A breast lift performed on its own will not increase the size or change the shape of your breasts. Breast augmentation surgery, which is sometimes performed at the same time, will change the size and shape.
Breast lift surgery was the fourth most popular cosmetic surgical procedure in Australia in 2009 and the seventh most popular in the world. Around 5,600 breast lifts were completed in Australia in 2009. Breast lift surgery is most popular amongst women between the ages of 35 and 50.
Women opt for breast lift surgery for a number of reasons.
You are a good candidate for a breast lift if:
Although a breast lift is possible at any age, surgeons recommend waiting until breast development is complete to undergo any breast-related cosmetic surgery. Breasts are usually fully developed around 18 years of age.
Breast lifts are often performed after pregnancy and breastfeeding, because these events can change the shape of the breasts. However, breast lift surgery leaves the nipples, areolas and milk ducts intact and is unlikely to affect a woman’s ability to breast feed.
You need to discuss the following things with your surgeon prior to surgery:
Depending on how much work is involved, a breast lift procedure takes 1-3 hours. The procedure can be done on an outpatient basis, and it may be possible to go home after the effects of anaesthesia have worn off. You may, however, be asked to stay in hospital overnight to be monitored.
After the incisions have been made, excess skin is removed, the nipples are repositioned and the skin re-draped and stitched back together. Small tubes may be inserted to allow fluids that accumulate in the wound to drain. These will be removed after a few days. You will also have gauze dressings on your breasts, usually covered with a surgical bra or elastic bandage.
For the first week you must sleep on your back. For the first few days your breasts will be bruised and swollen. Your surgeon may ask you to wear a compression garment for up to a week to keep swelling to a minimum and support your breasts as they heal. Your surgeon may also recommend wearing a sports bra for extra support for six weeks after surgery. Sometimes mild swelling can last up to four months.
Incisions will initially be red or pink in colour. Over time and with the correct scar management treatment, these scars will fade.
You may not have as much sensation in your nipples and areolas as you had before surgery. This is normal and usually temporary. Sometimes it can take weeks, months or even a year before normal sensation returns.
Although walking as soon as you are able helps prevent blood clots, strenuous activities such as exercise and heavy lifting should be avoided for at least a month.
You may feel discomfort from time to time. This is normal, but if you have severe pain, contact your surgeon.
Advise your surgeon if you have lost weight recently or plan to lose weight in the future. Your surgeon may recommend that you stabilise your weight before having surgery.
Before your surgery, make sure to have everything you need for a comfortable stay at home during the recovery period.
There are also a number of things you can do following any type of surgery.
In addition to following the general post-surgical guidelines, there are important things you must do to ensure successful healing. These include:
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved in breast lift surgery. You should be fully aware of these before you elect to have the procedure. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the list of complications that could arise as a result of any surgery.
Specific complications that could occur after a breast lift include:
The best way to reduce risk in any surgery is to find a fully qualified surgeon with formal training in breast lift surgery who has performed the procedure many times.
Just as you would discuss potential benefits before surgery, it is always advisable to ask your surgeon to address the potential risks as they apply to you.
The cost of a breast lift will vary depending on the surgeon you choose and the facilities used. Your surgeon will help you estimate potential costs after an initial consultation.
Expect surgeon’s fees for a breast lift to cost between $6000 and $8000 (AUD). You’ll need to add the assistant surgeon’s fees, anaesthetist’s fee, hospital facilities and the cost of follow up visits to this figure.
If you have implants inserted at the same time your costs, including the cost of implants would come to around $12,000 (AUD).
Some Australian private health insurers may help pay for the hospital bed and theatre fees. Getting a doctor’s referral could enable you to make a claim on these costs.
You should expect the costs to be higher if you are having combined procedures at the same time.
This information is correct as of 2017.