What Is A Breast Lift?
Also known as mastopexy, a breast lift raises and firms the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour.
Preparing For Surgery
Prior to surgery, you may be asked to : -
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Get a baseline mammogram before surgery and another one after surgery to help detect any future changes in your breast tissue
- Stop smoking well in advance of surgery
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
Special instructions you receive will cover : -
- What to do on the day of surgery
- Post-operative care and follow-up
Your plastic surgeon will also discuss where your procedure will be performed. Breast lift surgery may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical center, outpatient / ambulatory surgical center, or a hospital.
Procedural StepsWhat happens during breast lift surgery?
Your breast lift surgery can be achieved through a variety of incision patterns and techniques.
The appropriate technique for you will be determined based on : -
- Breast size and shape
- The size and position of your areolas
- The degree of breast sagging
- Skin quality and elasticity as well as the amount of extra skin
Step 1 - Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2 - The incision
There are three common incision patterns : -
1) Around the areola
2) Around the areola and vertically down from the areola to the breast crease
3) Around the areola, vertically down from the breast crease and horizontally along the breast crease
Step 3 - Reshaping your breasts
After your doctor makes the incisions : -
- The underlying breast tissue is lifted and reshaped to improve breast contour and firmness.
- The nipple and areola are repositioned to a natural, more youthful height.
- If necessary, enlarged areolas are reduced by excising skin at the perimeter.
- Excess breast skin is removed to compensate for a loss of elasticity.
Step 4 - Closing the incisions
After your breasts are reshaped and excess skin is removed, the remaining skin is tightened as the incisions are closed.
Some incision lines resulting from breast lift are concealed in the natural breast contours; however, others are visible on the breast surface. Incision lines are permanent, but in most cases will fade and significantly improve over time.
Sutures are layered deep within the breast tissue to create and support the newly shaped breasts. Sutures, skin adhesives and/or surgical tape may be used to close the skin.
Step 5 - See the results
The results of your breast lift surgery are immediately visible. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade.
Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover and realize the fulfillment of your goal for breasts which have been restored to a more youthful and uplifted position.
Why The Procedure Is Performed ?
Women usually have breast lifts to lift sagging, loose breasts. This surgery is best for are women who have stretched skin and decreased breast volume caused by aging. You should not have a breast lift if you are planning to lose weight or are pregnant or still nursing a child.
Talk with a plastic surgeon if you are considering cosmetic breast surgery. Discuss how you expect to look and feel better. Keep in mind that the desired result is improvement, not perfection.
RisksRisks for any surgery are : -
Risks for any anesthesia are : -
- Reactions to medicines
- Breathing problems, such as pneumonia
- Heart problems
- Inability to nurse a baby after surgery
- Large scars that take a long time to heal
- Uneven position of the nipples
The emotional risks of surgery may include feeling that your breasts don't look perfect, or you may be disappointed with people's reactions to your “new” breasts.
Before The ProcedureIf you smoke, you must stop. Women who smoke after breast surgery have a higher risk for delayed wound (incision) healing, infection, and scarring. You must even avoid breathing in secondhand smoke.
Always tell your doctor or nurse : -
- If you are or could be pregnant
- What drugs you are taking, even drugs, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription
During the days before your surgery : -
- You may need to have mammograms or breast x-rays before surgery. Your plastic surgeon will do a routine breast exam.
- Several days before surgery, you may be asked to stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), warfarin (Coumadin), and any other drugs that make it hard for your blood to clot.
- Ask your doctor which drugs you should still take on the day of surgery.
- You may need to fill prescriptions for pain medicines before surgery.
- Arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and help you around your house for 1 or 2 days.
On the day of your surgery : -
- You will usually be asked not to drink or eat anything after midnight the night before surgery.
- Take the drugs your doctor told you to take with a small sip of water.
- Wear or bring loose clothing that buttons or zips in front.
- Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to arrive at the clinic or hospital.
After The ProcedureAfter you have a breast lift, a bulky gauze dressing (bandage) will be wrapped around your breasts and chest, or you might wear a surgical bra. Drainage tubes may be attached to your breasts. These will be removed within 3 days.
Schedule a follow-up visit with your doctor. Your doctor will want to check your healing, remove sutures (stitches), and discuss special exercises or massaging techniques with you.
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