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Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

Breast appearance is a defining characteristic of femininity. When a woman feels that her breasts are different to her ideal shape and size, it can affect her self-esteem.

With time, breasts may sag due to a combination of previous pregnancies, breast feeding, weight loss or as part of the normal ageing process. This can lead to low self-esteem, a lack of confidence and embarrassment in relationships.

Breast lift (Mastopexy) is a procedure designed to tighten the skin of the breasts, making the breasts look and feel firmer, and reposition the nipples in a higher, more youthful position. There are a variety of different ways that the operation can be performed, depending on the starting size and shape of the breast. Scarring may be restricted to a circle around the nipple area, or may also include a vertical scar from the nipple to under the breast, or additional scar extensions under the breast fold.

The mastopexy procedure alone does not change the size or volume of the breast significantly, though can be combined with an enlargement procedure with an implant if desired. It is performed under general anaesthetic and requires a hospital stay of 1 to 2 days.

In some cases, mastopexy procedures may be partially rebatable by all leading private health funds. It is important to obtain a referral from your family doctor to be eligible for this.

Am I suitable for Breast Lift (Mastopexy)?

Ladies in good general health and within a healthy weight range will be best suited to this procedure. Individual suitability is a matter for you to discuss with Dr Woods during your clinical consultation. During this consultation, Dr Woods will discuss with you the particular type of breast operation that will best address your particular concerns.

What are the benefits of Breast Lift (Mastopexy)?

Breast lift surgery improves the contour and shape of the breasts and positions the breasts in a more youthful position. This procedure can improve patient confidence and give patients an opportunity to wear clothes and swimwear that they would previously be too embarrassed to wear.

Where are the scars?

The scars are placed around the nipple and may extend vertically down under the breast and along the breast fold under the breast. All scars are designed to be hidden under the average bra or bikini top. Dr Woods will discuss with you the option that will be most effective in your case.

Is the procedure painful?

Mastopexy is not considered a particularly painful procedure, though it is common to feel some discomfort in the breast area, particularly for the first few days. While in hospital, strong painkillers can be given to keep you comfortable. On discharge, pain can usually be managed with simple analgesics like paracetamol, and stronger pain relief tablets are provided if needed.

How long does it take to recover from surgery?

Most ladies are able to get up and walk around gently on the day after surgery, though it is wise to take two weeks off from work to allow yourself to recover. You will need to wear a firm supportive sports bra for six weeks after the surgery. It is also recommended to take six weeks off before returning to vigorous exercise, sport and any activities involving heavy lifting.

When will I notice the results and how long will they last?

The change in breast size and shape will be immediately apparent when you wake up from your procedure. A full appreciation of the changes requires bruising and swelling due to the procedure to settle and for the normal scar maturation process to occur. Breast shape can change a little over the next few months, and the final result can usually be judged at 9-12 months following surgery. Results of mastopexy are long lasting.

Will I be told the risks and complications?

All operations have a risk of complications, however major complications are uncommon after breast reduction or breast lift surgery. During your initial consultation, Dr Woods will have a thorough discussion with you about the risks and complications of surgery. Fortunately with careful selection of the correct procedure for the specific patient's concerns, risks can be kept to a minimum. You can be reassured that Dr Woods will only recommend surgery if he feels that the benefits of the procedure substantially outweigh the risks.

Important Note when Choosing Your Surgeon

In Australia, just about anyone with a standard medical degree is allowed to perform cosmetic surgery. In fact, currently there is no legislation to stop any doctor from calling themselves a 'surgeon', even without formal surgical training.

Your only safeguard is to look for the letters FRACS under a doctor's name and check that they are affiliated with the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), as only fully qualified plastic surgeons have these titles and memberships. They confirm that your doctor has completed many years (at least 10 years) of training and examinations in surgery -far beyond the medical school period.

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