Medically Reviewed May 2022, by Mr Sankar - Chief Medical Officer for The Harley Medical Group
Breast Uplift and Enlargement
Breasts naturally change shape after pregnancy and breastfeeding; they can appear saggy and deflated after weight loss and droop as a part of the natural ageing process. This is due to the breast’s skin becoming so stretched that the breast tissue is not supported. Once this has occurred there is little that can be done to restore a naturally full and firm bust without surgery.
The decision to undergo a Breast Lift and Enlargement
One of the main reasons that women choose to undergo a Breast Uplift is due to them disliking their droopy, sagging and deflated breasts. If you are looking to lift and enlarge your breasts having a Breast Uplift with implants, an Augmented Mastopexy, is the only option for significant results, particularly for those with smaller breasts.
Whether you call it a 'Breast Uplift with Implants', a 'Breast Lift/Enlargment', or use the medical term 'Augmented Mastopexy' there are many reasons why someone might consider a combined Breast Uplift and Breast Enlargement procedure.
Why breasts sag?
Breasts are naturally lifted and supported by ligaments, called Copper's ligaments, which over time can stretch and cause a sagging appearance. Loose skin or the loss of skin's elasticity can also lead to droopy, deflated boobs. The degree to which breasts become sagging and droopy will be influenced by numerous factors including:
- Gravity: your body cannot defy gravity, as it pulls your breasts down it stretches and strains your breast's ligaments.
- Breast size: larger breasts leads to a higher chance of sagging purely because higher breast mass is more vulnerable to gravity. Smaller breasts with a rounder bottom tend to hold their shape better than other breast shapes and sizes. A higher BMI is often associated with larger breasts.
- Weight fluctuations: gaining or losing a good deal of weight, especially quickly, can change the shape of your breasts and stretch or shrink the skin surrounding them. Multiple pregnancies is the largest contributor to weight fluctuations.
- Smoking: chemicals found in cigarettes causes the skin to lose elasticity by destroying existing Collagen and Elastin and limiting further production of the protein, so smokers are more likely to develop saggy breasts. Collagen and Elastin provide the skin with its natural strength and elasticity, and even being around second-hand smoke can cause lasting damage.
- Genetics: the genes you get from your family play a part in the size and shape or your breasts, the strength of your Cooper's ligaments, and your body weight.
- Exercise: exercise that involves a lot of breast movement can put extra strain on the breast ligaments. If the breasts - especially large breasts - do not have proper support, it can lead to stretching of the ligaments and sagging of the breasts
- Age: breasts often start to sag as part of the natural ageing process, particularly after menopause when hormone changes can affect the structure and volume of the breast tissue.
Preventing breasts from sagging
Due to the nature of ligaments and gravity nearly all breasts will sag eventually, regardless of size. However, there are some precautions that can be taken to minimise the extent of the sagging
- Manage a healthy weight: this is not about gaining or losing weight, but rather about keeping weight consistent and at a level that is healthy to you. Any weight changes should be made gradually over time.
- Try to preserve the skin's elasticity: firstly if you smoke, quit immediately. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water will promote good skin health and can help maintain elasticity.
- Practice good posture: poor posture and slouching may compound the impact of gravity, while maintaining a good position with your back straight and your shoulders back, can help support the breasts and even give you a natural lift.
- A pectoral muscle workout: another way to provide a small natural lift is to gently work out the muscles underneath the breast, the pectoralis major muscles.
- Wear well-fitting, comfortable bras: regardless of breast size it is fundamental to find the right bra size when working out, the motion of exercise can lead to stretching and sagging. However, it is equally important to wear the right bra throughout the day as there is a school of thought that maintains the wrong bra size may have more negative effects than not wearing one at all.
Treating sagging breasts
While long-term maintenance of your skin and weight can slow the factors that cause saggy breasts the ways to reverse the situation, should you choose to, is limited. A pectoral work out will make a very small difference, most noticeably to smaller breasts, but for a significant difference only a breast uplift, with or without implants, can help restore your breasts to a more youthful, supple appearance.
The procedure for Augmented Mastopexy surgery
A Breast Lift with Implants is a surgical procedure, normally performed under a general anaesthetic that takes up to 2 hours to perform. During the procedure excess skin is removed allowing the remaining skin to be lifted and tightened, the nipple is often moved to a higher position and possibly reduced or reshaped. A breast implant is placed, usually above the muscle, to reshape the breast giving it a firmer, fuller and more youthful appearance. For an Augmented Mastopexy the excess skin will be removed from underneath the breast and will leave a 'lollipop' shaped scar running around the nipple with a vertical line to the underside of the breast. Occasionally your surgeon may make an incision in the crease under the breast to make an anchor shape scar, this will be discussed during your consultation.
Choosing when to have a Combined Breast Uplift and Breast Enlargement is very personal. We recommend you consider timings particularly if you are considering a pregnancy in the future. Most women seek to undergo a breast uplift after their families are complete because the breast tissue may stretch again reducing the effectiveness of the surgery. However, you can undergo a Breast Uplift and Enlargement before pregnancy without any risks to the pregnancy or breast feeding.
