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As women get older, or have children, life can take it’s toll on their breasts – the strain of childbirth, stress, aging or even just gravity can cause breasts to sag and as a result can be a real knock to womens’ confidence and how they feel about themselves. Once the skin begins to loose it’s elasticity, breasts lose their shape and sag. One way to help combat this is a Mastopexy – commonly known as a breast lift. A mastopexy can help reshape and refirm sagging breasts for a time and. if you so choose, implants can also be inserted too to improve the size and overall shape of your breasts.

A lot of surgery of a cosmetic nature is all to do with the individual, and it’s all about what YOU want, so it is important to think carefully about what you want to achieve. Breast lift surgery should never be used as a way to make people think of you differently or as a quick fix for underlying self esteem problems.

Breasts of any size can be lifted, but the surgery does have better results with smaller breasts, and the best candidates are the ones who can be realistic about what they want from the mastopexy and how they want it to affect them afterwards. Whilst having a mastopexy shouldn’t affect breastfeeding, if you choose to become pregnant after the your breast lift, the stretching of the skin in pregnancy can negate the effects of the surgery and leave you back where you started.

What are the risks of a mastopexy

Whilst breast lift surgery is not a simple operation to perform, if done by a competent surgeon it is safe and should not have any problems. However, with plastic surgery there is always an element of risk of things going wrong and it is important to remember this. Bleeding and infection are very rare, but scarring can occur after the operation although usually these are small and will normally be covered by a bra, but in smokers the scars can widen. Finally there is a risk of loss of feeling in the nipples and breasts after the surgery due to the closeness to nerve endings.

What does breast lift surgery involve

The surgeon will measure and examine your breasts and discuss what sort of procedures would be good for you, they will also discuss what sort of size and shape you are looking for and advise you on how possible it is. The surgeon should explain all the risks and the cost to you before hand, and it is important you understand clearly what will happen before agreeing to anything. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions- remember, it’s your body.

Depending on your age and family history, you may be required to have a breast scan to make sure it is safe to operate. You will be given strict instructions about diet and smoking etc to make sure your body is ready and prepared for the surgery it is about to go through. It is also advisable you have someone drive you home after the surgery and who can be around you for a few days after to see if you’re recovering well.

Mastopexy After Care

After the surgery is complete you will need to wear a surgical bra or elastic gauze bandage to protect your healing chest. Although it will be quite tender for a few days, you shouldn’t experience any vast amounts of pain – the surgeon will give you some medication to help deal with it.

In a few days time you will be able to replace the surgical bra with a soft support bra covering some gauze bandage which you will need to wear 24/7 for around 3 or 4 weeks, the stitches can be removed after about 14 days. Beware of tugging at your skin when applying moisturiser for dryness or moving too sharply as the skin will still be very soft and tender. You should also be prepared to take at least a week off work.

There will be some numbness or lack of sensation in your breasts or nipples, but this should calm down after the swelling goes, however some people report loss of feeling for up to a year after surgery and others have it permanently- this means it’s important to report any changes to your doctor and if you have any unusual sensations or side effects call immediately.

Heavy lifting should be avoided for around a month, and sex should be avoided for around a week or two. When resuming your usual activities it’s important to start slowly and work up gradually back to normal. Breastfeeding if you become pregnant shouldn’t be an issue as your nipples and milk ducts will be left untouched.

Whilst it’s important to realise there will be scarring, this usually fades to thin white lines that are very unnoticeable, and a good surgeon will place them so they are discrete and easily concealed under your breast and bra. Whilst implants will make the effects of your Mastopexy last longer, nothing is permanent and age and gravity will inevitably take its toll.