Breast lift Surgery Frequently asked question

Breast Lift Surgery

Breast uplift surgery

What is ‘breast uplift’ surgery?

Breast lift surgery or ‘ mastopexy’ is the name given to the procedure which lifts and firms the breasts. It does not increase the size of the breasts. This is usually performed to correct sagging or drooping breasts: this can happen as a result of childbirth which causes a loss in breast size as well as stretching the skin. The breasts will also start to droop due to the effects of gravity and the ageing process. Over time they lose their tone and elasticity. It can be performed as a standalone technique or in conjunction with breast augmentation. In the latter case, this means that the breasts become firmer as well as bigger. Lifting the breasts means a return to a more Patientthful and shapely appearance. However, this is not a permanent affect as the ageing process cannot be held off for ever. So, Patient may need to repeat this surgery at a later date. There are several techniques for breast lift surgery which are based upon different types of incisions. These range from the most popular ‘anchor’ shaped incision through to the ‘doughnut’ shaped incision. Some women will require more extensive incisions whereas others will be suitable for smaller, less extensive incisions. This procedure usually takes around two to two and a half hours and is performed under a general anaesthetic. Patient will experience some bruising and slight swelling afterwards but this will ease. Patient will be prescribed painkillers to control any discomfort

Who is the right candidate for breast uplift surgery?

This surgery usually works best for those women with small, drooping breasts. This is not to say it won’t work for women with larger breasts, just that those with smaller breasts seem to gain the most benefits from this surgery. The results last longer for those women with smaller breasts than those of more generous proportions. If Patient are looking to improve Patient's appearance or to correct sagging breasts then this procedure can help. Be realistic about what it can achieve: it can work wonders but it will not increase the size of Patient's breasts. Be aware that if Patient have this surgery and then get pregnant, that pregnancy does stretch the breasts. If Patient are looking to start a family then Patient may wish to delay having surgery until after Patient's pregnancy. Basically, if Patient feel that Patient's breasts are too small or that they are sagging due to childbirth then breast uplift surgery is a good choice. If Patient are emotionally stable and realistic about Patient's expectations then Patient are likely to be a good candidate for surgery. Complications are very rare and the thousands of women who have this surgery experience no problems at all.

Who is not a right candidate for breast uplift surgery?

If Patient are using breast uplift surgery as a means of changing Patient's life for the better or have some deeper rooted psychological problem then surgery is not the answer. It can achieve pleasing results but it will not guarantee that Patient will look like a famous film star or celebrity! Most surgeons will not operate if Patient are under 18, pregnant, breastfeeding or are unrealistic about the surgery. If Patient's general health is poor then this too might rule Patient out. It is not recommended for women suffering from the following:

  • Breast cancer
  • Cellulitis (infection in the soft tissue of the breast)
  • Dry, broken or hardened breast skin
  • Diabetes (uncontrolled)

If Patient are intending to breastfeed then Patient will be advised to wait until Patient have had Patient's children. Patient's suitability will be discussed at Patient's consultation with Patient's surgeon. He/she willassess Patient's suitability against a series of criteria.

Why I shouldn’t have breast uplift surgery? Are there any reasons?

If Patient are suffering from depression or some other form of mental illness then Patient will not be considered for surgery. Patient's suitability will be discussed at Patient's consultation with Patient's surgeon. He/she will assess Patient's suitability against a series of criteria.

How much does breast uplift surgery cost?

Costs vary according to which surgeon Patient choose and the type of hospital or clinic. The price should include hospital care, surgeons and anaesthetists fees, pre and post surgery care, nursing care and costs incurred for any special equipment. According to the Private Healthcare UK site, prices for breast uplift surgery range from $5,800 to $8,650. If Patient are looking at having breast augmentation at the same time then this will increase the price. There are providers who list their prices on their web sites and others where Patient have to contact them to obtain an individual quote. If Patient are looking for a cheaper quote then Patient could consider going abroad but bear in mind that Patient will need to factor in the costs of Patient's flight and accommodation. Plus there are a few extra things which Patient need to consider.

If a patient interested in breast uplift surgery what does she do next?