Breast Uplift and Enlargement results
Immediately after your surgery your breast implants may seem too high and the skin too tight, it can take several months for the swelling to settle and for the implants to shift to a natural position. Eventually following your breast lift and enlargement you can expect your breasts to be fuller and more uplifted and the position of your nipples and areolas to be raised and improved. You may find that you have an increase or decrease in nipple sensation, this is common and can change over time. You can expect some swelling and bruising for a few weeks.
Scars are usually quite red for the first six weeks after surgery, over the following three months they should gradually change to a purple colour before fading. The scars will not be visible when you are wearing everyday clothing.
At your Breast Uplift and Enlargement consultation
You will be invited to meet with one of our Breast Surgery Specialists who will discuss your concerns and the results that you want, they will then recommend the best breast surgeon for you and talk to you a little about their experience.
It is fundamental that you thoroughly discuss your expectations with your surgeon before your surgery so that you understand what the Breast Lift with Implants will achieve and, most importantly whether it is right for you. Your surgeon will also discuss the scars you will have and your recovery process. When all of your questions have been answered and our completely happy to proceed our nurses will see you for a pre-op check-up. Following your surgery, in addition to a comprehensive guide to your aftercare requirements and a telephone number which will be answered by a Registered General Nurse 24/7.
If at any time you have more questions don't hesitate to contact a member of our team who will be delighted to help.
Downtime, recovery and aftercare
Depending on several factors, that will be discussed with you during your free consultation, you may either be discharged from hospital on the day of your procedure or will need to stay in the hospital overnight. Most of our patients choose to stay overnight for their comfort. If you go home on the same day we will request that an adult collect you from the hospital and stay with you overnight. Following a general anaesthetic you car insurance may not be valid for a period, check your documents if you're unsure of your policy. You will find wearing a seatbelt uncomfortable as your chest will feel tight and your breasts and the ribs below your breasts will be sore, over the counter painkillers will help to keep you comfortable. Do not drive until you feel safe and are comfortable wearing a seatbelt.
Immediately following your surgery you may have drainage tubes in the breast to drain away any fluid or blood; these tubes will be taken out when the fluid or blood has stopped draining and usually before you go home. You may also be given antibiotics upon leaving the hospital, you must complete the full course. You can expect swelling and localised discomfort which will subside within a few weeks.
Allow yourself adequate time to recover to ensure you get the best results. We recommend that you take at least 2 weeks off work and depending on your age and general fitness, you will need to rest for two to six weeks only undertaking light activities. Avoid any strenuous activity while you are recovering as this will affect the speed at which you recover and your overall results. However, you should be back being able to exercise normally after six weeks. You will need to wear a support bra, with no under-wire, for at least 6 weeks.
Breast Uplift and Augmentation Surgery Prices
Our expert breast surgeons and nurses will discuss the results you want and can expect during your consultation, at this time they will confirm the final cost of your surgery.
|Breast Uplift and Augmentation||£8,995|
We understand finance availability can sometimes be a barrier to undergoing a Cosmetic Surgery procedure, with manageable payments, we can provide a feasible solution to suits your needs. We have a range of Breast Uplift and Enlargement finance options available to help you pay for your procedure, ask at your Free consultation and your advisor will be happy to take you through these.
Please contact one of our Client Service Advisors or call 0800 288 4110 or discuss your financial options with one of our nurses during your consultation at your local clinic.
0% finance* available.
*0% Finance available, subject to status and terms and conditions apply.
LCHMG Limited trading as Harley Medical is an Appointed Representative of Lasercare Clinics (Harrogate) Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to carry out the regulated activity of credit broking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes absolutely. It is important to let your surgeon know if you plan to have children and breastfeed as it may influence where the incisions are made.
The risks with Breast Enlargement are the same as with any surgical procedure that requires general anesthetic. Capsular contracture is the most common complication of Breast Enlargement surgery. The risks and details of the procedure will be fully explained during your free consultation.
The final decision will be made between you and your Cosmetic Surgeon. The procedure is most suitable for those patients who feel self-conscious due to their breasts having excess skin and appear deflated from weight loss, ageing or pregnancy
The Harley Medical Group has been committed to providing excellence in Cosmetic Surgery and Non Surgical Solutions in the UK since it was established. During this time, we have developed a full understanding of the many reasons why people have Cosmetic Surgery and how it can improve how they feel about themselves.
For more information see our guide Choosing your Cosmetic Surgery Provider
No, we are unable to offer any surgery while you are pregnant or breast feeding. However, please contact us 6 months after giving birth or after breast feeding and talk to our friendly advisors to discuss next steps.
Learn more about Breast implants and pregnancy.
This depends upon multiple factors such as the type of implant you receive, the pocket dissection, the way your body holds the implant and whether or not there is any degree of capsular contracture.
It is possible for many women to have Breast Implants that are soft and move nicely, while other women have results that are firmer with an implant more fixed in position.
General good health is important, not age. Depending on your skin tone and tissue quality you should get excellent results particularly if you are having a Breast Uplift with your implantation surgery.
Breast asymmetry is actually very common with the majority of women having one breast slightly larger than the other. However in more extreme cases of breast asymmetry can be emotionally distressing to a woman.
A Breast Uplift and Enlargement procedure can help to correct asymmetry in some cases but it can’t be guaranteed. Breast asymmetry is not always caused by an aberration in the breast but rather by symmetry in the chest wall which unfortunately can’t be corrected with this procedure.
You can discuss any concerns regarding breast asymmetry with your surgeon at your consultation.