Breast lift surgeryBreast uplift surgery, or mastopexy, is one of a number of cosmetic surgery procedures that aim to raise and firm the breasts to restore the former, fuller appearance of the patient’s bustline. The treatment will not increase the size of your breasts, but it is commonly performed at the same time as a breast enlargement when a bigger bust is desired, to give you lift, fullness and firmness. Breast lifts can give a more youthful breast contour to a patient.
The plastic surgeon will ask what your desired breast shape and size is and will discuss the repositioning of your nipples and areolas. The plastic surgeon will examine your breasts by taking measurements and carefully examining other aspects, like skin quality. It is important to tell your plastic surgeon if you have had any previous surgeries, especially breast biopsies, and medication you are currently taking. If you are planning on losing a significant amount of weight after the breast lift you should discuss this with the plastic surgeon. It may be recommended to stabilize your weight prior to the breast lift.
The best candidates for this procedure are healthy, emotionally stable women who are realistic about what the surgery can accomplish. The best results are usually achieved in women with small, sagging breasts. Breasts of any size can be lifted, but the results may not last as long in heavy breasts. Many women seek breast lift because pregnancy and nursing have left them with stretched skin and less volume in their breasts. However, if you're planning to have more children, it may be a good idea to postpone your breast lift. While there are no special risks that affect future pregnancies (for example, the procedure usually doesn't interfere with breast feeding), pregnancy is likely to stretch your breasts again and offset the results of the procedure.
There are different techniques that are used for breast lifts. A common method of lifting the breast involves three separate incisions. One incision is made around the areola, another vertical incision runs from the bottom edge of the areola to the crease under the breast, and the third incision is horizontal from beneath the breast and follows the natural curve of the breast crease.
Breast lift surgery can vary in the design of the incisions. Size and shape of your breasts, size of your areolas, and extent of the sagging are some of the factors that will help the plastic surgeon determine the best technique for the patient. Sometimes the horizontal incision beneath the breast can be avoided and the vertical incision can be avoided in other techniques. The plastic surgeon will discuss modified techniques if you are a candidate for it. The surgeon removes the excess breast skin and then shifts the nipple and areola to a higher position. The areola can also be reduced in size. The skin that had been located above the areola is brought down and together beneath it. Sensation is preserved because the nipples and areolas remain attached to underlying mounds of tissue, which also allows the ability to breast-feed. Surgery is performed with a general anesthetic in most cases. Gauze or other dressings may be placed on your breasts and covered with an elastic bandage or surgical bra after the surgery. Normally you are allowed to go home within a few hours after the breast lift.
The day following the breast lift it is advised to get out of bed for short periods of time. After several days you will be able to move about more comfortably. Activities that can cause increased swelling or bleeding, like straining, bending, and lifting. Less sensation in the nipple and areola areas may result but is usually just temporary. It can take up to a year for sensation to return to normal and for a more natural shape to occur.
Healing is a natural process. Although you may be up and about in a day or two, don't plan on returning to work for a week or more, depending on how you feel. And avoid lifting anything over your head for three to four weeks. If you have any unusual symptoms, don't hesitate to call your surgeon.
Your surgeon will give you detailed instructions for resuming your natural activities. You may be instructed to avoid sex for a week or more, and to avoid strenuous sports for about a month. After that, you can resume these activities slowly. If you become pregnant, the operation should not affect your ability to breast-feed, since your milk ducts and nipples will be left intact.