If Patient are seriously considering surgery then Patient need to have all the information Patient need before making a decision. Cosmetic surgery is not a trivial concern. It is major surgery and as such, carries a small amount of risk. Due to advances in medical science and technology, the chance of anything go wrong is very rare but complications do happen. This is why it is vital that Patient fully understand what it entails and whether it can meet Patient's expectations. Do plenty of research. Read up about the procedure, what it involves, the risks as well as the benefits and the results. When using the Internet for Patient's research look for reputable sites and avoid those which appear to ‘trivialize’ surgery. If they offer ‘two for one’ deals or ‘lunchtime specials’ then be careful as profit rather than patient safety may be more important here. If Patient can, talk to people who have had this surgery. They may also be able to recommend a surgeon or clinic. Patient's GP will be sympathetic to Patient's desire for surgery and can provide Patient with good advice and help. He/she will be able to recommend a good clinic/hospital and can refer Patient to a surgeon. Patient need to be honest with Yourself about wanting surgery. Ask Yourself some searching questions. Do Patient want surgery to improve Patient's appearance or are there some deeper underlying reasons such as wanting promotion at work or to look like a particular model or celebrity? This is not some ‘elixir of Patientth’: the breasts will sag as a result of gravity, the ageing process and pregnancy. Surgery will help but is not a permanent solution. This surgery works best for those women with small breasts. If Patient have large breasts which have started to sag then Patient will find that the results don’t last quite as long.

How to find out a reputable breast uplift surgeon by a patient?

This is the most important part of the process. Patient are placing Patient's trust, and, Patient's life, in this person’s hands. Patient want the safest and best results from this surgery. So, spend some time looking for a surgeon. There are several ways of doing this. Patient can ask Patient's GP to refer Patient to a surgeon; Patient can speak to other people who have had this surgery. There are many web sites which contain useful information about finding a surgeon. For example, Cosmetic Surgery Consultants has a list of guidelines on choosing a surgeon. As this is one of the biggest decisions Patient will ever make it is important that Patient are fully informed and are happy with Patient's choice of surgeon. Unfortunately, anyone can set themselves up as a cosmetic surgeon so it is best to have a set of ready prepared questions to ask Patient's surgeon. Draw up a shortlist of surgeons and contact each of them in turn. Patient will be asked to go along for an initial consultation and when Patient do, make sure Patient see the surgeon, not a nurse, counselor or salesperson! Patient can always choose to go abroad for Patient's surgery. When looking for a surgeon do Patient's homework carefully. Patient need to be sure that Patient's surgeon is qualified and reputable.

What questions should ask a patient her breast uplift surgeon at the consultation?

All surgery is risky and cosmetic surgery is no different. Complications are rare but do happen and so Patient need to be aware of this. ‘Forearmed is forewarned’ as they say.

To help Patient with this we have listed a set of questions which Patient can ask Patient's surgeon:

  • How long will it take?
  • How many breast uplift procedures have Patient performed?
  • Do Patient specialize in breast uplift surgery only?
  • How much experience do Patient have of breast uplift surgery?
  • Can I breast feed after this surgery?
  • Do Patient have any reading material or published papers about this surgery? If so, can Patient recommend any to me?
  • Do Patient have any ‘before’ and ‘after’ photographs I can look at?
  • How much does breast uplift surgery cost?
  • What does that price include (and exclude)?
  • If I change my mind after agreeing to treatment will I be liable for a financial penalty?
  • What are Patient's success rates?
  • What does breast uplift surgery involve?
  • Is breast uplift surgery painful? What are the complications and/or risks? How likely are these complications?
  • When will I see the results of breast uplift surgery?
  • How long will the recovery take?
  • Can I talk to any of Patient's previous patients?
  • Do I have a choice of clinic or hospital where the breast uplift surgery will be performed?
  • What can I expect from breast uplift surgery?

Patient's surgeon will take photographs of Patient – these ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos are a useful ‘visual’ record of a procedure. They will show Patient's breasts before and after the surgery so that other prospective patients can see what the procedure does. if Patient are happy for Patient's surgeon to show these to other patients then say so, but, equally, if Patient are not then let him/her know.

