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What is Breast Lift?

Loss of skin elasticity, gravity and other factors such as weight loss, pregnancy and breast-feeding ultimately affect the shape and firmness of your breasts. Patients who are generally satisfied with the size of their breasts can have a breast lift to raise and firm them, resulting in a more youthful breast contour. Additionally, some patients may be unhappy that they have lost a significant amount of breast volume over time. In such cases, implants inserted in conjunction with a breast lift can increase breast size at the same time as the shape and position of the breasts are enhanced.

Effects of Breast Lift

Breast lift surgery will make your breasts firmer and more uplifted. The position of your areolas and nipples will be enhanced, and the size of your areolas will be aesthetically pleasing.

The incisions from your breast lift surgery will heal and fade over time. It is important to realize, however, that the incision lines will be permanently visible. In some instances, they will eventually be only faint lines. Certain individuals may have incision lines that are more noticeable. Fortunately, the incisions for your breast lift are in locations easily concealed by clothing, even low-cut necklines.

Candidates for Breast Lift

You may be a good candidate for breast lift surgery if you have one or more of the following conditions:

  • breasts that are pendulous, but of satisfactory size
  • breasts that lack substance or firmness
  • nipples and areolas that point downward, especially if they are positioned below the breast crease

Sometimes these conditions may be inherited traits. In certain cases, the breasts may have developed differently so that one breast is firm and well positioned while the other is not. There may be differences in the size of your breasts as well as their shape. Breasts that are large and heavy can be lifted, but the results may not be as long-lasting as when the procedure is done on smaller breasts.

A breast lift can be performed at any age, but plastic surgeons usually recommend waiting until breast development has stopped. Pregnancy and breast-feeding may have significant and unpredictable effects on the size and shape of your breasts. Nevertheless, many women decide to undergo breast lift surgery before having children and feel that they can address any subsequent changes later. Since the milk ducts and nipples are left intact, breast lift surgery usually will not affect your ability to breast-feed; however, you should discuss this with your plastic surgeons.

Your Consultation

During the consultation, you will be asked about your desired breast shape and size. Your plastic surgeon will discuss with you how your nipples and areolas will be repositioned. You should mention anything else about your breasts that you would like to see improved. This will help your surgeon to understand your expectations and determine whether they realistically can be achieved.

The Breast Lift Procedure

Your plastic surgeon will examine your breasts, taking measurements and perhaps photographs for your medical record. The size and shape of your breasts, the quality of your skin, and the placement of the nipples and areolas will be carefully evaluated.

You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your medical history. This will include information about any medical conditions, drug allergies, medical treatments you have received, previous surgeries including breast biopsies, and medications that you currently take. It is important for you to provide complete information.

You should tell your plastic surgeon if you plan to lose a significant amount of weight, particularly if you have noticed that your breasts sag or become smaller with weight loss. Your surgeon may recommend that you stabilize your weight before having surgery.

Recovery

After breast lift surgery, it is often possible to return to work within a week or so, depending on your job. In many instances, you can resume most of your normal activities, including some form of mild exercise, after several weeks. You may continue to experience some mild, periodic discomfort during this time, but such feelings are normal. Severe pain should be reported to your doctor.

Any sexual activity should be avoided for a minimum of one or two weeks, and your plastic surgeon may advise you to wait longer. After that, care must be taken to be extremely gentle with your breasts for at least the next several weeks.

Risks

The subject of risks and potential complications of surgery is best discussed on a personal basis between you and your plastic surgeon, or with a staff member in your surgeon’s office.

Some of the potential complications that may be discussed with you include bleeding, infection and reactions to anesthesia. Following a breast lift, sometimes the breasts may not be perfectly symmetrical or the nipple height may vary slightly. Minor adjustments often can be made at a later time. Permanent loss of sensation in the nipples or areas of breast skin may occur rarely. Revisionary surgery may sometimes be helpful in certain instances where incisions may have healed poorly.

You can help to lessen certain risks by following the advice and instructions of your plastic surgeon, both before and after surgery.

FAQs

How does the breast lift surgery work?

There are two types of mastopexy procedures – a full mastopexy for large, sagging breasts and a concentric or “doughnut” mastopexy for minimal sagging on small breasts. The full mastopexy requires an incision around the areola, a verticle incision down to the breast fold and often an “anchor” incision in the breast fold itself. This allows for the maximum amount of skin to be removed and therefore maximum results. A concentric mastopexy involves only an incision around the areola.

Is Breast Lift surgery safe?

Although the breast lift technique has been improved during the last few years, as with any surgical procedure, it carries some risk. Possible risks include bleeding, infection, blood clots or adverse reactions to anesthesia.

It is therefore advisable to follow closely all directions given to you from your surgeon before and after surgery. Consult with your doctor and know about all the possible complications and risks associated with the breast lift surgery.

How much time does it take to recover?

Generally, your breasts will continue to heal for three months after surgery although you will be able to return to work within one week’s time. Your breasts will be sore for a few days following the procedure and you should continue with light activity for two to three weeks. You need to wait for six weeks to return to your regular strenuous activities after having the breast lift surgery.

What are the precautions I need to take after the surgery?

There are some basic precautions after surgery: wear a good support bra for three months following surgery, don’t lift anything that causes you to strain for two to three weeks following surgery and don’t reach higher than your head for two weeks following surgery.

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