A breast lift, medically known as mastopexy, is a procedure that repositions the breasts to a healthier and more appealing position on the chest wall. By removing the skin that causes the breasts to sag, both the position and shape of the breasts can be improved, creating a more proportional physique.
Lifting the breasts is often warranted when excess skin forces them to hang lower than what would be considered normal. A breast lift can also correct an enlarged areola and downward-facing nipples if they are affected.
Breasts tend to lose their elasticity for several reasons, the most common being the natural ageing process, pregnancy, breastfeeding and weight gain. Over time, ligaments in the breasts that usually support the tissues begin to stretch, resulting in sagging or what is known as ptosis.
Your consultation is a time for you to learn more about breast lift surgery and decide whether it’s a procedure that you would like to undergo. Dr Ritz will explain what happens during surgery and what you can expect as you recover.
Dr Ritz will also need to go through your medical history and determine whether you are healthy enough to receive surgery. He will measure your breasts to understand the severity of ptosis and discuss your cosmetic goals so that he may create a unique treatment plan that suits your needs.
A breast lift will improve the position of your breasts but it won’t affect their size. Many patients decide to insert implants at the same time as their breast lift in order to restore volume too.
Two weeks prior to your procedure, you will need to come in for a second consultation to review your treatment plan. During this time, we will also answer additional questions that you may have.
Depending on the hospital you are in, you will arrive for surgery 30 minutes to two hours before your procedure is scheduled to begin. You will see Dr Ritz during this time who will draw markings to indicate where he will place incisions. An anaesthetist will also greet you and explain how and what will happen once the anaesthetic is administered.
With a breast lift, an incision is often made around the areola that travels down to the fold of the breast. Dr Ritz will then remove the excess skin and fat, allowing him to reposition the remainder of the breast. Once he has achieved an ideal placement and symmetry, Dr Ritz will close your incisions and insert drains, which will remove any fluid after your procedure.
After your procedure, you will be required to stay overnight in hospital in order for your drains to be monitored. Once 24 hours have passed and Dr Ritz is satisfied with how you’re progressing, the drains will be removed and you will be permitted to go home. You will need someone to drive you home from the hospital, so arrange that in advance.
As you make your way home from your breast lift surgery, you will stop by Dr Ritz’s office to receive a specialised bra that supports your healing breasts and reduces swelling. It’s essential that you wear this bra every day and night for six weeks. During this time, you will also come in once a week for follow up appointments.
For the first two weeks after surgery, you will not be permitted to drive. It’s also important that you limit any physical activity that could increase bleeding for at least six weeks. Once you are home, it’s essential to get as much rest as possible and to follow any specific aftercare instructions you might have received. This will include everything from wound care to how to shower and sleep while you recover.
As Dr Ritz assesses the progress of your breast lift during your follow-up consultations, he will advise you on when you can expect to return to your normal routine.
The average breast lift takes about two hours but if the patient opts to insert breast implants too, this will extend the surgery time. Dr Ritz will give you a better idea of what to expect during your consultation.
Some patients are able to have day surgery, although it’s highly recommended that you spend at least one night in hospital to avoid any potential complications.
Depending on what you do for a living, it’s recommended that you take two weeks off work. If your job is more physically demanding, Dr Ritz may require you to take additional time to recover.
Driving can be resumed after about two weeks but Dr Ritz should clear you before you get behind the wheel. It’s best to plan for someone to drive you around during your recovery and even during the first week that you’re back at work.
Since the breasts will be impacted during any form of exercise, activity should only be resumed after six weeks. Even then, it’s important that you start with light exercise and gradually move onto more strenuous activities.
No, implants are not a must if you’re considering a breast lift. However, if you want to reposition your breasts and add more volume, implants are the only way to do this.
The incision that Dr Ritz uses is called a lollipop incision, which is made around the areola and down towards the fold of the breast.
There is no reason why a breast lift may affect your ability to breastfeed but it is possible. There is no guarantee that any woman will be able to breastfeed, regardless of whether she’s had surgery or not, so it’s difficult to say how your abilities might be affected after surgery.
Every patient has different surgical requirements. Please contact us about a consultation as this will allow us to provide you with a more accurate quotation.
There is no one answer to this question. How long the results of a breast lift last is dependent on several different factors, including genetics, age, health and general lifestyle habits. If you decide to grow your family after your surgery, another pregnancy will more than likely affect the results of your surgery too.
Scars can fade but it does take time. Breast lift scars are usually pink to begin with and will gradually fade to a colour that’s closer to your skin tone over time. Most scarring can be concealed because it can be covered with underwear and swimsuits.
Because a breast lift requires your surgeon to remove excess tissue in order to restore the breasts to a more youthful position, it’s not uncommon for the size of the breasts to decrease by a cup size.