Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

Volume isn’t the only important factor in breast appearance. Their shape and level of lift can give them a perky, youthful look or allow them to show unwanted age. If you’ve ever wished your breasts were firmer, higher and more youthful-looking, breast lift surgery may offer the enhancement you seek. A breast lift can renew your figure and self-image by restoring the lift and shape that is often lost as gravity takes its toll.

Breast lift surgery (mastopexy) addresses issues of droop, surgically removing excess skin, and reshaping the breast for a firmer, more youthful appearance. During surgery, the breasts are raised and the nipples are repositioned. The areolas (the dark area surrounding the nipple) may be reduced in size for better proportion. If you’d like to restore lost breast volume as well, implants may be used to increase breast size.

Frequently Asked Questions

Women of all ages undergo breast lift surgery, though waiting until breast development has stopped is recommended by most cosmetic surgeons. Many women also postpone surgery until they are finished having children since pregnancy and breast-feeding can affect the results. Still, many women elect to go forward with the surgery before having children, knowing that they can address any pregnancy-related changes later. Breast lift surgery will usually not affect your ability to breast-feed since the nipples and milk ducts are generally left intact.

Good candidates for a breast lift include healthy women bothered by any of the following issues:

– Pendulous breasts with satisfactory volume
– Breasts lack firmness
– Breast ptosis with nipples and areolas pointing downward
– Nipples hanging below the breast crease

Breast lift surgery can also correct issues of breast asymmetry. It is fairly common for one breast to be firmer and better-positioned than the other.

Though breast lift results tend to be longer lasting in women with smaller breasts, the procedure can offer benefits to women with any breast size.

A personal consultation with your surgeon is the first step for any patient considering a breast lift. Dr McHugh will assess your physical and emotional health, discuss your aesthetic goals, and address any questions or concerns you may have.

Issues you should be prepared to discuss during consultation with Dr. McHugh include:

– Medical conditions, both past and present
– Current medications, including nutritional supplements and herbal remedies
– Previous surgeries
– Weight loss history and goals

During consultation, Dr McHugh will examine your breasts, paying attention to their size, shape, skin elasticity and nipple position. He may also take photographs and measurements for your medical record.

There are many variations to a mastopexy procedure. The technique Dr McHugh uses with you depends upon your individual features and aesthetic goals. The most common method, which offers the most significant lift, involves three incisions: One around the circumference of the areola, another running vertically from the areola to the breast crease and a third incision following the natural curve of the crease beneath the breast.

Through these incisions, Dr. McHugh removes the excess breast skin and shapes the remaining breast tissue. The nipple and areola, which remain attached to the underlying tissue, are then shifted to a higher position. The areola can also be reduced in size for better proportion.

Because the nipples and areolas are left intact, nipple sensation and breast-feeding should not be affected.

Though thousands of women undergo mastopexy each year and experience no major complications, the procedure does carry some degree of risk.

It is important you be well informed of these risks when considering mastopexy.

The discussion of potential risks and complications is one of the most important aspects of patient consultation. During your consultation, Dr McHugh will discuss these potential complications with you, listen to your safety questions, and offer recommendations on how to minimise your risk.

It is important to follow Dr McHugh’s instructions when preparing for surgery to ensure the best possible results. Those instructions may include:

– Refraining from smoking for several weeks before and after surgery
– Avoiding certain medications
– Arranging for help following surgery, such as a ride home and in-home care for the first 24 hours

Undergoing a baseline mammogram

For your comfort and convenience, Dr McHugh operates either in his clinic under local anaesthetic with intravenous sedation or under general anaesthetic at various private hospitals.

He will carefully monitor your physical status throughout the operation and during your recovery.

Directly after surgery, you’ll be taken to a recovery area. You will have a dressing over your breasts covered by a supportive bra.

On the day of surgery, you will be encouraged to get out of bed for short periods of time. The post-operative discomfort you feel during the first few days will be controlled with pain medication.

Though everyone heals at a different pace, the following is typical of recovery from mastopexy:

Within the first week

– You will begin to move about more comfortably
– You may feel up to resuming some non-strenuous work
– Your dressings will be removed

After several weeks

– Swelling and bruising will diminish
– All stitches will have been removed
– Nipple sensation will gradually improve
– You may resume to most normal activities, including light exercise

After a few months

– Your breasts will start settling into a more natural shape
– Incision lines will begin to fade

The firmer, more youthful-looking breasts you sought will start to emerge within a few months, after they have had ample time to heal. You should see improvement in their level of lift, and the nipple position will offer a perkier look. Adjustments to the areola size may also offer a more pleasing proportion.

Though surgery entails permanent scarring, the scars are easily concealed beneath clothing, swimsuits and tank tops and will fade significantly over time.

In most cases, your new breast shape should remain for several years to come. Factors such as weight fluctuation or subsequent pregnancies, however, can affect the longevity of the results. Over time, the effects of gravity may change the shape or your breasts once again. If this happens, you may choose to undergo a second breast lift procedure to help restore a more youthful contour.

Follow-up visits are important to answer any questions you may have and monitor your healing process. Your first post-operative visit will be scheduled after the initial healing period, during the first few days after surgery.

In the following months, Dr McHugh may ask you to return for periodic checkups. Keeping these appointments is important to assess your long-term results and address any questions or concerns you may have.

Dr John McHugh plastic surgeon
About Dr McHugh

Dr John McHugh is Australia's only surgeon qualified in both Maxillofacial and Cosmetic surgery.

His dual specialisations enable him to deliver excellence in surgical results, with an eye for aesthetic beauty.

With over 20 years of experience as a surgeon in the private sector and performing international aid work as a Surgeon Commander with the Royal Australian Navy, you can have confidence that Dr McHugh is uniquely qualified and trusted to deliver the results you seek.