Important things about Breast Lift
There are many reasons for a woman’s breasts to droop: aging, the congenital shape, excessive weight gain & loss, loss of volume after breast-feeding, etc. A breast lift (mastopexy) will reshape the breast to enhance projection and minimise drooping, while repositioning the nipple/areola complex to a more youthful position.
Breast lifts are best indicated for women who have noticed a decrease in breast projection and an increase in the droopiness of their breasts. Ideally, the patient should have completed her family as pregnancy and breast feeding usually both cause more drooping of the breast and the surgery is best done once these changes are finished.
Occasionally there is a need for this operation at a young age due to premature loss breast support or poor position of the nipple areolar complex on the breast or following large weight losses.
Often there is also a degree of loss of volume associated with sagging of the breasts, this can be addressed at the same time by inserting breast implants as well as doing a lift to reduce excessive skin.
Following the surgery your breasts will sag less, have increased projection, when needed the areolar will be reduced in size and the nipple areolar complex will face forward again from the peak of the breast mound!
The Anaesthetic Used
Usually this surgery is performed under a general anaesthetic (you are asleep). As a routine part of the procedure, Mr Masters infiltrates a large amount of long-acting local anaesthetic both around and into the breast tissues. This long-acting local anaesthetic numbs out almost all of the post-operative discomfort often experienced at the end of an operation. Meaning you have a far smoother transition from anaesthetic to recovery. Furthermore, post-operative pain is vastly diminished with the use of this local anaesthetic.
In some American institutions, mastopexies are routinely performed under local anaesthetic and sedation. This is not Mr Masters’ usual routine; however, he will be more than happy to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of such a regime with you prior to your operation.
Where is the Surgery Performed?
A mastopexy is a significant surgical procedure, as such Mr Masters performs them in a fully equipped and appropriately expertly-staffed operating room.
Mr Masters will provide you with precise instructions well in advance of your surgery to allow you a smooth and stress-free preparation for the procedure. Take the time to read your consent form thoroughly, along with any other written information Mr Masters has provided for you with regard to your surgery. This allows you to have all of your questions answered prior to the procedure, and ensure there are no unexpected surprises during the post-operative period.
If you are the main domestic executive in your home, or you live alone, you should plan ahead with regard to housework and meal preparation. Do your grocery shopping, cleaning, etc the day before your surgery and plan to have meals that require minimal preparation and/or cooking time.
If you are a smoker, STOP SMOKING at least one month pre-operatively. Do not take any aspirin or aspirin-containing products for at least one week prior to the surgery. If you are on any other medications, ensure that Mr Masters is aware of the medications (including homoeopathic remedies) so that any other medications that require cessation during the pre-operative period can be discontinued.
Many surgical methods have been described to achieve pleasing results in breast lifting procedures. The technical details of the operations are confusing and within reason irrelevant to the patient. There are three primary issues to consider:
The final shape of the scars; varying from around the areolar only (a peri-areolar mastopexy) through to an anchor like shape (inverted T mastopexy).
Each of the various options procedures has advantages and disadvantages with regard to these points and these will be discussed during your consultation in conjunction with your examination findings.
The vast majority of patients go home on the day of their surgery. You will need a responsible adult to be with you for the first 24 hours. The residual effects of the local anaesthetic are still in effect when the patient goes home and, as such, surgical discomfort is usually easily controlled. As the local anaesthetic wears off, the use of oral pain-relieving medications will become necessary. Patients have a varying response to post-operative discomfort; some patients literally take no additional pain relief, others experience more discomfort and use oral pain relief for a number of days. There is no way to predict how a certain individual will respond to the post-operative discomfort.
Usually there are areas of altered skin sensation, full return of sensation is the norm, however this may take a number of weeks to months.
Most patients are able to return to gentle cardiovascular exercise at one week, but firm support for the breasts must be used. Higher impact exercise (eg. aerobics classes, running, etc) should not be resumed until at least 3 weeks after the procedure. Your body needs this time to help reform the fibrous tissue which joins your skin firmly to the deeper layers. Swimming is an excellent post-operative exercise; however, it should not be commenced until the wounds have absolutely healed.
Before deciding to proceed with surgery, every patient needs to thoroughly consider the risks, as well as the benefits, of the proposed procedure. During your pre-operative consultation(s), Mr Masters will openly discuss the risks with you so that you can consider them. A full listing of all the potential complications and risks of this procedure is beyond the scope of this website. There are two broad groupings of surgical risks: those that pertain to surgery in general; and those specific to the procedure being performed.
Generalised surgical risks include:
- Bleeding – usually occurs within the first 24-48 hours of the procedure and may require a return to the operating room. A quiet, restful post-operative period will help to avoid this problem.
- Bruising – whenever possible, Mr Masters uses medications and techniques that help to avoid post-operative bruising. The appropriate use of Arnica may help to speed the resolution of bruising.
- Infection – surgical incisions, even though created in ideal circumstances, can become infected. When appropriate, antibiotics will be prescribed to lower this risk.
- Unfavourable scarring – every surgical incision results in a scar. It is Mr Masters’ role to maximise the quality of your scars and, whenever possible, to hide them in natural skin creases.
Complications specific to breast lifting can include:
- Reduced nipple sensation.
- Asymmetry of the breasts and/or nipple positions.
- Loss of nipple and areolar tissue or breast tissue itself.
- Inability to breastfeed afterwards.
Including the theatre charges, consumable items used, post-operative garment, anaesthetist and surgeon’s fees, the cost of a mastopexy starts from $9,000. This price can change depending on your medical history, the complexity of the case and whether additional procedures such as inserting breast implants are done at the same time.