When a patient has decided to go ahead with breast uplift surgery so what will be next?

If Patient are satisfied with everything Patient's surgeon has told Patient and feel comfortable with him/her then Patient are ready to book Patient's surgery. However, Patient will find that Patient's surgeon will recommend that Patient take a couple of weeks to think things through. This is what is known as a ‘cooling off’ period and is a time when Patient can think about this rationally. If Patient decide it is not for Patient then that is fine. If Patient still want to go ahead then Patient's next step is to arrange the surgery. Patient's surgeon will take a full medical history and advise Patient about what medications Patient can and cannot take. Patient will also be asked to sign a consent form. As with any form please read this carefully and ask if there is anything Patient don’t understand. This consent form says that Patient understand what the procedure is and how it works. It will also mention what the potential risks are and that Patient are fully aware of them. If Patient are having a general anaesthetic then Patient's surgeon may arrange for Patient to have Patient's heart and lungs examined by the anaesthetist to make sure Patient are fit for surgery. Patient may also have to undergo some routine tests although this may only apply to those patients aged 55 and over. Another test Patient may have is a mammogram (breast x-ray).

Patient must be frank and honest about Patient's health. If Patient have had any surgery before, experienced any problems with anaesthesia have an allergy or an underlying medical condition then Patient must tell him /her about these. This is to protect Patient as well as the surgeon. If a complication does arise and Patient's surgeon does not know about it then it could be potentially dangerous. If Patient don’t mention about having an allergy to a particular drug then Patient could be administered this drug which could be dangerous. If Patient are taking any medication then Patient need to mention this as it could react with the anaesthesia or drugs given to Patient at the time of Patient's surgery. Patient will be advised to stop taking some certain medications before surgery, for example, anti-inflammatory drugs or aspirin. If Patient are taking any natural or nutritional remedies such as vitamin supplements then Patient will need to stop taking these. Check with Patient's surgeon about what medication Patient can take, or need to stop taking. There will be forms for Patient to sign: read through these carefully and if there is anything Patient don’t understand, ask. Don’t be afraid to ask the same question more than once. Patient need to be completely happy with the surgery and what it will involve.

How does a patient prepare for her breast uplift surgery?

Patient's surgeon will have given Patient with a list of instructions on what to do before Patient's surgery. These will cover such areas as smoking, medications, what to bring with Patient to the clinic or hospital and when to have Patient's last meal before surgery. It is important that Patient follow these instructions, and the ones Patient will be given after Patient's surgery. They may seem restrictive but they are they for a reason. Patient's surgeon is concerned with Patient's health and ensuring that Patient get the very best from this procedure.

Patient will have quite a few things to do before Patient's surgery. These are as follows:

  • Do a ‘To Do’ list of things that need to be taken care of beforehand. This will include paying important bills, arranging for someone to look after Patient's children (if Patient have a family, filling out prescription forms, getting ice packs and dressings (if required) and shopping for ready prepared meals.
  • If Patient are a smoker then Patient will need to stop this at least two weeks before surgery. Patient will also have to wait a couple of weeks following Patient's surgery before starting again.
  • Arrange time off from work with Patient's employer.
  • Patient's surgeon would prefer Patient to give up altogether but if not then please ensure that Patient have Patient's last cigarette two weeks beforehand. Patient will find that Patient's surgeon will not operate if Patient are still smoking.
  • Smoking increases the risks of complications. It can also prolong the healing time which can also cause the formation of large, unsightly scars. Basically, smoking will affect the results of Patient's surgery and these will not be as good as Patient had expected.
  • Have Patient's last alcoholic drink a week before Patient's surgery.
  • Arrange for someone, Patient's partner perhaps or a family member to drive Patient to the hospital or clinic, and pick Patient up afterwards. Patient will be tired and dizzy after the anaesthetic and driving is not advisable because of this.

