Many women may request improvement in the shape or contour of the breast.   This may be due to the effects of pregnancy, nursing, weight loss or gravity.   For some women, the breast has never developed with an attractive shape.   Others have a large nipple that they feel is disproportionate. A breast lift or mastopexy is a surgical procedure that can lift and/or reshape the breasts. At the same time, the size of the nipple skin (the areola) can be reduced.

Procedure:Raise and reshape sagging breasts by removing excess skin and repositioning remaining tissue and nipples.
Length:1 to 3 hours
Anesthesia:Local with sedation, or general.
In/Outpatient:Usually outpatient. Sometimes inpatient.
Side Effects:Variable. Implants may require removal or replacement.
Risks:Thick, wide scars; skin loss; infection. Unevenly positioned nipples. Permanent loss of feeling in nipples or breast.
Recovery:Back to work: 1 week or more. Strenuous activities: 1 month. Fading of scars: several months to a year.
Duration ofVariable; gravity, pregnancy, aging, and weight changes may cause new sagging.
Result:Results may last longer or be enhanced when breast implants are inserted as part of the procedure

This procedure may be combined with the insertion of an implant to restore lost volume to the breast. Because this operation involves the removal of skin, there will be scars as a result of this operation. Depending on the amount of skin to be removed, and whether or not an implant is being used, scars and techniques will vary. Your surgeon will discuss this with you at the time of the consultation.

Preparing for Surgery

Instructions will be provided to you with regards to preparing for surgery. If you are taking any medications, please bring this to the doctor’s attention at the time of the consultation. Many herbal preparations may interfere with clotting, and these need to be discontinued prior to surgery. Depending on your age and family history, a mammogram may be required prior to the surgery. You will have pre-operative blood work done, and patients over forty are required to have an EKG. Most of the time the surgery is done on an outpatient basis. If you are from a long distance, or are having any other procedures done you may be kept over night. This should be discussed with your surgeon.

Most commonly the operation is done under a general anesthetic, or local anesthetic with sedation. Either way you will not be able to drive yourself home. Recovery is a gradual process and you will need to plan to take one to two weeks off work. If your job is very physical, you may require a longer time off work. You should not make any travel arrangements for at least a month after surgery.

After Surgery

After surgery, you will have either a tape dressing or a surgical bra and gauze dressing.   There may be some small tubes inserted into the breast at the time of surgery to take away any build up of blood or fluid.   These are usually removed the day after surgery.

A bra with dressings inside is worn night and day for the first 2 – 3 weeks. There is a considerable amount of swelling and some bruising after surgery and it takes time for the shape to “settle”.   Some techniques of breast surgery are designed to have shorter scars and this may mean that there is some gathering or puckering along the incision line, which can take several weeks to smooth out.   The quality of the scars will improve over a period of several months.