A breast lift (mastopexy) is a procedure to reposition the breast and nipple on the chest wall, and to improve the overall shape and appearance of the breast. Women may desire a desire a breast lift if they believe their breasts are “saggy,” or have excess skin and decreased volume after breastfeeding, weight loss or with the normal aging process.
During your preoperative consultation, your specific situation, needs, and desired outcome will be discussed. Your medical history will be discussed including lactation, breast oncology, medical conditions and medications. A physical evaluation will be performed to assess your breast, chest and body shape/weight, and measurements and clinical photographs will be taken.
Breast lift surgery is performed in an accredited hospital under general anaesthetic. It can vary in terms of complexity and techniques employed and is tailored to meet the specific needs of the patient. Generally the procedure will take 2-3hrs and requires an overnight stay in hospital. During the surgery, excess skin is removed, the nipple is repositioned and the breast tissue is manipulated to create a pleasing shape and projection. Incision patterns vary but generally involves a circular incision around the nipple and straight line from the nipple down to the breast crease. In some cases, an implant may be required to achieve volume and projection.
Risks and Complications
All surgery causes bruising, swelling, some oozing or small amount of bleeding from wounds, new scars, infection and wound healing problems. There are risks associated with general anaesthesia risks including cardiac/respiratory issues and DVT.
Some risks and complications specific to breast lift surgery include:
- Postoperative bleeding requiring return to theatre
- Nipple-areaola complex changes – changes in sensation which may be temporary or permanent, rarely poor healing or loss of part or all of the nipple
- Seroma – accumulation of fluid within the breast which may become infected
- Wound infection, which may require antibiotics, ongoing dressings and occasionally surgical management
- Poor scarring including hypertophic and keloid scars
- Ability to breastfeed may be affected
- Need for revision surgery