Breast lift, also known as Mastopexy, is a plastic surgery procedure that effectively treats saggy breasts. It makes the breasts tighter, firmer, and perkier by removing the saggy skin and excess fat, in addition to lifting the nipples and areolas to an elevated position. The procedure also tightens the separated or loose breast tissue and muscle to contour your breasts.
According to statistics released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast lift witnessed 70 percent increase in the US since 2000. There are a number of factors that cause the breasts to become saggy. These include pregnancies, nursing, weight changes, aging, gravity, and genetics. Fortunately, the breast lift surgery can revitalize your body outline by enhancing your breast profile. After the procedure, your breasts will look youthful and perky.
What techniques are used
The breast lift is a major operation because it involves surgical excision of skin and fat from your breasts. As to what surgical approaches and techniques would be used depends on a number of factors. It also differs from patient to patient and surgeon to surgeon.
During the initial consultation, your plastic surgeon will examine your breasts and chest dimensions to determine what techniques should be used. Your breast size, the extent of sagginess, volume of excess fat, breast shape, areolas and nipples, and skin elasticity will also be taken into account. The doctor will also ask you about your aesthetic goals and expectations to decide the incision technique and surgical approach.
Steps of the breast lift surgery
The breast lift surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis, meaning that you may be allowed to go home if your health remains stable after the procedure. Below are the major steps involved in breast lift:
Step 1- Anesthesia administration
Like all other invasive procedures, breast lift starts with the administration of anesthesia. A professional anesthesiologist or the plastic surgeon himself will administer it so the patient can remain comfortable during the surgery. The breast lift is performed under general anesthesia.
Your plastic surgeon will examine your health and other factors to decide which type of anesthesia is best for you. You should also discuss the anesthesia choice with your doctor before the procedure. Under general anesthesia or IV sedation, you will remain asleep throughout the surgery.
Step 2 – The incision
After administering the anesthesia, the plastic surgeon will place the incision on your breast. The type of incision will be discussed with you during the initial consultation. The common incision types include the following:
- around the areola and perpendicularly down to the breast crinkle
- around the areola
- around the areola, steeply down from the breast crinkle and parallel along the breast fold
The size of the incision depends on the extent of sagginess and other aesthetic flaws in your breasts, in addition to your aesthetic goals.
Since the incision develops into scar tissues after the procedure, many patients are afraid of visible scarring. The good news is that if your plastic surgeon is board-certified, he will make sure the incision is well hidden and smaller. This will help conceal the resulting scars.
Also, the scars will gradually fade over time. They will become less visible; however, they will not completely disappear. There is a risk that the scars may expand and become more visible, unsightly, and large. This is more likely if you have a history of developing abnormal scars and/or if your surgeon is inexperienced and not certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
You should be very meticulous in selecting your plastic surgeon. Also, you need to be extra careful during the recovery period because carelessness like sun exposure can trigger the growth of abnormal scars. During the initial consultation, you should ask your doctor for tips to minimize the scars.
Step 3 – Removing the excess skin and reshaping the breasts
The next step in breast lift procedure involves removing the excess skin and contouring the breasts. After placing the incisions, the plastic surgeon will surgically excise the saggy, excess skin from your breasts. The amount of skin that will be removed depends on how saggy your breasts are.
Secondly, the plastic surgeon will enhance your breast shape by lifting and contouring the breast tissue. The loose or separated tissue and muscles will be tightened and repaired. To make your breasts voluptuous, the nipples and areolas will be raised to a new position where they can appear girlish and sexy. If your areolas have become larger, your doctor will reduce them by removing the skin from the border.
This step is more time consuming and the most important step in the whole procedure. It needs an eye for detail and extra care. Even a minor surgical error during this step can result in poor breast contour. The goal is to make your breasts tighter, firmer, and perkier. In order to achieve this, your plastic surgeon must use special techniques and surgical approaches.
In order to achieve better breast shape and outline, you must be sure to choose only a board-certified plastic surgeon to conduct your breast lift surgery.
Step 4 – Closing and suturing the incisions
After your breasts have achieved the desired shape in Step 3, the plastic surgeon will re-drape the remaining skin then close and suture the incisions. The sutures will be encrusted within your breast tissue, so the newly shaped breasts are held in place and supported. The doctor may use sutures and surgical tape or skin adhesive to make sure the incisions are properly closed.
Step 5 – View the outcome
Some of the improvements in your breasts after the surgery will be noticeable right away; however, it will take time for full results of the procedure to become visible. Over the next few months, the post-surgical swelling and bruising will gradually disappear, and the scar will become less visible. You can see the complete outcome of the breast lift surgery after a few months.
You will also experience a boost in your self-esteem and satisfaction with your improved breasts and body outline. While the results are long term, your natural aging process and gravity will gradually make your breasts saggy over time. This is unavoidable and beyond the control of the procedure. However, you can slow down the process by undergoing the wonder breast lift instead of the traditional intervention.
You will be required to keep your weight stable and be careful about your health and breasts after the surgery. This will help keep your breasts in shape. You should avoid eating unhealthy food and regular exercise is a must. Also, make sure to follow your surgeon’s instructions for the recovery period and afterward.
Breast lift safety information
As mentioned above, a breast lift is a major operation. Like all other procedures, it entails a number of risks and potential complications. Therefore, it is essential for patients to choose only the highly experienced, skilled, and board-certified plastic surgeon to perform the breast lift procedure. Also, you should go under the knife only if the sagginess in your breasts is negatively affecting your quality of life.
The risks associated with breast lift include the following:
- General anesthetic risks
- Excessive bleeding
- Blood clotting
- Poor healing of surgical wounds
- Change in or loss of breast sensation
- Uneven breasts
- Fat necrosis
- Cardiac or respiratory problems
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
- General dissatisfaction with the results of breast lift
It is important for the patient to discuss the risks of breast lift with the plastic surgeon in advance of the surgery or during the initial consultation. You should also do your own research about the risks of the procedure and have your questions and concerns addressed by the doctor.
After the surgery, your breasts will decrease in size. If you want your breasts to look bigger, you should consider the breast implants surgery in association with the breast lift. The combo procedure will not only lift your breasts but also make them appear bigger, voluptuous, and shapelier.
The recovery period after the surgery is critical to achieving the desired results. You will be required to be very careful for at least one month after the breast lift. Make sure not to engage in physically demanding activities like weight lifting, jumping, running, exercising, stretching, etc. during the recovery period.
The breast lift surgery involves a number of steps. It starts with the administration of anesthesia, which is followed by the making of incisions of the breasts. The plastic surgeon then surgically removes the excess skin, tightens the tissues, lifts the nipples and sutures the incisions. In order to understand what exactly will happen during your breast lifting surgery, you should discuss the procedure with your plastic surgeon. The breast lift techniques and approaches may differ from patient to patient and surgeon to surgeon.
It is also important to take the associated risks into account. There are many risks involved in breast lift, such as excessive bleeding, seroma, infection, fat necrosis, and hematoma. You must discuss the risks of the surgery with your doctor during the initial consultation.
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