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Breast Lift

What is a Breast Lift?

A mastopexy or a breast lift is a surgical procedure that raises and reshapes breasts and removes excess skin, which results in breasts that are firmer and rounder. Mastopexy will correct breasts that have lost their elasticity and firmness. This procedure is often done in conjunction with a breast augmentation, which uses implants to add volume.

What can you expect from a mastopexy?

A breast lift can achieve very satisfying results: your breasts will have a lifted and more firmer appearance. Advanced surgical techniques mean that scarring is now minimal, and most visible scars will fade significantly over time.


How do I plan for my breast lift surgery?

Before any surgery is performed, your first consultation with your cosmetic surgeon will be a discussion about what your expectations are, and what you would like to achieve.

A breast lift will change the shape and firmness of your breasts, but a breast augmentation will also add volume, and your surgeon will ask whether you would like to have your mastopexy in conjunction with a breast augmentation, which involves the insertion of implants in the breasts.

Your surgeon will advise which breast lift procedure is right for you, as there are several different options. He or she will examine and measure your breasts and assess the quality of your skin tone. (The better your breast skin tone, the more effectively your breasts will be held in position after the surgery.)

Your surgeon will also explain the breast lift procedure to you so you know all you need to in order to make an informed decision.

What is the procedure for a breast lift?

In a mastopexy, the surgeon makes an incision around the areola, then down the front of the breast, and sometimes along the sides of the areola. The surgeon will lift and reshape your breasts, reposition (and sometimes resize) the areolas, then remove any extra skin, for a firmer appearance.

When this part of the procedure is complete, the incisions will be closed with sutures.

If you have decided to have a breast augmentation as well as a lift, the augmentation may be performed at the same time as the mastopexy, or a few weeks or months later.

How should I prepare for a breast lift?

Before your surgery you may be asked to stop smoking for 2 – 4 weeks prior to the procedure. Nicotine retards the healing process, and quitting for as long as possible before surgery helps improve blood flow.

You will also have to have a blood test before surgery is performed.

You should stop taking certain medication, like aspirin and some anti-inflammatory drugs.

Avoid recreational drugs, and disclose to your surgeon any other medication you’re taking, since you may need to adjust these. Be sure to arrange for transport to and from the clinic, since you will not be able to drive yourself after the procedure.

Where will my breast lift surgery be performed?
The surgery will be performed in one of our fully equipped operating theatres.
What anaesthetic will be used for my breast lift?

Most mastopexy procedures are performed under general anaesthetic.

How do I recover from a breast lift?

The swelling, bruising and discomfort you will feel are normal and you will experience the most discomfort in the first week, but your medication and ice packs will help ease the pain. Thereafter, the discomfort will gradually decrease and you may return to work if it does not involve strenuous activity.

While recovering, don’t attempt any excessive movement or strain, or any lifting or bending and avoid strenuous activity, like jogging, gym workouts or heavy lifting for the next 3 – 6 weeks. Keep pressure off your breasts by sleeping on your back or your side. Your surgeon will advise you on how soon you may resume daily activities.

What can I expect after my surgery?

After surgery, you will have gauze dressing over the incision and a surgical support bra, which you should wear for the first three to four days. You may also need small plastic drainage tubes for a few days.

Keep the dressing dry for at least 48 hours and avoid baths, hot tubs or swimming for about 6 weeks. There will be sutures along the incision lines, which will dissolve on their own.

You’ll notice the changes in the appearance of your breasts immediately. They may be slightly smaller, since the procedure will have made them firmer and rounder. Red, lumpy scars will fade and soften gradually and significantly over time.

When can I return to normal activities?
You should gradually return to normal activities within four to six weeks, easing into your exercise routine or other physical activity. Don’t be in a hurry – take time to get back to normal.
What are the risks involved in breast lift surgery?
With breast surgery, like all other surgery, there is a (low) risk of post-operative infection, bleeding and swelling as well as the risks associated with anaesthesia.

Some of the other risks and complications include blood clots, and blood or fluid collecting in the breasts, which will need to be drained. Excessive scarring, asymmetry, and poor healing of incisions are also risks, as well as numbness – which is usually temporary.

Your surgeon will discuss all the risks with you before the procedure.