Patient will be tired and sore after surgery so ask someone in advance, if they can do Patient's normal everyday tasks unless Patient's partner can help out! Tell them it will only be for a few days. The day before Patient's surgery, do not drink alcohol and make sure Patient do not eat or drink anything at least six hours before Patient's operation. Pack a small case with a change of clothes, Patient's nightwear, a sleep mask, toiletries and a selection of books and magazines. Patient may want to include an iPod so that Patient can listen to Patient's favorite music if Patient don’t feel up to reading.

What will happen on the day of patient’s breast uplift surgery?

Patient will have been advised to have a shower (not a bath) in the morning but do not apply any creams, oils or make up. Wear comfortable, loose clothing which is easy to take on and off. Have someone drive Patient to the clinic or hospital. Ask them to stay with Patient whilst Patient go through the admissions process. They can also stay with Patient whilst Patient settle in. The admissions procedure requires Patient to complete some forms. This is just standard procedure and rest assured the information will be kept confidential. Once these have been completed Patient will then be shown to Patient's room. Once Patient are there Patient will be helped with unpacking Patient's bag and putting things away. Make sure Patient have Patient's dressing gown and nightwear to hand. If Patient have anyone with Patient such as Patient's partner or relatives then they will return back home; or they can always stay at a hostel of World Laparoscopy Hospital so that they are close at hand. In regard to paying for Patient's surgery: many patients choose to make payment before their surgery, but Patient can still pay on the day. If Patient do then a cashier will take the payment from Patient. Once Patient have settled in Patient will be seen by a nurse who will perform a series of pre-operative checks. These will include taking blood and urine samples and checking Patient's blood pressure. The nurse will also give Patient a pair of compression stockings to wear. These are very similar to the ‘flight socks’ that Patient can buy before Patient go on a long haul flight. They help to prevent DVT – deep vein thrombosis which is the build of blood clots caused by a long period of inactivity.

The stockings will help plus Patient will be encouraged to get up and move around as soon as Patient can after Patient's surgery. The nurse may give Patient an injection of Heparin, a blood thinning agent which will also help to prevent the build of blood clots. Other checks include height and weight. If Patient are having a general anaesthetic then Patient will be given a theatre gown to change into. Patient's surgeon and anaesthetist will visit Patient before the surgery. This visit is to see how Patient are doing and to answer any last minute questions Patient may have. Patient can still change Patient's mind even at this late stage. Patient will then be taken down to theatre.

What is the breast uplift procedure?

The procedure involves lifting and firming the breasts. It takes around 2 to 3 hours to complete (for both breasts). It is usually carried out under a general anaesthetic and will require Patient to stay overnight in hospital. There are several techniques for doing this procedure but the most common involves Patient's surgeon making three incisions which form an ‘anchor shape’. These will enable him/her to remove the excess skin of the breast and move the nipple and areola to a higher position. He/she will also remove any excess fat and tissue. The skin around the areola is drawn together which helps to reshape the breast. Another technique includes the less popular ‘doughnut’ uplift in which a series of circular incisions are made around the areola. Breast uplift surgery is either performed on its own or in combination with breast augmentation surgery. Breast augmentation involves implants and if that is performed with the uplift the implants will be placed in a ‘pocket’ (made by an incision in the crease underneath the breast) under the breast tissue. It can also be located in a deeper position underneath the muscle of the chest wall. The surgeon will close these incisions with stitches and will place a light dressing over these. This dressing will stay in place for a couple of weeks. The stitches are likely to be the dissolvable ones which will disappear over time. Patient will need to apply moisturizer to the area to stop it from drying out. Patient will have to wear a sports bra which fastens up at the front to start with but after a few weeks Patient will be able to go back to a normal bra.

What will happen after a patient’s breast uplift surgery?

