Women’s breasts are negatively affected by factors such as pregnancy, breastfeeding and gravity over the years. Breasts often lose their shape and firmness and start sagging when the skin begins to lose its elasticity.
Breast lift surgery or so called breast reduction or mastopexy is a procedure which raises and reshapes the sagging breasts – at least for a while.
Breast lift surgery can also reduce the size of the dark colored tissue surrounding the nipples, i.e. areola. If you have small breasts or have lost breast volume due to pregnancy, then mastopexy combined with breast implants can increase both firmness and size of your breasts.
Who is a good candidate for breast lift surgery?
Best outcomes are usually obtained from women who have smaller and sagging breasts. Breast lift surgery can be performed on any size breasts.
Who can undergo breast lift surgery? And who can not?
Many women require breast lift surgery for strecthed skin due to pregnancy and breastfeeding and decreased breast volume.
How should I prepare for the surgery?
You have to stop smoking and taking blood thinners before the surgery. If you are a smoker or on a medication, you must share this information with us during the planning stage of the operation.
Where can I get a breast lift surgery?
Breast lift surgery should be carried out in an operating room setting at a general hospital.
Do I need to get an anaesthetic for the breast lift surgery ?
Breast lift surgery is usually performed under general anaesthesia, and patient sleeps through the operation. In selected patients, particularly when a smaller incision is being made, local anesthesia combined with a sedative can be used. You will feel relaxed, but be awake with a minimal discomfort.
How long does the surgery usually take?
Breast lift surgery lasts for 1.5 to 2.5 hours depending on the procedure.
What kind of a procedure is performed during the breast lift surgery?
Although several techniques are employed during the procedure, the most common technique is performed through a keyhole-shaped incision along the natural contours of the breast. The incision is made to outline the area where breast skin will be removed, and define a new location for the nipple. When the tissue has been removed, nipple and areola are moved to a higher position. Then the skin surrounding the areola is brought down and together to reshape the breast. Sutures are usually terminated in a vertical line around the areola, extending downwards the nipple. The inverted “T” scar is avoided except for very large breasts.
For some patients, particulary those with relatively smaller breasts and minimal sagging, modified techniques which require smaller incisions can be used. One of these techniques is called ‘periareolar mastopexy’ in which circular incisions are made around the areola, and a circular strip of skin is removed.
Can implants combined with the surgery?
Yes, surgery can be combined with a breast implant. If breast lift surgery is combined with an implant, the implant can be placed under the breast tissue or deeper under the muscle of the chest wall.
Will I be admitted to the hospital after the surgery?
You may need to stay overnight in the hospital following the surgery. But sometimes patients may be discharged on the day of surgery.
Is breast lift surgery a painful procedure?
You may have bruising, swelling or discomfort for a day or two after the breast lift surgery, but you shouldn’t expect severe pain. Medications will be sufficient to relieve any discomfort you may have.
What should and shouldn’t I do after the surgery?
You will need to use an elastic bandage or a surgical bra over the surgical pad following the surgery. Bandages or surgical bra will be removed within a few days and replaced with a soft supporting bra, which has to be used over the surgical pad for 3 to 4 weeks. Internal stitch is used so that you are allowed to take bath 5 days after the surgery.
If your breast skin gets very dry after the surgery, you can apply a moisturizer several times a day. You should pay attention not to pull hard your skin while applying the moisturizer and keep it away from your suture areas.
How long will it take to go back to my normal life?
Healing happens gradually. You may return to work after 4 or 5 days. You should avoid lifting anything over your head for three to four weeks. You may need to avoid having sex at least for a period of one week. Similarly, you need to avoid strenuous activities for one week.
Will there be a surgical scar?
Breast lift surgery leaves a scar either around the areola and/or extending down from the areola. These scars are usually small, and aesthetically they tend to heal well. Surgical scars are often palpable for the first months, and they remain red. They gradually become less visible, and sometimes fading away into white lines. Fortunately, surgical scars are usually positioned to allow you wearing low-cut tops.
Will I have any loss of sensation in my breasts following the surgery?
The procedure may result in differently positioned nipples or permanent loss of sensation in the breast. Some loss of sensation may occur in your nipples and breast skin due to post-surgical swelling. In general, this loss of sensation will gradually disappear within the next 6 weeks after the procedure.
What complications are expected after the breast lift surgery?
Complications or a reaction to anaesthesia may occur as with any other surgical intervention. Bleeding and infection are uncommon in breast lift surgery, but development of an infection may widen the surgical scars.
What if I become pregnant? Can I still breastfeed?
While there is no specific risk involved for future pregnancies, pregnancy is most likely to stretch your breasts again, counteracting the outcomes of the surgery. However, breasfeeding is not negatively affected by breast lift surgery. Your ability to breastfeed is maintained since milk channels or nipples are not destroyed by the surgery.
Is there any risk of developing cancer with breast lift surgery?
Breast lift surgery does not increase risk of developing cancer in both patients who underwent breast lift surgery alone and with breast implants.
Is the resulting appearance permanent?
Please keep in mind that breast lift surgery will not keep your breasts firm forever. Your breasts may sag again as a result of those factors such as gravity, pregnancy, aging and changes in your weight. Women who have implants combined with breast lift surgery may have better outcomes.