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Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

Mastopexy is the technical term for a breast lift. Breasts can lose their firmness and youthful shape due to genetics, pregnancy, gravity, weight loss and time.   This is one of the most common procedures we perform – with or without an augmentation at the same time.

What is a breast lift?

A breast lift (mastopexy) procedure is designed to correct the issues associated with saggy breasts – the technical term is breast ptosis. This may be due to genetics, ageing, weight loss, or pregnancy. In minor degrees of ptosis, the sagging may be improved by the insertion of an appropriate breast implant but if the sag is significant a surgical correction of the position of the nipple and breast tissue with or witout an implant will be required. Occasionally, fat grafting may play a role. If you feel your breasts are too large, Dr Craig Layt can also perform a breast reduction to meet your needs. The operation is similar to a mastopexy but obviously tissue is removed.

A breast lift (mastopexy) procedure is designed to correct the tissues associated with saggy breasts – the technical term is breast ptosis.  This may be due to genetics, ageing, weight loss, or pregnancy. In minor degrees of ptosis, the sagging may be improved by the insertion of an appropriate breast implant but if the sag is significant a surgical correction of the position of the nipple and breast tissue with or without an implant will be required.  Occasionally, fat grafting may also play a role. If you feel your breasts are too large, Dr Layt can also perform a breast reduction to meet your needs. The operation is similar to mastopexy but obviously tissue is also removed.

A general anaesthetic is usually required and most patients can return home on the same day as the surgery. On the day of surgery some skin marking will occur in the preoperative area to carefully plan the new nipple and breast fold position and a more desirable breast shape. Patients having undergone Mastopexy surgery tend to see a great improvement from this procedure.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified practitioner.

Breast Lift Photos

These before and after photos are of patients that have had surgery performed by Dr Layt. These patients have consented to the photos being shown. These are actual photos and have not been altered or digitally enhanced. Every patient is an individual and therefore final surgical results will vary from patient to patient.

bna-sample Before
bna-sample After

Who is a candidate?

Suitable patients are woman who have breast ptosis due to pregnancy, ageing, weight loss or genetics. Our staff can give advice in general terms on the type of operation that may help and Dr Layt will consult with the patient to assess if this surgery is suitable for you. Women who have large areolae may also proceed with this procedure to reduce the areolae size.

What to expect after the operation?

Drains are rarely used and only if ever required.  Sutures are placed under the skin and are dissolvable. Your pain will be controlled by oral medications. You will have an appointment to see us 24 – 48 hours after the operation for review of dressings, medications and exercises. If distance is a problem we can often address this over Skype, FaceTime or phone.  You will also be seen approximately seven days post surgery to change dressings and review your surgical progress. Light activities can be resumed as tolerated. Aerobic activities can be started in approximately three weeks. We are always available to help should concerns arise. We also recommend to see you for a three month and 12 month followup appointment.

The breasts may have patchy areas of numbness during the early post operative period. Tingling, burning or shooting pains indicate healing and should not alarm. Some asymmetry is normal after the operation as each breast swells to a different degree. The breast will often appear a little flat at the bottom for a period after surgery. This is normal and is done on purpose as the breasts tend to bottom out more with time.

Potential risks of surgery?

Modern surgery has developed over the years and the safety of surgery has improved greatly. There is however no such thing as ‘risk free’ surgery. The important thing is to understand any potential risks and minimise their occurrence by appropriate planning and management.  Some specific possible risks include a lack of nipple sensation and asymmetry of the breasts after healing. Obviously there will be some scars and we will discuss how to minimise these. At your consultations, the risks and complications will be explained and you will also be given information regarding these for your procedure.procedure.

Specific Pre-Operative Instructions

WASHING: Wash the evening prior to surgery and the day of surgery paying particular attention to the breast region. This decreases the bacterial count and should decrease the risks of infection.

PRODUCTS: Do not apply moisturisers, make-up, perfume/deodorant, nail polish or hair products after washing. Remove all jewellery.

CLOTHING: Wear loose, comfortable clothing and footwear. A shirt with a button or zipper opening is ideal for removal.

SMOKING: Smoking increases the risks of complications significantly and should be ceased 6 – 8 weeks prior to surgery.

FASTING: You should have nothing to eat or drink for six hours before your operation. If you are required to take medication during this time please mention this to us to check if this can be taken before the six hour fasting period or after your procedure.