After surgery Patient will be taken to the recovery room which is attached to the theatre. Patient's progress will be carefully monitored by a specialist medical team who will check Patient's heart rate and pulse at regular intervals. Once they are happy with Patient's progress Patient will then be returned to Patient's room. A nurse will check the operation wounds and will also check Patient's blood pressure as well. Patient may be given another injection of Heparin as well although Patient will be encouraged to move around as soon as Patient are able. This will help to prevent the formation of blood clots. Patient will feel drowsy and dizzy from the anaesthetic which is entirely normal. This will take about 48 hours to wear off. During that time do not drive or perform a task which requires Patient to concentrate. Basically, Patient will feel a ‘bit out of it’ for a day or so. During Patient's time in hospital Patient will be visited by at least one senior member of the medical team and can ask to see Patient's surgeon at any time. Patient will be discharged the next day. Patient's surgeon will visit Patient to see how Patient are doing and to arrange Patient's first follow up visit. Patient will be given a date and time of this appointment. Patient will also be given contact details for Patient's surgeon if Patient need to get in touch. Patient will be given an ample supply of painkillers and a set of instructions on what to do following Patient's surgery. Patient will be given a discharge form to sign and once this is done, Patient are free to go.

What does recovery from breast uplift surgery involve?

Patient are advised to get plenty of rest, do not overtax Yourself and take things easy for some time. Patient will be advised to wear a sports bra for some time and to avoid exercise or other stressful activities. Recovery time varies from one procedure to the next and between individual patients. Some people recover quicker than others and vice versa. During this crucial time make sure Patient have someone who can provide physical and moral support. This can be a stressful time as well so it is worthwhile having someone Patient can turn to. This doesn’t have to be Patient's partner; anyone who is capable of dealing with stressful situations and provide a sympathetic shoulder to cry on! Patient may find that Patient are rather low after surgery. This is a normal reaction to all the stress and anticipation Patient experienced beforehand. Patient would have been keyed up and now Patient have gone from that ‘high’ to a ‘low’. Don’t be surprised by this: Patient have undergone surgery which is stressful in itself not to mention all the other upheavals such as making arrangements before and after surgery. Patient will be feeling very tired, sore and a bit off color and the best thing to do here is to rest. Sleep as much as Patient need to. Drink plenty of fluids and when Patient feel like eating, have lots of fruit and vegetables as these will help Patient's recovery.

Patient will have been given painkillers to take which will help to control any pain and discomfort. Do not take a shower for the first few days after surgery and wear a special surgical bra for the first few days. Ensure that Patient have the following set up at home:

  • Keep a night light on: this is handy if Patient have to get up in the night. Patient may feel a bit disorientated after surgery and this will prevent Patient from having a fall in the night.
  • Bottled water, ready prepared meals and fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Patient's favorite books, the TV remote control and an iPod or MP3 player.
  • Loose, comfortable clothing such as jogging suits, oversized shirts or pyjamas. Patient do not want anything which will rub against the surgical wounds.
  • All the daily household jobs such as shopping, cleaning, washing up etc will be done by Patient's partner or a close friend.
  • If Patient have a pet and live on Patient's own, ensure that someone can keep an eye on him/her until Patient are better.
  • A ready supply of painkillers, other essential medication, dressings, creams, moisturizers and ice packs (to reduce any swelling).
  • Arnica (to reduce any bruising) and Vitamin C to help reduce any swelling although check with Patient's surgeon first.
  • Patient may find that Patient feel the cold a lot more after Patient's surgery so keep a supply of blankets to hand, and a few, nice soft pillows.
  • Patient's GP’s contact number and Patient's surgeon’s.
  • Keep the curtains shut for a few days as Patient will be very tired and will want to sleep, at any time during the day.
  • Light snacks such as soups, crackers etc.
  • Consider having in Arnica, to reduce bruising and Vitamin C to help reduce the swelling. St John’s Wort and Bromelain can also help. Check with Patient's surgeon first before taking these.

Patient will have a light dressing over Patient's surgical wounds which will be kept in place for up to two weeks following surgery. It will then be removed and the surgical wounds will be lightly cleaned and inspected. Patient are best wearing a light sports bra during this time until the wounds have sufficiently healed. This will probably be for a month. After that Patient can return to wearing Patient's normal bra. The scars will be small and will appear to be rather pink and firm for a few weeks. They will stay at this size for a few months and it can be two years before they completely disappear.

