Also known as mastopexy, a breast lift raises and firms the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour.
A woman’s breasts often change over time, losing their youthful shape and firmness. These changes and loss of skin elasticity can result from:
Sometimes the areola becomes enlarged over time, and a breast lift will reduce this as well. A breast lift can rejuvenate your figure with a breast profile that is youthful and uplifted.
Breast lift surgery does not significantly change the size of your breasts or round out the upper part of your breast. If you want your breasts to look fuller or smaller, you might want to consider either breast augmentation or breast reduction surgery.
Breast lift surgery is a highly individualised procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.
A breast lift is a good option for you if:
Your breast lift surgery can be achieved through a variety of incision patterns and techniques. The appropriate technique for you will be determined based on:
Dr Vrtik only performs mastopexy with general anaesthesia to ensure your comfort and optimal result.
There are three common incision patterns as seen in breast reduction – choice of skin incision is dependent on amount of excess skin and amount of lift required.
Around the Areola
Around the areola and vertically down from the areola to the breast crease
Around the areola, vertically down from the breast crease and horizontally along the breast crease
After Dr Vrtik makes the incisions:
Closing the incisions
After your breasts are reshaped and excess skin is removed, the remaining skin is tightened as the incisions are closed. Sutures are layered deep within the breast tissue to create and support the newly shaped breasts. Sutures, skin adhesives and/or surgical tape may be used to close the skin. Some incision lines resulting from breast lift are concealed in the natural breast contours; however, others are visible on the breast surface. Incision lines are permanent, but in most cases will fade and significantly improve over time.
The decision to have breast lift surgery is extremely personal and you’ll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable.
Dr Vrtik and her staff will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks or potential complications.
These risks include:
Most of the risks are very uncommon, and some people (with particular health problems or specific breast features), may be at higher risk for specific complications. Dr Vrtik will discuss this with you during your consultation if any of these risks are specifically pertinent to you.
Although breast reduction surgery can be an effective procedure where the benefits significantly outweigh the risks, like everything in the practice of medicine and surgery, it is not an exact science. The degree of surgical success can be altered by how each individual’s body responds to surgery and healing. Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure; revision surgery may be necessary.
Be sure to ask questions: It’s very important to ask questions about your procedure. It’s natural to feel some anxiety, whether it’s excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don’t be shy about discussing these feelings and any specific concerns with Dr Vrtik or any of our staff members.
After your breast lift procedure is completed, dressings and a foamy elastic tape will be applied to the incisions and your chest wall. You may be able to go home on the same (if you have no drains). A responsible adult will need to pick you up and stay with you for at least one night.
Your first postoperative appointment will be within 5-7 days. You will need to bring your soft cup bra (in your postoperative pack) so that when all the tapes are removed, they can be replaced with the bra. The wounds often take up to 2 weeks to heal, and we recommend no heavy exercise or lifting for at least 4 weeks. Your routine follow-up appointment with Dr Vrtik will be at 6-8 weeks.
The results of your breast lift surgery are immediately visible. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will improve. The final results of your breast lift will appear over the next few months as breast shape and position settle. Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover and realize that your breasts have been restored to a more youthful and uplifted position. Incision lines are permanent, but will continue to fade over time.
The results of your breast lift surgery will be long-lasting. Over time, your breasts can continue to change due to aging and gravity. But, you’ll be able to retain your new look longer if you:
Special note: While a breast lift does not usually affect breast function, if you are planning to become pregnant, discuss this with Dr Vrtik. Breast lift surgery does not normally interfere with pregnancy, but if you are planning to have a baby, your breast skin may stretch and counteract the results of mastopexy and you may have more difficulty breastfeeding after this operation. Changes that occur in the breasts during pregnancy can minimize or reverse the improvement a breast lift provides. Likewise, plans for significant weight loss should also be discussed.
Most private health insurance plans will not cover breast lift surgery. If your breast shape meets the criteria for a medicare item number, you may be eligible for a rebate from your private health fund. Often an application must be lodge with pre-operative photographs to Medicare. Approval may take up to 6 months. You must carefully review your health insurance policy to make sure that you are covered for plastic surgery on the breast.
(Some Information & Illustrations are courtesy of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons).