Asymmetric breasts after the breast lift
Breast lift surgery, also popularly known as mastopexy, is one of the most commonly performed plastic surgery procedures in the US that effectively treats saggy and hanging breasts. Saggy breasts appear aesthetically unpleasant. When the breasts become saggy, it makes women look aged and leads to lower self-confidence. Many factors can cause the breasts to become saggy, including pregnancy and breastfeeding, drastic weight fluctuations, aging, genetics, and gravity.
Even though the breast lift has an excellent record of delivering effective and satisfactory outcomes, certain problems may happen after the procedure. It is invasive and involves the use of sophisticated surgical approaches. After the surgery, there is a risk your breasts may be asymmetric. When the breasts become asymmetric, they look aesthetically unwelcoming. In most cases, the asymmetry is temporary and your breasts will become balanced as you heal. However, the condition can also be permanent.
All about the breast lift
Many women considering the breast lift are curious about breast asymmetry after the surgery. If you want to understand why it happens and how it can be prevented or treated, you first need to know what the surgery involves.
The breast lift involves incisions on the breast. The type and size of the incisions depend on the severity of breast sagging and your aesthetic goals. After the incisions are made, the plastic surgeon will access the breast muscles or pectoral muscles through the incisions. If the muscles are separated from each other or have become weaker, the doctor will repair and tighten them.
Next, the doctor will remove the excess fat and skin from the breasts. If the nipples are pointing downward, the surgeon will remove and implant them higher on the breasts where they look aesthetically appealing, perky, and youthful. Next, if the areola has widened, the doctor will excise the skin from areola’s edge to reduce its size. Lastly, the doctor will suture the breasts and close the incisions.
When it comes to the outcomes of the surgery, they will slowly emerge as time passes. For two weeks after the surgery, you must avoid physical activities and work and instead take sufficient rest. Do not sleep on your front during this time. After two weeks, you can restart your work, but it will take four more weeks for your breasts to heal completely. The results of the surgery will evolve in the next several weeks and even months. When the outcomes develop, your breasts will appear firmer, sexy, perky and youthful.
Asymmetric breasts after the breast lift
There is a risk that your breasts may appear irregular or uneven after the breast lift. Keep in mind that after the procedure, your breasts will experience swelling. The swelling is healthy and a symptom that shows your body is reacting against the surgical trauma. The post-operative swelling takes several weeks and months to vanish. If your breasts appear asymmetric after the surgery, you should consider getting a complete breast evaluation to diagnose the cause of the condition.
It is natural for the patients to be concerned when they see that their breasts are asymmetric after the surgery. However, you should not be too concerned because in many cases it is just the swelling that makes the breasts look asymmetric. Be patient, and your breasts will become symmetrical when the swelling disappears.
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– Post-op swelling
The breast lift is a highly invasive procedure. It involves incisions and tissue removal from the breasts. It is also highly traumatic. As with other traumas, your body will react to the surgical trauma through swelling. The swelling indicates that your body is working to heal and recovery you from the trauma.
But one thing is for sure, nobody can tell precisely when precisely the swelling may vanish. In most cases, it takes many weeks and months. Keep in mind that there is no surety that the swelling in both breasts will disappear at the same speed. For instance, the swelling on one of your breasts may go quickly, and the other breast may take more time. This can make your breasts look asymmetric, which may cause you panic and you may think your breasts are permanently asymmetric. In such a case, you should wait for ten weeks to see whether the condition resolves. If it doesn’t, then you should see your plastic surgeon.
– Fluid collection
Many patients get fluid accumulation in their breasts after breast lift surgery. It is yet another factor that may make your breasts look uneven. Seroma and hematoma may occur after the procedure. Seroma happens when the fluids discharged from the surgical wounds gets trapped under the skin. On the other hand, hematoma is a condition that is marked by a discharge of blood from the incisions that seeps under the skin and becomes clotted there.
When a seroma or hematoma happens, it may cause your breasts to look asymmetric. It can happen at different levels in one or both breasts. However, you should not be concerned because it will resolve on its own. In most cases, you will not need treatment for the problem. Also, seroma and hematoma can be avoided by using drain cannulas.
– Scar development
As mentioned earlier, the breast lift involves incisions. The incisions will ultimately develop into scars. As the scars form, your breasts may appear temporarily asymmetric. This is a regular occurrence and a side effect of the surgery. Keep in mind that the operation cannot be performed without incisions and the resulting scars are the opportunity cost for the improvement in your breasts’ aesthetics.
As the scars form, you may feel that your breasts are asymmetric. The scars develop at different rates in both breasts. Until the scars mature, your breasts may look asymmetric. However, there is a risk that abnormal scarring may happen in one or both of your breasts. In such a case, your breasts will look asymmetric and the condition can be treated during a corrective operation.
– Insufficient or irregular fat excision
In case the asymmetry after the breast lift does not vanish even after the disappearance of the post-operative swelling and full healing of your breasts, it is a sign the condition has been caused by insufficient or unequal fat extraction from the breasts. Keep in mind that the breast lift also involves removal of unwanted, excess fat from your breasts.
This problem can result from surgical error. If your plastic surgeon is inexperienced, your breasts may appear asymmetric. For example, one of your breasts may look more prominent than the other. The corrective procedure may involve liposuction on the bigger breast. To avoid this problem, be sure to select only an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon to perform the breast lift surgery.
– Inadequate or uneven skin excision
Another major factor that can make your breasts look asymmetric is uneven or inadequate skin removal from the breasts. For example, the surgeon may remove more skin from one breast and less from the other. In such a case, one of your breasts may still be saggy and the other will be firmer. This problem results from a surgical error. Choosing an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon can help prevent this complication.
– Weak pectoral muscle
While many women have mild or moderate breast sagging, there are others who suffer from severe sagging of the breasts. When the breasts become severely saggy, it indicates that the pectoral muscles have become weaker and have separated from each other. Even though a good plastic surgeon can treat the condition by repairing and tightening the muscles, there is a risk the muscles may separate again if they are fragile. As a result, your breasts may become asymmetric. To treat the condition, you will be required to undergo corrective surgery. The corrective surgery will involve repairing and tightening of the pectoral muscles.
How to avoid asymmetric breasts after the breast lift
A majority of cases of asymmetric breasts after the breast lift result from surgical errors. You can avoid the condition to a maximum extent by making sure your plastic surgeon is experienced explicitly in the breast lift and is board-certified. The pre-operative consultation is your best opportunity to ask your surgeon questions. You can ask the surgeon to show you before and after photos of patients he has treated for a breast lift. Moreover, your surgeon can prevent possible asymmetry resulting from seroma and hematoma by using drain cannulas that will drain away the fluids or blood discharged from your body at the surgery site.
The breast lift is a major and highly invasive procedure that effectively treats breast sagging. Like other elective procedures, the breast lift is not free of risks and complications. One of the problems that may happen after the surgery is breast asymmetry. The factors that can cause asymmetric breasts have been discussed above. Also, the treatment options and preventive measures for breast asymmetry after the breast lift have been discussed in this article.