ is strenuous, then 6 – 8 weeks might be realistic. So long as you can do so carefully, you can begin driving 3 – 4 weeks after surgery.

You should restrict yourself to light exercise for 2 – 3 weeks – avoiding lifting anything over 5Kg and aerobic exercise for at least 3 weeks.

How do I care for my scars?

New scars benefit from friction-free massage (using Vaseline, for instance, to lubricate the massaging process). Beginning to massage scars two to three weeks after surgery, will help them mature, soften and flatten faster than if left alone. 

They should be protected from sunlight for 2 years to avoid them pigmenting differently to the surrounding skin and becoming a different colour permanently. Factor 15 sun block should be applied whenever they are exposed to any sun. Your scars will continue to mature for up to a year.

When will I see the final result?

Your breasts will be swollen for at least 6 – 8 weeks, but at that stage your new breasts will have almost reached their final appearance. Your final operative result will continue to mature for 3-6 months.

In the longer term, final size, shape, symmetry, and aesthetic result of breasts will vary according to individual factors which are due to genes, lifestyle, life events and gravity. After surgery, lack of support, alterations in weight or hormonal variation may alter your breasts’ appearance and symmetry markedly.