When is it a bad time to have a breast lift?
Many women of a certain age with overly large breasts or who had multiple pregnancies discover that their breasts are not as perky as they once were. Mammary ptosis is the medical term we use to define this condition. You might be more familiar with the common term, which is breast sagginess.
Just have a look at yourself in the mirror. Does it look like most of your breasts are located under the inframammary fold? If the answer is yes, chances are you are experiencing breast ptosis and you need a breast lift intervention.
Indication for breast lift surgery
The ideal candidate for the procedure is a woman in good health and emotional condition, without severe or chronic heart or lung conditions, and with a clear understanding of what she wants to achieve with the procedure and what the procedure can do for her.
You might believe that any woman suffering from breast ptosis is eligible for surgery if she is healthy, and in a vast majority of cases you might be right. However, just like other plastic surgery procedures, there are times when the patient should not have a breast lift.
1. When you are very young and have only minor breast ptosis
For women with large or overly large breasts, a certain level of ptosis can occur even from the teenage years when the mammary gland completes the developmental process. This means that there are young women no older than 18 who are already diagnosed with minor breast ptosis. More than the size of the breasts, there is also the genetic factor that can influence the time the breast ptosis occurs. Significant weight fluctuations are also a known factor that can trigger the drooping of the breasts even from an early age.
All things considered, this might mean that 18 is a good age to undergo a breast lift. However, this is not always my recommendation. For very young patients with minor breast sagginess, my advice is to wait. If they undergo the procedure before having a family and going through pregnancy, chances are the results of the surgery will be impacted and the need for additional procedures will arise later on in life.
Of course, if the patient is confronted with overly large breasts and a considerable level of ptosis, it is recommended to undergo the procedure to alleviate the discomfort associated with it and improve the quality of patient’s life.
2. Before getting pregnant
What happens when a mature woman wants to undergo the procedure before getting pregnant? I have seen numerous cases of women looking to improve their breasts just before planning a pregnancy. Their reason is wanting to correct the issue before it gets worse due to pregnancy and breastfeeding. This might sound like a good idea in theory, but you need to keep in mind that the breasts are an evolving part of your anatomy, just like the rest of your body. Any change that affects the body as a whole will have an impact.
This means that the weight you gain during pregnancy will add to your breasts too. The hormonal changes might cause your breasts to swell and become heavy and painful. The added volume of the breasts that is normal during milk production will put pressure on the ligaments holding the breasts in an elevated position and so on. All these factors that can naturally occur during pregnancy can’t be prevented and can have a negative impact on the results of your procedure. There is little point in undergoing surgery before getting pregnant only to have your results altered within the first year during and after pregnancy.
My recommendation is to schedule your procedure at least six months after you have finished with breastfeeding. There is no need to worry that the breast ptosis is even more accentuated because the plastic surgeon will correct it either way.
3. Before achieving normal weight
There are women who are always dieting and trying to lose weight. But as this can be a lifelong process and because weight fluctuations can affect breast ptosis, they might desire to improve their breasts with a breast lift even if the weight loss process is not complete or stabilized. As is the case with pregnancy, going through weight fluctuations or weight loss after the procedure can damage the aesthetic results achieved with mastopexy.
My personal opinion is that is a vast majority of cases, plastic surgery should be performed only on patients who have a normal weight or are close to their ideal weight. If weight loss occurs soon after the procedure, not only will the results be impacted, but even the recovery process can be prolonged or made more difficult.
Some may say that a good time to have a breast lift is when you are prepared for the procedure and willing to accept the risks. But when is it a bad time to schedule your mastopexy?
Having a normal weight should be a prerequisite condition before many plastic surgery procedures that aim to improve the appearance of the body, breast lift included. A normal or close to normal weight should be achieved and maintained for at least six months before scheduling your breast lift if you want the results to pass the test of time.
Also, getting a breast lift before getting pregnant or at a very young age is not a good idea due to the reasons we explained above. However, keep in mind that each individual is different and with special needs. This means that we can’t always generalize what is good or wrong. Discuss this with your plastic surgeon for more details.
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