HOW IS A BREAST LIFT PERFORMED?
The breast lift surgery is done to raise the breasts by removing the surplus skin and tightening the surrounding tissue. This procedure will reshape the breasts and make them uplifted and perky. A breast lift can also be used to treat enlarged areolas.
Women often feel uncomfortable with the changes in their breasts as they age, whereas others dislike how it looks after pregnancy, breastfeeding, or drastic weight change. For some, their breasts simply develop a certain way due to a genetic condition, so they want to change this. This is why surgeons recommend the breast lift to patients who want to improve the contour of their breasts. The result of the breast lifting surgery is an enhanced overall figure with a youthful breast profile. However, it is still a major surgery and will need to follow several steps during the procedure.
The Steps of a Breast Lift Procedure
Plastic surgeons have a number of techniques to choose from when conducting this surgery, and it all depends on the condition of the patient. The best method is determined by the patient’s breast size and shape, the areola size and location, the extent of surplus breast skin and the skin tenor and plasticity. Once all this is considered, the surgeon will then proceed with the surgery.
The breast lift procedure will be summarized in the following five steps:
Step 1 – Administration of the Anesthesia
Before the surgeon can make an incision, you will be put to sleep. Surgeons normally use general anesthesia, but this can vary depending on your health and your surgeon’s preferences. IV sedation may also be used. During the initial consultation, your surgeon and anesthesiologist will discuss the best anesthesia to use. The anesthesiologist will also be there to administer the anesthesia and remain throughout the surgery to ensure no complications occur.
Step 2 – The Incision
There are different types of incisions, so be sure to discuss the type and extent of the incision with your surgeon beforehand to ensure that you will be comfortable with it. Below are three of the most commonly used incision sites:
- Around the edge of the areola
- Bottom of the areola to the breast crinkle
- Along the inframammary (IMF) fold, hidden in the breast crease
If you have extremely saggy breasts, your surgeon will then recommend an inverted T incision. Women with moderate breast drooping will get a lollipop lift, while those with mild breast sagginess will get the donut lift. For some patients, a breast lift is not enough to achieve the desired results, which is why surgeons may combine it with a breast augmentation. This will require a crescent lift.
Step 3 – Sculpting the Breasts
Now that the incisions have been made, the surgeon will lift the underlying breast tissue and mold it to enhance the breast contour and perkiness. Your nipples and areolas will then be relocated to a higher place so that you can get a youthful and natural appearance. For those who want to improve their enlarged areolas, the surgeon will remove skin at the border to decrease the sizes. Aside from this, your surgeon will also remove surplus skin to offset the lack of bounciness.
Step 4 – Closing the Incisions
The surgeon will check for any remaining skin to be removed, and if there are none, the incisions will be closed. Your surgeon will then use the best possible technique to conceal some of the incisions in the natural breast outline. Realistically though, most of the incision will be visible on the breast. The incision will transform into scars that may remain your whole life, but it will fade and become less noticeable over time.
Of course the goal is to have the smallest incision possible, but this highly depends on the condition of your breasts. Surgeons will take into consideration your breast tissue, amount of excess skin that need to be removed, and your personal goals.
Your doctor will use surgical tape, glues or sutures to close the skin. Afterwards, your breasts will be bandaged or secured in a surgical bra. You must listen carefully to your surgeon’s instructions and strictly follow them to avoid any potential mishaps.
Step 5 – The Results
You will be pleased to know that the initial results of your breast lifting surgery will already be noticeable right after the procedure. You can expect your breasts to be raised, perky and youthful after the breast lifting surgery. However, the results of the breast lift will only be final when the wound has completely healed and the inflammation has fully subsided.
One thing you should be mindful of after the surgery is that drastic weight fluctuations after the may affect the results in terms of the appearance. Gaining weight will contribute to surplus fat, whereas weight loss will make the breasts saggy. This means that the results you achieve with the breast lifting procedure are sustainable only when you maintain a stable weight. So make sure to stick to a healthy lifestyle and do regular exercises. Likewise, pregnancy can alter your breasts, so if you plan to have more children, you should postpone your breast lift surgery.
Aside from these conditions, the results of your breast lift should be permanent. You’ll notice this as you age. The rest of your body may sag, but your breasts will stay the same.
After the breast lift surgery, you will experience some degree of pain, nausea and inflammation. You may also experience swelling in the surgical area, which is a normal reaction to the surgery and part of your body’s natural healing process. The pain and associated discomforts will be managed with pain relief medications and will recede after a few weeks.
You need to be extra careful after the breast lift surgery, especially during the first 2-4 weeks. Avoid any strenuous activities and sports, but make sure to walk to prevent blood clotting. You may be able to resume work within two weeks after the surgery, with the approval of your plastic surgeon. However, if your work involves high endurance activities, your surgeon will advise against you from going to work for a few more weeks.
The breast lifting surgery is an effective and common treatment for drooping breasts. As a result, there are already several common techniques available. Your surgeon will be the one to choose the exact method, but all surgeons basically follow the same procedure. Knowing the general steps will help you choose the right doctor, so do your research before the surgery.
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