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Enhancing your appearance with a breast lift
A woman’s breasts often change over time, losing their youthful shape and firmness.
These changes and loss of skin elasticity can result from:
Also known as mastopexy, a breast lift raises and firms the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour.
Sometimes the areola becomes enlarged over time, and a breast lift will reduce this as well. A breast lift can rejuvenate your figure with a breast profile that is youthful and uplifted.
What it won’t do
Breast lift surgery does not significantly change the size of your breasts or round out the upper part of your breast. If you want your breasts to look fuller or smaller, you might want to consider either breast augmentation or breast reduction surgery.
Is it right for me?
Breast lift surgery is a highly individualized procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.
A breast lift is a good option for you if:
The success and safety of your breast lift procedure depends very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle.
Be prepared to discuss:
Your surgeon may also:
Prior to surgery, you may be asked to:
Special instructions you receive will cover:
Your plastic surgeon will also discuss where your procedure will be performed. Breast lift surgery may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical center, outpatient / ambulatory surgical center, or a hospital.
You’ll need help
If your breast lift is performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
What happens during breast lift surgery?
Your breast lift surgery can be achieved through a variety of incision patterns and techniques.
The appropriate technique for you will be determined based on:
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2 – The incision
There are three common incision patterns:
Step 3 – Reshaping your breasts
After your doctor makes the incisions:
Step 4 – Closing the incisions
After your breasts are reshaped and excess skin is removed, the remaining skin is tightened as the incisions are closed.
Some incision lines resulting from breast lift are concealed in the natural breast contours; however, others are visible on the breast surface. Incision lines are permanent, but in most cases will fade and significantly improve over time.
Sutures are layered deep within the breast tissue to create and support the newly shaped breasts. Sutures, skin adhesives and/or surgical tape may be used to close the skin.
Step 5 – See the results
The results of your breast lift surgery are immediately visible. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade.
Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover and realize the fulfillment of your goal for breasts which have been restored to a more youthful and uplifted position.
The decision to have breast lift surgery is extremely personal and you’ll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable.
Your plastic surgeon and/or staff will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks or potential complications.
The risks include:
You should know that:
Where will my surgery be performed?
A breast lift procedure may be performed in your plastic surgeon’s accredited office-based surgical facility, an ambulatory surgical facility or a hospital. Your plastic surgeon and the assisting staff will fully attend to your comfort and safety.
When you go home
If you experience shortness of breath, chest pains, or unusual heart beats, seek medical attention immediately. Should any of these complications occur, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment.
The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.
Following your physician’s instructions is key to the success of your surgery. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.
Be sure to ask questions: It’s very important to ask your plastic surgeon questions about your breast lift procedure. It’s natural to feel some anxiety, whether it’s excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don’t be shy about discussing these feelings with your plastic surgeon.
After your breast lift procedure is completed, dressings or bandages will be applied to the incisions. You’ll need to wear an elastic bandage or support bra to minimize swelling and support your breasts as they heal.
A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.
You will be given specific instructions that may include: How to care for your breasts following surgery, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection, and when to follow-up with your plastic surgeon.
The final results of your breast lift will appear over the next few months as breast shape and position continue to settle. Incision lines are permanent, but will continue to fade over time.
The results of your breast lift surgery will be long-lasting. Over time, your breasts can continue to change due to aging and gravity. But, you’ll be able to retain your new look longer if you:
Special note: While a breast lift does not usually affect breast function, if you are planning to become pregnant, discuss this with your plastic surgeon. Changes that occur in the breasts during pregnancy can minimize or reverse the improvement a breast lift provides. Likewise, plans for significant weight loss should also be discussed.
Cost is always a consideration in elective surgery. Prices for breast lift procedures can vary widely. A surgeon’s cost for breast lift may vary based on his or her experience as well as geographic location.
Many plastic surgeons offer patient financing plans, so be sure to ask.
Cost may include:
Most health insurance plans will not cover breast lift surgery, related complications or another surgery to revise the appearance of your breasts. You must carefully review your health insurance policy.
Your satisfaction involves more than a fee
When choosing a plastic surgeon for breast lift surgery, remember that the surgeon’s experience and your comfort with him or her are just as important as the final cost of the surgery.