Breast lift (mastopexy)
Over time, the skin of the breast stretches and gravity causes the breasts to sag. Breast feeding and weight loss can accelerate this process, and often larger breasts tend to sag more. A breast lift, or mastopexy, can help to alleviate this problem by lifting the breasts and nipples into a higher position. This gives the breasts a more shapely and youthful appearance. Breast lift surgery is quite successful at making the breasts firmer and many women find that they no longer need to wear a bra to feel comfortable and look good in their clothes.
Breast lifts are performed under general anaesthetic and the operation usually takes about three hours depending on the extent of the procedure. Excess skin is removed from the breast and the nipple is elevated into a higher position. Your surgeon will be able to discuss the different techniques that may be used, and the choice of technique depends largely on the size of the breasts and the degree of sagging. When the incision is closed, the breast is lifted and the nipple sits higher on the breast, giving a more youthful appearance. As excess skin has been removed, the breasts are firmer, shapelier, and much less saggy.
After your surgery
Patients typically stay in hospital for up to two days so that medical staff can monitor their recovery. Dressings are changed in the days following surgery, and any sutures are removed 5 to 10 days following the procedure. Complete healing takes approximately 90 days, and supportive adhesive tape should be worn over this period.
You will be able to shower two days following surgery, and a well fitted and supportive bra should be worn for 6 weeks following the operation to help shape the breasts. After this period, patients find that as their breasts are elevated and firmer, they are able to wear bras as desired, rather than having to constantly worry about support as they had previously.
Routine physical activity should be limited for two weeks, and more strenuous physical activity (especially lifting, pulling and pushing motions) should be avoided for at least 6 weeks, as this will help the scars to heal. Your surgeon will be able to advise you as to when you can resume normal physical activities. The Long Term Outcome
Following a breast lift, the breasts are firmer and more shapely. The surgery is designed to minimize scarring, and although scars are possible, the surgery generally results in faint lines where the surgical incisions were made.
After the surgery, the breasts will continue to respond to your body's physiological changes, as they did prior to the surgery. The effects of gravity, pregnancy, and weight changes will continue to affect your breasts over time; however, the breasts will be more youthful and full than they would have been without a breast lift.
All surgery carries some risks, which include the possibility of post-operative infection, bleeding, excessive scarring and reaction to the anaesthetic. There are other risks that are more specific to this procedure, and it is important that you talk to your surgeon about the possible complications prior to surgery. Pre-existing medical conditions can alter the level of risk associated with any procedure, and it is important that you notify your surgeon and anaesthetist of any medical problems prior to surgery. It is also important to follow your surgeon's instructions both before, and after, surgery to ensure that these risks are minimised.
The components that determine the cost of the procedure are the surgical theatre costs, hospital costs, anaesthetic fee and the surgeon's fee. Prices vary widely and depend on; the extent/complexity of the procedure, the physical attributes of individual patients, and the surgeon performing the operation. Breast lifts typically cost around $13000.