MEDICATION: If you are having the operation as a day case, you will be given a script for antibiotics and pain relief tablets that you will need to purchase from the chemist and bring with you on the day of your procedure. Do not take these prior to surgery. The nursing staff will advise you and your carer after your procedure on how to administer them.

Certain over the counter products and prescription medicines can cause complications before and after surgery. They can reduce the ability of your blood to clot and could increase your tendency to bleed during and after surgery. Do not take any medication containing or related to aspirin two weeks prior to your procedure. This includes NSAID’S, anti-Inflammatory medications, blood thinning medications. Please see your doctor regarding if and when to cease this medication. Ibuprofen, Nurofen and Aspirin are common medications that thin the blood. *This is not an all inclusive list*.

Also avoid Vitamin E supplements and red wine. Stop all herbal medications before surgery. The most common herbs used are Echinacea, Ephedra, Garlic, Ginseng, Ginkogo, Kava, St. John’s Wort, and Valerian. They may adversely affect anaesthetic drugs, prolong bleeding and impair healing after surgery. Please consult your physician before ceasing any medication.

ADMINISTRATION: Unfortunately, paperwork is a necessary evil. Each theatre complex has its own procedures. We have attempted to make it all easy by providing a simple series of steps to follow titled “SURGERY CHECKLIST” specific to the surgery centre you are attending. Please follow these instructions. If you have any queries about this or anything else don’t hesitate to contact us on (07) 5597 4100.

Specific Post-Operative Instructions

POSITION: For the first week after surgery, try to sleep on your back if you can instead of your side. Obviously, try not to sleep on your new breasts. This will help reduce swelling. (It is more important for you to sleep than to rigidly adhere to this suggestion).

DRESSINGS & DRAINS: Drains are rarely/if ever required.  You may have ‘splash proof’ dressings over your suture sites. Your pain will be controlled by oral medications. You will have an appointment to see us 24 – 48 hours after the operation for review of dressings, medications and exercises. If distance is a problem we can often address this over Skype, FaceTime or phone.  You will also be seen approximately seven days post surgery to change dressings and review your surgical progress. Light activities can be resumed as tolerated. Aerobic activities can be started in about three weeks. We are always available to help should concerns arise. We would love to see you for a three month and 12 month followup appointment.

You will be fitted with a support bra and when we see you postop we will check it fits well and supply a second one. You should wear one of these day and night for two weeks after surgery. (You may, of course, remove it to shower and launder.) After two weeks, you may sleep without the bra. You should not go braless during the day for 4 – 6 weeks after surgery. Once the swelling has decreased you can buy new bras to fit your new size. This usually takes three months.

SHOWERING: You may shower, remembering that your dressings are splash proof rather than waterproof.  If water gets underneath the dressing it is best to change it. If you prefer to bathe, do not allow the incision lines to soak for more than a few minutes in the bath water.  It is fine to take off your bra while you bathe or shower.

DRIVING AND ACTIVITIES: You may take a gentle walk the day after your surgery. It is advised to try to get up and move about as soon as you feel you can.  Do not return to aerobic exercise for three weeks.  You may drive when driving does not cause you pain, and your vision, reflexes and thought processes are not impaired and you are confident in your driving ability.  This usually occurs in 4 – 6 days if you have a car with power steering.

SUTURES: The sutures used in the operation are usually dissolvable and don’t require removal.

SUNLIGHT: Scars take at least one year to fade. During this time, you must protect them from the sun. Even through a bathing suit, a good deal of sunlight can reach the skin and cause damage. Wear a sunscreen with a skin-protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 at all times when in the sun. Be extremely careful as areas of your breast skin may have reduced sensitivity.

TAPE: Dr Layt advises taping the wounds with Fixomull initially then Siltape for 8 – 12 weeks after your operation for optimal scar healing. Our nurse will change these dressings one week after your operation. You will be given a pack of Siltape that will usually last until your 3 month appointment. Further Siltape is available for purchase.

TED STOCKINGS: You may be required to wear TED stockings for compression to prevent DVT (blood clotting) post-operatively. If required these will be fitted at the hospital on your admission day. The nursing staff will advise you on how long you need to wear these for.

MEDICATION: Take your pain relief and antibiotic medication as directed. Any medication you ceased prior to surgery must not be taken after your surgery until you are completely healed or as directed by your physician.

Contact Us

To schedule a consultation with Dr Craig Layt, or to learn more about breast lift surgery, contact our Gold Coast practice in Queensland today. We will be happy to answer any questions you have.  Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.