Sagging breasts are a real concern for many women. Loss of skin elasticity, ageing, significant weight loss and other factors such as pregnancy and nursing can cause the breasts to lose their natural shape and firmness.
A breast uplift or mastopexy is a cosmetic breast surgical procedure to lift and reshape the sagging breasts. It is similar to a breast reduction procedure, but minimal or no breast tissue is removed, the skin is tightened and the breast re-shaped.
Mastopexy usually involves repositioning the areola and nipple.
Some women may have small breasts or may have lost a significant amount of breast volume after pregnancy and/or breastfeeding. In such cases placement of breast implants in addition to breast uplift may be required to increase the size and firmness of the breasts. This option and any additional risks and complications it introduces to the procedure will be discussed with the surgeon in the pre-operative consultation.
Mastopexy can be performed under general anaesthesia or under sedation combined with local anaesthetic and analgesia. The surgeon will make pre-operative markings (drawing on the breast skin) to determine how much skin will be removed and how the breast tissue will be re-shaped. During the operation the surgeon will remove the excess skin, move your nipple and areola to the higher position and finally tighten the skin and reshape the breast.
Following the surgery you will have dressings on your wounds and you are very likely to feel some discomfort for a week or two. You will be prescribed appropriate pain relief and have post-operative instructions given to you by the surgeon.
As with any surgery, breast uplift involves risks and potential complications. These include haematoma (bleeding inside the breast tissue), infection, poor wound healing resulting in unfavourable scarring, a small degree of breast asymmetry and recurrence of the breast droopiness with time as breast and skin tissue lose their elasticity with ageing, gravity and possible weight changes.