About Breast Lift
Breast lift, also known as mastopexy and breast lift surgery.
Breast lift surgery is used to re-establish an aesthetically proportionate figure for the woman. In the event there is too much or too little breast volume, a breast augmentation or breast reduction might also be recommended by your surgeon. Thousands of women every year undergo successful breast lift surgery without experiencing any major problems. A patient may consider a breast lift surgery their breasts have some sagging as a result of pregnancy or nursing, weight loss or gain and aging.
Sometimes, an additional surgery is done along with the breast lift. This usually happens if there is too much or not enough breast volume. In these cases, a breast reduction or breast augmentation may need to be done along with the breast lift.
The results of a breast lift should last for decades if it is performed properly. This is assuming that the patient does not go through pregnancy or have significant weight fluctuations. The cost of a breast lift will also vary depending on which plastic surgeon you choose for your surgery as well as your geographic location.
How is it performed?
Your breast lift will be performed under intravenous sedation or general anaesthesia in an accredited hospital or certified surgeon’s office with a surgical suite. There are several different techniques used to remove breast skin and reshape the breasts.
The method used will determine the location of the incisions and the resulting scars. Your physician will select a technique based on your anatomy, medical history, breast size and shape, skin quality and elasticity, areola position and size, degree of breast sagging and how much extra skin you have. During the procedure your plastic surgeon will remove any excess skin on the breasts and shift the nipples and areola to a higher position. If your areola has become stretched, this is the point at which it will be reduced in size.
The breast will be reshaped by moving skin from above the areola to below it and bringing it together, removing any excess skin as this is done. Your surgeon will then close your incisions, tightening the skin as the breast is sewn back together.
The sutures will be placed deep within the breast tissue in order to support the new breast position for longer. Scars from a breast lift surgery tend to be hidden under the breasts, although there may be some light scarring on top of the breast.
What result can I expect?
When performed properly, your breasts should not droop for decades after your breast lift surgery, assuming you don’t go through further pregnancy or have significant weight fluctuations. It is always likely that some settling may occur, but the new nipple position should remain intact. Most aesthetic surgeons will not rely on a simple skin lift to produce the results you want. Instead they will sculpt the entire breast tissue in order to ensure a longer-lasting lift. After surgery, your breasts will be positioned higher and will feel firmer. For both safety as well as the most beautiful and healthy outcome, it’s important to frequently return to your plastic surgeon’s office for follow-up evaluations or whenever you notice any changes. Do not hesitate to contact your surgeon if you notice something wrong or if you have any questions or concerns.
- You will have improved breast shape projection and symmetry giving your breasts a more youthful appearance.
- The effects of breast lift surgery may gradually diminish over the years as a result of changes to your body like aging, pregnancy or weight fluctuations.
- Although a breast lift leaves scars, these can usually be hidden when in a bra or swimsuit.
Once the anaesthesia wears off you will experience some discomfort and pain which should be manageable with normal or prescription pain medication. You will have some swelling and redness after your surgery, but be sure that if these do not seem to be as your surgeon described that you contact them immediately for advice.
There are other common recovery side effects such as numbness, bruising, low nipple sensitivity, some itching around wounds and increased firmness in the breast tissue, but normally these will subside over the next few weeks, although up to three months following the surgery there may still be some residual effects.
It is essential you follow all patient care instructions given to you by your physician. This will usually include information about which compression garments to wear, how to take care of your drains, how to take any antibiotics or painkillers, if prescribed, and the level of activity that is safe for you to undertake. Your surgeon will also provide detailed instructions about the normal symptoms and how to spot any signs of complications. It is important to realize everyone’s body is different and so the amount of time it takes to recover varies between individuals.
The first week
For two to five days your chest region may feel stiff and sore. Immediately after surgery you will be encouraged to get out of bed or lightly exercise in bed for short periods, in order to prevent any blood clotting, but within a week you should be able to move about with more ease. For two to five days your chest and breasts may feel sore and stiff. Try to avoid lifting, bending and straining your muscles as these can cause increased swelling and even bleeding. You will usually be advised to avoid putting pressure on your breasts by doing things like sleeping on your back. Within a few days of your surgery your drains will be removed and your dressings will either be changed or removed.
Two weeks to six weeks
It is usually possible to return to work about a week after breast lift surgery, depending on your job. Avoid anything more than light physical activity for at least the first two weeks after surgery, including sexual activity. Even once you do begin exercise again, remember to be extremely gentle with your breasts for at least the next month. You surgeon may instruct you to wear a support bra or some compression garments for the first few weeks until the discolouration and swelling of your breasts diminishes.
Any stitches or sutures you have will gradually be removed over two or three weeks after surgery. It is possible that you notice that you are feeling less sensation in the nipple and areola areas and although this is usually temporary, it may take several months before sensation returns to normal.
It may also take some time before your breasts assume a more natural shape. Your incision scars will initially be red or pink and will remain this way for many months after surgery. In most cases you can resume most of your normal activities after several weeks. You might experience some mild periodic discomfort during this time, but this is normal. If you feel severe pain or think that something isn’t right, report it to your surgeon immediately.
Limits & Risks
Fortunately, significant complications from breast lifts are infrequent. Your specific risks for breast lift will be discussed during your consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk.