BREAST UPLIFT (MASTOPEXY) SURGERY, WHAT HAPPENS?
Mastopexy is an operation that aims to address breast ptosis or ‘droopy’ breasts. This is a common problem following pregnancy. It may also follow weight loss.
Many women are upset that their breasts no longer appear pert and this operation can help to restore a more pleasing appearance and to make the breasts look and feel firm without the need for an implant.
WOULD I BE SUITABLE?
Women that consider this surgery are within 7kg (1 stone) of their ideal weight.
They have usually finished having a family.
They are in the 35-60 age bracket. However, this operation is successful for ladies at any age if they are fit and well.
WHAT WILL A MASTOPEXY DO FOR ME?
A mastopexy will lift the breast tissue and the nipple to a more youthful position on the chest.
It should enable you to abstain from wearing a bra on occasions, however this will depend on the weight of your natural breast tissue.
This operation will stop your breasts appearing pendulous.
WHAT WON’T A MASTOPEXY DO FOR ME?
A mastopexy will not necessarily mean that you feel more comfortable going topless on a beach due to the scarring.
It will not mean that you never have to wear a bra again; your breasts will still need support so that they do not droop further.
Following mastopexy surgery you may find that you are a bra cup size smaller and this surgery on its own cannot give you more volume or fullness.
An implant could be added at a later stage and would give a worthwhile improvement if you feel you would like more volume as well as more pertness.
The surgery cannot change your life, however it can boost your confidence.
WILL I STILL BE ABLE TO BREAST FEED?
Yes, however we would advise you not to have this surgery until you have finished having your family, as one of the major causes of breast ptosis is the growth of the breasts during pregnancy followed by their demise during breast-feeding.
HOW LONG WILL THE EFFECTS LAST FOR?
The effects will be long lasting permanent provided that you wear a well fitting bra. Your body will continue aging and your skin will stretch, however your breasts should remain close to their new position for many years providing that your body does not change in terms of weight gain or loss.
WILL I HAVE SCARS?
The surgeon will discuss the exact placement of your scars, however:
They usually lie around the edge of the dark skin of the nipple and in a vertical line from the nipple to the fold under the breast.
These scars will start off red and possibly lumpy, but will gradually become fine white lines, which are smooth to touch. Improvement continues over 18 months.
Particularly pendulous breasts may require additional scars that lie hidden within the fold under each breast.
WHAT ARE THE OTHER RISKS?
All surgery involving a general anaesthetic has some risk. There is a small risk of chest infection and thrombosis, especially for people who smoke. It is important to tell us if you take the contraceptive pill, or any blood thinning drugs such as Warfarin or Aspirin so that we can take extra precautions.
Occasionally bleeding may occur when the operation is over. This may require a short procedure under general anaesthetic to stop any bleeding.
Infection is rare but can easily be treated with anti-biotics. An infection will slow down your healing and may have an effect on your scars.
Following the surgery your breasts may be bruised and swollen and your nipples may be less sensitive.
During the surgery breast tissue that contains some sensory nerves is removed. Sometimes the nipples and some parts of the breasts are numb. The sensation usually returns in the first six months following the procedure.
Necrosis can occasionally occur and some or all of the nipple may perish; this is a rare but possible complication.
A degree of asymmetry is normal in the breasts before surgery and will therefore persist afterwards. Your surgeon will discuss this further with you.
Some people scar more easily than others, or form thick, red, irritable scars or have scars that stretch. This is a small risk, and can be anticipated based on other scars on your body.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT ON THE DAY OF SURGERY?
You must not eat or drink for the six hours before you come into hospital.
The anaesthetist and the surgeon will see you prior to surgery to ensure that you are well, answer any questions and sign the consent form with you. For your own safety you should answer all of their questions fully.
When you wake from the anaesthetic you will be in the recovery department. Here the nurses will make sure you wake up fully and give you pain relief and anti- sickness drugs should you require them. A nurse from the ward will then collect you and take you back to your room where she will check on you every half an hour or so, until you are entirely awake and stable.
You may have two or three small drains that will be removed the following day, and some thick tape over your chest area and/or your sports bra that will be removed when you come to see us for follow up.
You will feel drowsy at first, and often people feel a little weepy. This is normal.
HOW WILL I FEEL AFTERWARDS?
The day after your surgery our Nurse, will see you. Your chest may feel bruised, tight or itchy. The anaesthetic will make you feel sleepy and a bit removed from normal life; this wears off within two to five days, when you will feel like yourself again.
Mastopexy surgery is ideal for women who feel their breasts are too droopy. All surgery has risks and there will be some scarring.