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Breast Uplift Procedure (Mastopexy)

What is a breast uplift procedure or mastopexy?

This is a surgical procedure designed to recreate the youthful appearance of the breast by removing excess skin, restoring the position of the nipples and creating a firmer breast mound.

Why do women seek a breast uplift procedure or mastopexy?

The youthful shape of the breast is maintained by fibrous bands which provide a supporting structure to the breast. As these bands become distorted due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight changes and gravity, the skin becomes stretched and the breasts start to droop.

What does the procedure of breast uplift or mastopexy involve?

This procedure is performed under a general anaesthetic and typically will involve an overnight stay in hospital. It takes approximately 2 hours to perform. A drain is inserted into each breast at the end of the procedure and usually removed the following day.

Most women experience some swelling and bruising afterwards. Mild discomfort is controlled by pain killers. A comfortable supportive sports bra is used after the operation. The stitches used are dissolvable and do not require removal.

How long is the recovery period?

Most women will need a period of about 2 weeks off work. Long car journeys should be avoided during this time as the seat belt can cause discomfort. Gentle mobilisation is encouraged after surgery but you should avoid strenuous activity or heavy lifting for about 6 weeks.

What are the risks of a breast uplift procedure or mastopexy?

There are general risks associated with any operation including a deep venous thrombosis (blood clot in the leg) or pulmonary embolus (blood clot in the lung). These are rare complications and precautionary steps are taken to avoid them.

Specific complications include swelling and bruising. This is usually self limiting and settles within a couple of weeks. Infection, bleeding, changes in nipple sensation, inability to breast feed and wound breakdown are other potential but not common complications.

Over a period of time, gravity will continue to influence the new shape of the breast. It is important to remember that although surgery recreates a more youthful and uplifted breast, the effect of gravity over time means that the new shape is not permanent and the shape may change.

Are there scars after a breast uplift procedure or mastopexy?

Yes there are scars after this procedure. The pattern of the scar depends on the technique of uplift used by the surgeon. The quality of the scars depends on several factors including the genetic makeup of an individual and how they are programmed to heal.

Usually scars mature over a period of 18 months to 2 years into a thin pale line. Some individuals form stretched or thickened scars which can be problematic.

With any procedure, it is important to discuss your expectations carefully with a reputable surgeon in a reputable hospital. Realistic expectations are a major factor in determining satisfaction with the outcome of a cosmetic procedure.

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Contact Miss Mary O’Brien for more information on Cosmetic or Hand Surgery.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons
The Royal College of Surgeons of England Bapras The British Society for Surgery of the Hand

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