Many women experience changes in the shape and placement of their breasts due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight loss and age. These factors, in addition to genetics, loss of skin elasticity, and sun damage, can cause the breasts to sag and the nipples to point downwards.
A breast lift (or mastopexy) is performed when the position of one or both breasts on the chest needs to be altered. The procedure may be recommended for patients who suffer medical conditions such as rashes due to sagging breasts.
The aim of a breast lift is to restore a more youthful, contoured shape to the breast by removing excess skin and repositioning the areolae. A breast lift procedure may often be performed in combination with other procedures to achieve the best result, such as a breast reduction or breast augmentation.
Dr Avery has over a decade of experience in plastic surgery and has been performing breast lifts in Newcastle since 2013.
After discussing your individual concerns and deciding on a procedure that is best suited to you, a second consultation before the surgery involves discussing things like recovery time, advice on returning to work, driving and exercise.
Different techniques may be used depending on whether the level of breast sagging (or ptosis) is minor, moderate or severe. The four common breast lift techniques are:
The Crescent Technique
The least invasive, this technique involves removing a crescent-shaped area of skin from above the areola. The crescent technique is usually recommended for patients with smaller breasts or minor breast sagging.
The Circumareolar Technique
A circular incision made around the edge of the areola and a second, larger incision around the first. In addition to providing a slight lift, the circumareolar (or “doughnut”) technique can be used to reduce areola size. This technique is appropriate for patients with smaller breasts or minor breast sagging.
The Vertical Technique
Two incisions are made extending around the areola and down the midline of the breast, to achieve a significant lift. This technique is appropriate for patients with larger breasts and moderate to severe breast sagging.
The Anchor Technique
The most common and most invasive, this technique involves three incisions which extend around the areola, down the midline of the breast, and across the lower crease of the breast. This technique is appropriate for patients with larger breasts and severe breast sagging.
An uncomplicated breast lift with no additional procedures will usually last 2–3 hours, with another 1–2 hours for recovery before the patient can go home. Some patients will stay in hospital overnight following surgery.
As with any operation, the patient will need to organise somebody to drive them home and it is recommended that they have another adult stay with them during the first night after surgery.
There will be some bruising and swelling, which generally subsides about 2 weeks after the surgery. Patients recovering from a breast lift will be required to wear a compression garment for 4–6 weeks to provide support and reduce post-operative pain or swelling.
A customised pain relief program will be created for each patient and issued before leaving the hospital. If circumstances change at any stage during the recovery period, then the pain medication can certainly be adjusted accordingly.