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What does a breast uplift involve?

4th September 2017

A mastopexy, or breast uplift, is a surgical procedure which involves ‘lifting’ breasts which have dropped or lost firmness. This is often as a result of pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight loss or ageing. Genetics also play a part in determining how high or low your breasts sit.

The uplift procedure reshapes and raises the breasts, removing excess or saggy skin, tightening the existing breast tissue and repositioning the areola.

A breast uplift is often combined with a breast augmentation if the breasts are lacking considerable volume or appear ‘empty’, particularly in the upper breast. A breast uplift alone will not restore volume to your breasts.

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Am I suitable for a breast uplift?

Your individual suitability for a breast uplift will be discussed in depth at your consultation, but you must be fully developed before you can undergo the procedure. It’s also advised that you wait until after you have completed your family, as pregnancy and breastfeeding can have a considerable effect on the size and shape of your breasts.

A breast uplift works best on small, sagging breasts, as while breasts of any size can be uplifted, the end result may not be as aesthetically pleasing or indeed last as long with larger, heavier breasts, due to the extra demands placed on the chest ligaments.

If you wish to change the shape of your breasts, or you’re not happy with the position of your nipples, an uplift procedure may be ideal.

If you wish to increase or decrease the size of your breasts, you may be more suited to an augmentation or reduction.

What does breast uplift surgery involve?

It’s essential you are realistic about the possible outcome of a breast uplift and you will discuss your desired outcome and expected results with your surgeon prior to surgery.

The procedure itself involves:

  • Making an incision on the breast - either solely around the areola, around the areola and vertically down to the breast crease, or around the areola, vertically down to the breast crease then horizontally along the breast crease   

  • Lifting and reshaping the breast tissue to improve shape and firmness

  • Repositioning the nipple and areola

  • Reducing enlarged areolas (if necessary)

  • Removing any excess or sagging skin  

  • Stitching the incisions closed, before covering with a surgical dressing

How long does a breast uplift take?

The procedure is conducted under general anaesthesia and typically takes around 75 minutes. You are advised to stay in the clinic overnight following your surgery.

How long does it take to recover from a breast uplift?

Following your surgery, your breasts will feel tender, with swelling and bruising likely. For the first 24 - 48 hours after the procedure, you are likely to experience some discomfort, which we will manage with appropriate pain relief.

You will need to wear a surgical support bra for the first few days after your uplift, then a sports bra for 24 hours a day during the recovery period.

You should expect to have to take around two weeks off work and avoid exercise or strenuous activity for four to six weeks after the procedure.

Over the two weeks following the procedure, any pain, bruising and swelling should decrease, with full recovery usually within six weeks.

It can take between six and nine months to see the full result of the breast uplift procedure.

Are there any side effects?

A breast uplift is a major surgical procedure and, as such, there are always potential side effects.

After your surgery, it is normal to experience:

  • Pain

  • Swelling

  • Bruising

  • A tight feeling in your chest

  • Temporary numbness

Long term side effects may include:

  • Visible scarring

  • Reduced sensitivity, whether temporary or permanent

What should I do if I have any problems after my surgery?

If you have any concerns, or you experience severe pain or other unexpected symptoms or side effects following your breast uplift surgery, please don’t hesitate to contact us straight away.


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