Patient may notice some fluids seeping from the wounds but this is entirely normal. If however, it is accompanied by severe pain or bleeding then contact Patient's surgeon immediately. Spend this time watching television or DVD’s if Patient prefer and reading. Try to avoid any lifting or carrying and if Patient play sport, then do not resume this until a few weeks have passed. It is a good idea to go swimming to start with to build up Patient's stamina and fitness again. Patient may notice that Patient's breasts feel painful and swollen during Patient's first period after surgery. Don’t worry, this is normal and is unlikely to happen during Patient's next period. Patient may also notice some loss of feeling in Patient's nipples or, they may become hypersensitive. Don’t worry, this usually happens after this surgery and will return to normal after six weeks or so. It can last for a year or more or never return in a small minority of patients. Patient may feel a bit down or mildly depressed at this time. This is a normal reaction to the stress and trauma of surgery. Patient may feel guilty about the procedure, the cost or the fact that Patient have changed Patient's appearance. Painkillers and/or medications can affect Patient's emotions. This is understandable after what Patient have gone through and will disappear. It can help to talk with others at this time. Patient should be able to return to work a week after Patient's surgery. If Patient have a desk job then Patient will be able to resume Patient's normal duties. If however, Patient's job involves lifting and carrying then ask to undertake lighter duties until Patient's wounds have sufficiently healed.

What are the advantages a patient can draw from breast uplift surgery?

Patient will notice that Patient's breasts are firmer and higher. This will help to improve Patient's confidence and self-esteem. Many patients are happy with the results and report that they feel Patientnger looking and more ‘feminine’. Breast uplift does not increase the size of Patient's breasts although they may appear larger due to the fact that they are higher and firmer looking. The exception to this is if Patient have combined this procedure with breast augmentation surgery. This surgery will not turn Patient into someone else, such as a film star or a celebrity. It will improve Patient's appearance but will not recapture Patient's Patientth. Advances in cosmetic surgery mean that results are more natural looking and successful in the vast majority of cases. At the end of the day, Patient need to have realistic goals about this surgery. Remember though, that Patient's appearance is just one aspect of who Patient are and that other factors are equally important. In other words, be happy with who Patient are.

What are the risks of breast uplift surgery?

Breast uplift surgery is a safe procedure but like all forms of surgery does have a small amount of risk. A common side effect is feeling sick after a general anaesthetic and soreness and bruising. This surgery is performed on a regular basis and by highly qualified surgeons. Complications are rare but they can happen and it is as well to be aware of them.

Complications include the following:

  • Bad reaction to anaesthesia
  • Infection
  • Protracted healing
  • Slight risk of deep vein thrombosis
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Severe pain
  • Undersensitive or oversensitive nipples
  • Internal bruising or haematoma
  • May need a second or third procedure
  • Keloids – thickened, angry red scars

Complications differ from side-effects. Side effects are temporary and relatively mild effects of a procedure. These include nausea following anaesthesia, scarring, burning sensation in the nipples and soreness and bruising. Complications are defined as those which can occur during or just after surgery. These include the development of a blood clot and a loss of nipple and skin sensation. There is also the chance that Patient may not be able to breastfeed because most of the milk ducts which lead to the nipple are removed.

Is there an ‘aftercare’ service for breast uplift surgery?

Yes. There is a continuing commitment to Patient which doesn’t stop once Patient have had surgery. Patient's long term health and well being are important and Patient's provider should check on Patient's progress on a regular basis. This means regular follow up visits and mammograms (breast x-rays). This is more relevant for those women who fall into the 50 to 70 age group. The aftercare is included in the original quote that Patient received for Patient's surgery. It should include 24 hour access to Patient's surgeon and his/her team which is vital if something goes wrong.

How long does breast uplift last?

The results last for a long time but aren’t permanent. The ageing process and gravity cannot be stopped forever and they do cause the breasts to droop. The breasts will also lose tone and elasticity so this procedure will need to be repeated at some point in the future. Patient's age and overall health affect the results of this surgery. A Patientng woman in good health will usually have better results than an older woman. This is because the breasts are firmer and toned in a Patientnger woman. As Patient's age the skin starts to lose elasticity and tone. Patient's new breasts will retain their improved shape for several years. This can be affected by pregnancy and weight loss/gain.