5 Things to be aware of when considering a breast lift
The breast lift is the only surgical and non-surgical method available nowadays that can help correct the appearance of saggy breasts. No other surgical procedure such as breast augmentation with implants or natural methods (pills, massage, physical exercises) can fix saggy breasts and elevate their position on the chest wall. The breast lift can be performed with breast implants if the patient also desires an augmentation or as a stand-alone procedure for patients who are satisfied with the current volume of their breasts.
The procedure entails one and up to three incisions positioned on each breast and should be performed only by a board-certified, experienced plastic surgeon in an accredited facility to avoid complications and get satisfactory results. Because it is a complex procedure, patients are advised to carefully weigh in the pros and cons before scheduling the procedure.
Things to be aware of when considering a breast lift
First and foremost, you should know that an experienced plastic surgeon would advise you to have the procedure done only after you don’t want to get pregnant again. Pregnancy and breastfeeding can significantly impact the results of the breast lift.
- How is the procedure performed?
The breast lift is often performed at the same time with breast implants or with breast reduction. In a vast majority of cases, women resorting to this procedure to improve the shape and position of the breasts will also want to correct potential volume imperfections, hence the combination with breast augmentation or breast reduction surgery.
The procedure is known under the medical term of mastopexy and involves making incisions on the breasts to remove the excess of fat and reduce the size of the areola, while also repositioning the mammary gland and the nipple and areola complex. The procedure can last from two to four hours, depending on the complexity of each case and whether the procedure is combined with another procedure or not. General anesthesia is preferred by most patients, and often no less than two incisions are required on each breast to correct the sagginess.
The incisions can be performed around the areola in a circular motion, from the areola to the inframammary fold, vertically and in the inframammary fold, horizontally. The only incision that can be more visible is the vertical one.
It is only skin tissue that is excised during the breast lift, so this means that the volume of the breasts will stay pretty much the same if a reduction or an augmentation are not performed simultaneously.
- What does the recovery period entail?
The recovery period after the breast lift is not a traumatic period for the patient. There is a low level of pain and discomfort, and they are easily alleviated with pain medication prescribed by the plastic surgeon. For five days post-op, the patient will also be required to take antibiotics to prevent a potential infection from occurring.
Healing after the breast lift is a gradual process that can take up to a few weeks and even months. An experienced plastic surgeon will insist on the need for patients to reduce physical activities to a minimum for at least a few weeks post-op. Sun exposure should be avoided for no less than six months, and more intense physical exercises can be resumed no sooner than three months after the procedure, especially if a breast augmentation or reduction were combined with it. Wearing the special post-op bra or sports bra is mandatory for the first two months after the procedure as the breasts need support and a certain level of compression to reduce the swelling that can naturally occur after the surgical trauma.
- Potential complications that can occur
The complications that can occur after mastopexy are pretty similar to complications associated with any other surgical procedure such as allergic reactions to the use of anesthesia, excessive bleeding, hematoma, seroma and infection. After the breast lift, the sensitivity of the areola can suffer changes. In other words, the area can become numb or overly sensitive. Keep in mind that in a vast majority of cases, these changes in sensitivity are temporary and in just rare cases they become permanent.
Delayed wound healing, the necrosis of fat tissue, and the opening of the incisions are other complications that can occur lift. Make sure to follow the post-operative instructions of the plastic surgeon to avoid triggering a complication that could otherwise be avoided. Smoking can increase the risk of developing a complication, so make sure you are smoke-free at least three weeks before and after the procedure.
When it comes to any plastic surgery procedure, including the breast lift, we have the risk of getting unsatisfactory results or slight asymmetries. To avoid this, make sure to choose a talented, board-certified plastic surgeon and communicate in clear terms your wishes and expectations.
- Long-term consequences
There are long-term consequences associated with any type of surgical procedure. In most cases, the most visible consequences left after surgery are scars. Keep in mind that no surgical act can be performed without scars being left behind. But the scars in plastic surgery are often hidden in the natural folds of the body and made as small as possible. For the breast lift, the scars will be positioned on the edge of the areolas, from the areolas to the inframammary fold and in the inframammary fold. The length and visibility of the scars are dependent on the complexity of the procedure, the patient’s ability to heal, and the skills of the plastic surgeon.
Because the breast lift is performed on an area that has a functional purpose as well (breastfeeding), , we need to consider the implications of the surgery on breastfeeding if a new pregnancy occurs. The recommendation is to avoid an ulterior pregnancy as the results of the procedure might be altered; however, there are no other dangers if you get pregnant after the procedure. In a vast majority of cases, patients can also breastfeed after the breast lift. Breastfeeding can be difficult or impossible if the patient is confronted with permanent changes in sensitivity on the breasts.
- The need for additional procedures
When considering any type of aesthetic surgery procedure, including the breast lift, it is good for patients to keep in mind that additional procedures might be required or necessary later on. Because plastic surgery works with the tissues of the patient that will be again affected by factors such as aging, weight fluctuations, gravity and so on, this means that the results won’t last forever. If you are getting a breast lift in your late 20s or early 30s, chances are you will need additional procedures later on to correct the breast ptosis that can occur once again. At the same time, it is recommended to budget an additional procedure just in case you are confronted with complications or achieve unsatisfactory results.
It is important to mention that it will take quite a few months and up to a year for the final results of the breast lift to be fully visible. This means that if you are unsatisfied with the results, it is better to wait at least nine months to a year before getting a second opinion or a revision surgery.
The breast lift is performed to help women get the perky, elevated breasts of their dreams. The appearance of the breasts can become unsightly due to multiple factors including aging, gravity, multiple pregnancies, and weight fluctuations. This is the reason why many women nowadays are confronted with saggy breasts. Breast ptosis can only be corrected with mastopexy; however, patients are advised to be fully aware of the details of the procedure before considering undergoing a breast lift.
In this article, we have discussed a few things to consider before a breast lift such as how the procedure is performed, what entails the recovery period, complications that can be associated with this procedure, what potential long-term consequences there are, and whether additional procedures are necessary or not.
It is important to understand that this is a highly customizable procedure that will provide results and will have consequences accordingly to the surgical plan that was followed.
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