The effects of ageing are not just felt on the face – gravity can have a detrimental effect on the body and, in particular, a woman’s breasts, as the internal ligaments and skin stretch. The medical term for breasts sag is ptosis and the operation to correct it is called a mastopexy (breast uplift).
A mastopexy is carried out to reshape and lift the breasts to produce a more youthful shape. It might also involve repositioning or reducing the size of the areola and may include a breast augmentation or reduction.
Breast uplift: Am I suitable?
There are a number of different options depending on what grade of ptosis is present. This is measured by the relation of the nipple to the crease under the breast – in a grade one, the nipple is level with the crease; grade two, the nipple is less than 3 cm below the crease and in grade three, the nipple is more than 3 cm below the crease.
An experienced and qualified practitioner will be able to determine whether the op will give you the results you are expecting. Also a full medical history will be taken to check whether you’re physically able to undergo having a breast uplift.
Breast uplift: What do I have to do to prepare?
Your surgeon will give you instructions to help you prepare for surgery and these may include guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications. While making preparations, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery and to help you out for a few days, if needed.
Breast uplift: What’s the treatment like?
Breast augmentation; this is only suitable for minor sagging as implants will commonly cause the breasts to lift by about 1 to 2 cm. However, this won’t halt further sagging as you age.
Donut lift; this causes a scar around the areola and is only suitable for minor sagging.
Keyhole lift; this combines the donut incision with the removal of a wedge of skin from between the nipple and the fold under the breast.
Wise pattern lift; this is suitable for grade two to three sagging and causes an anchor-shaped scar (similar to the one produced by breast reduction).
The procedures are performed under general anaesthetic and will take from an hour to three hours depending on what needs to be carried out.
Breast uplift: What about after?
You are advised to wear a supportive bra without under-wiring for up to six weeks after having a breast uplift. Your breasts will feel very sore and be swollen for a few weeks. You are advised not to undertake any strenuous activity for the first six weeks after the operation. The scarring can take up to a year to fade.
Breast uplift: Are there any risks or side effects?
When you have a breast uplift, there is the risk of infection, bleeding under the skin and potentially a permanent numb feeling in the breast and nipple. Asymmetry is also a possible complication. If you have an implant then there are specific risks associated – click on breast augmentation for more information.
Breast uplift: What will it cost me?
Costs from £4,000 to £5,000